Post Mini Tumi Tuck. Still Have Loose Skin Above Belly Button. Will It Improve? (photo)

Many years ago I had an umbilicus hernia repair. see the scar in pic. It scarred down and I didn't like the look. When I had my mini tummy tuck 3 weeks ago the doctor released the scar, removed skin under the belly button & sewed my muscles all the way up. I am satisfied when I am standing straight up but when I bend slightly the skin above my belly button looks even worse than before. The doctor recommended the mini because he said I would be trading 1 scar for another. Will it improve at all?

Doctor Answers 7

Mini tummy tuck

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I think you get the idea that most plastic surgeons shy away from doing mini tummy tucks if the patient can benefit from a full tummy tuck as the results are so much better. It does not look like you have enough skin to convert to a full tummy tuck but you could always get a modified tummy tuck where you close the belly button hole with a vertical scar which is now visible in the middle of the lower tummy and take out more skin which would tighten the upper tummy skin. At this point since you already had surgery I would wait and see how it looks in 3-4 months and go from there.

Richmond Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Post Mini Tumi Tuck. Still Have Loose Skin Above Belly Button. Will It Improve?

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Since nothing was done to address the loose skin in the upper abdomen,it is unlikely that this will improve. This is the primary issue with mini-TT, and few patients inquiring about one are actually good candidates. 

I would not, however, use the appearance of the skin in the bending over position as a point of criticism, as this can also occur with full TT, since that positioning forces the skin to buckle some. The skin has lost some of its elasticity, or the TT would not have been needed in the first place.

Thanks for your question, all the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Selecting the right operation for the right patient

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You may be a candidate for a mini-abdominoplasty

  1. If you have good overall skin elasticity
  2. You skin redundancy is totally below the umbilicus
  3. You have only a  moderate about of excess fati
  4. You did not meet these criteria and therefore you got a less than optimal
  5. Plastic surgery is all about selecting the right operation for the right patient

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Mini tummy tuck does not improve skin above the umbi

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A mini tummy tuck (mini-abdominoplasty) does not generally change the skin above the belly button (umbilicus in medical terms.) In some cases, limited improvement can be achieved with a "float" of the umbi in which it is attached lower, but that only works if it is high to begin with and the skin laxity is just above the umbilicus. On the other hand, a standard tummy tuck can be difficult when there is a scar above it as in your case. Perhaps Thermage or Ulthera might help, but not to a dramatic degree.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Post Mini Tumi Tuck. Still Have Loose Skin Above Belly Button. Will It Improve? (photo)

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Appears as a very acceptable mini TT result! Above the umbilicus skin excess CAN NOT be addressed via the mini TT. Best to further discuss with your surgeon. 

Concerns after Mini Tummy Tuck Surgery?

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Thank you for the question and pictures.

Given the nature of the mini tummy tuck operation, it is doubtful that you will experience significant improvement of the upper abdominal wall even though you are only 3 weeks out of surgery.

 For the benefit of patients considering mini tummy tuck surgery, inmy opinion, the mini tummy tuck is an  operation that  produces very limited results and is very rarely indicated. It involves a shorter incision but does not address the majority of the abdominal wall issues present for most patients who present consultation. For example, the area of skin excised is quite small. The abdominal wall musculature is addressed below the umbilicus leaving the upper number wall potentially lax. The appearance of the umbilicus is not necessarily addressed sufficiently.

For most patients who have had pregnancies and/or weight loss a full abdominoplasty is necessary to achieve the desired results. Of course, there are downsides (including a longer scar and probably a longer recovery time) but for most patients the benefits outweigh the downsides. It is not unusual to see patients who've had mini tummy tuck  surgery present for  revisionary surgery.

I hope this helps.

Was a mini-tuck the right operation for you?

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A mini-tummy  tuck does not affect the bulging or stretched skin above the umbilicus so, on that basis, I would have to conclude that you cannot expect improvement in this area.  However, remember that people do not walk around bent over and so evaluating your outcome from this position will not produce any meaningful impressions.  Everyone has bulging from that perspective.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.