What Procedure Would Be Best for Me and My Stomach? (photo)

I am 33 yr. old, 5'3", 110 lb. I workout 5 days a week and am very fit. My problems are stretch marks around my belly button, my belly button looks nothing like my old one, and when I sit down my stomach is full of wrinkles and I look like I have a muffin top although I don't have much fat on my stomach. What procedure(s) would best correct these problems?

Doctor Answers 13

What type of tummy tuck to choose?

The answer to your question depends on what kind of result you will be happy with.  For complete correction, muscle repair, etc..., then a full tummy tuck is likely the answer.  

If you want improvement but no scar, then one of the nonsurgical options for skin tightening such as Exilis might be beneficial.

See a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area for a complete evaluation.

Best of Luck!

Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 183 reviews

Full Tummy Tuck

Based on your pictures, it appears that a Full Tummy Tuck / Abdominoplasty would give you the best result.  A "mini-tuck" would not address the looseness above your belly button or improve the appearance of your belly button.  Any non-invasive therapy, whether laser, radio-frequency, etc, will not achieve the degree of tightening that you need.  I see a lot of patients that choose to go the "mini" route with other surgeons and then come see me for a secondary surgery to convert them to a full tummy tuck.  I wish patients would not be fooled into thinking that "mini" procedures will somehow magically produce full results.

Good Luck.


Good Luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

What Procedure Would Be Best for Me and My Stomach?

    The loose skin and muscle separation as well as umbilical repair could be performed with a short scar tummy tuck.  Liposuction of the sides may be useful as well.  Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of tummy tucks and liposuction surgeries each year.  Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Stretch marks around belly button: Probably need TT

Hi. Thank you for posting your questions. Even though you didn't post a side view (which would've helped a lot with our evaluation), it seems that you had a really big pregnancy, which stretched your skin too much, and popped out your belly button as well.

That said, if you have that much flaccidity in your abdominal wall, exercise alone won't do the job for you. That's a clear indication for an abdominoplasty. When you get it done, we cut the excess skin, and most of the stretch marks dissapear; we make an abdominal plicature, that corrects the rectus abdominii diastasis, and if there's an umbilical defect (hernia i.e.) it gets corrected in the same procedure.

This is just an approximate opinion, but take into account that nothing substitutes a personalized evaluation by a board certified plastic surgeon. Good luck

Rafael E. Estevez Hernandez, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Tummy tuck vs. Mini Tummy Tuck?

Thank you for your question.  I think you would benefit from a full tummy tuck.

In my 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 have had mini tummy tuck  surgery present for  revisionary surgery.

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,501 reviews

Best for my Tummy?

Based upon the posted photos I might offer a skin only TT with muscle repair, umbilical hernia repair, SmartLipo/lipo of flanks for "muffin top".  

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

What Procedure Would Be Best for Me and My Stomach?

You have too much skin and badly damaged with loss of elasticity as well as a wide separation of the central abdominal muscles. This takes a full Tummy Tuck to correct. Anything less will be a waste of your money and lead to serious disappointment.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Best treatment for skin excess and wrinkles on abdomen

Although a full abdominoplasty sounds like a lot of surgery, it is probably the best way to smooth the abdominal wall skin excess. Anything less than that will be a very small percentage of improvement, and for the intervention, you may be unsatisfied. Mini abdominoplasty only removes about 2 inches of skin above the pubic area, and for most of us after childbearing, this is not enough skin take out to make any sort of difference when we sit down or bend over. If you are looking for a full correction, the full abdominoplasty is the way to go. Anything less than that risks a suboptimal result. 

Hayley Brown, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

What Procedure Would Be Best for Me and My Stomach?

An actual exam is always a better way of making recommendations. Thanks for your questions and for the photos attached. 

It appears that a full TT would be the best choice here. With this procedure, the abdominal muscles can be tightened, and the excess skin excised.On exam it can be determined if there is a hernia at the navel which can be addressed at the same procedure. 

All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Tummy Tuck Choices

Dear Sonja1979,  Thank you for your question.  Based upon your photos, an abdominoplasty would be the best option for achieving your desired goals. Because of your loose and hanging skin with stretch marks, you need to remove the damaged, excess skin.  Liposuction alone will not correct this problem as the skin will be incapable of shrinking after the fat is removed.  It also appears that your abdominal muscles have been stretched possibly from childbearing so these will need to be repositioned and tightened also.  

It is also possible that you have  small belly button hernia that can be repaired at the same time as your tummy tuck.

Please schedule an appointment with a board-certified plastic surgeon who based on the findings of your examination can determine the best options for addressing your concerns. 

Herluf G. Lund, Jr, MD
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

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.