Mini/modified Tummy with Lipo or Full TT? How Can I Tell if I Need Muscle Repair? (photo)

I am 32, 5'4", and 129lbs. I had one c-section delivery years ago. I am pretty active with exercise, but my stomach makes me look fatter than I am. I had some consultations for a tummy tuck and have gotten mixed advice. In general, it sounds like the full TT is the preferred surgery, as results are pretty much guaranteed whereas the mini TT results can vary. I like my belly button and I feel that my upper abs are strong. How can I tell if I need muscle repair? Would a mini with lipo suffice?

Doctor Answers 15

Tummy tuck options

First of all, are you planning in having more children? If so, you should hold off on a tummy tuck until after that. Otherwise, a well done full tummy tuck is your best option. Mini tummy tucks are almost always a dissappointment, and that is the case in your situation as well. In most younger patients like yourself,it is beneficial to tighten your abdominal muscles to give you as flat a tummy as possible. Even though it makes the recovery a bit tougher, the final result is worth it. Good luck!

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Full tummy tuck or mini

Based on your photos, you most definitely would benefit from a full tummy tuck. There appears to be laxity of your abdominal wall expected with having had a pregnancy. You would get a flatter tighter abdomen with a muscle repair and removing as much skin as  possible.


Marialyn Sardo, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Mini TT

Based on your photos, you are a candidate for a tummy tuck with muscle repair.In my past, the muscle repair is always done unless you have an obesity problem, which you don't. Mini tummy tucks don't give much result. Don't worry about your belly button, it does not move much post surgery.  For an in depth evaluation, consult a board certified plastic surgeon in your area. All the best

Thomas A. Narsete, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Tummy tuck


You will definately get the most benefit from having a full tummy tuck. The trade off is a slightly longer scar, but if placed correctly it will be hidden in most clothes and bathers.

Regarding your muscle repair. After children it is most common to combine a muscle tightening procedure with your tummy tuck. The problem is with pregnancy is that the abdominal muscles separate a bit and so cause a bit of a bulge when you are standing which you appear to have. So even though your tummy muscles may feel strong, they may still be contributing to your bulge.

Tightening the abdominal wall will also help give you better definition of your waist.


Richard Bloom

Richard Bloom, MBBS (Hons), FRACS
Melbourne Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 117 reviews

Mini/modified Tummy with Lipo or Full TT?

You will definitely get the most dramatic improvement with a full TT including muscle repair. Anything less will likely be a waste of your money.

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

Mini Tummy Tuck versus Full Tummy Tuck

A full tummy tuck would give you the best result. Beware of doctors who only offer mini tummy tucks or "bikini tucks" or the many other names you may hear.  In general, that may mean those doctors are not equipped or trained to give you what you really need which is a full tummy tuck. You may also find out that the scar of the "mini" tummy tuck is not much different than the real tummy tuck and you will not get the benefits from the full tummy tuck.

Francisco Canales, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Should I have a full tummy tuck or mini after kids

I agree with the other physicians.  Although some patients may be happy with the results of a mini-tummy tuck and liposuction, most regret that they did not have the full tummy tuck - especially if they have had children.  I would recommend going with the fully tummy tuck unless you have a really good reason not to undergo that procedure.  Good luck!

Brian Dorner, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Tummy tuck San Diego (photos)

It's never worth the scar of tummy tuck without "muscle repair,"  and a "mini" tummy tuck will not narrow your waist or flatten your abdomen enough.  You want a full tummy tuck with standard "fascial" plication, and should have a spectacular result.

Pregnancy stretches out not just skin, but the underlying abdominal wall.  This includes muscle, and more important, the dense connective tissue envelope over the muscle, called "fascia."  It is this fascia that is tightened during traditional tummy tuck.  Tightening contributes at least three valuable elements to the tummy tuck result:  First, your waist is narrowed from front view.  Second, the loose bulge of the abdomen is flattened from side view.  Because the abdominal wall is tightened, you feel fit again, and can wear smaller clothing.  Third, by diminishing the abdominal girth, overlying skin becomes loose, and more of it can be removed.

From your photos, you appear to be an ideal candidate for tummy tuck.  You have few is any stretch marks, good skin elasticity, a low belly button (scar will be low), and a crease that is a natural place for a short scar.  You have just enough fat to sculpt, but not so much that it won't look real.  GO FOR IT!

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Full tummy tuck usually the best choice after pregnancies

While it isn't possible to give definitive advice based only on photos, I would be surprised based on what I see if a mini tummy tuck (with or without liposuction) would give you the results you want. A personal examination is needed to determine whather there is a muscle separation (diastasis.) If so, it is not correctable with exercise alone.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Mini vs Full Tummy Tuck

Thank you for providing us with detailed information and photos.  A mini-tuck (Modified Abdominoplasty) has very limited applications.  A patient must have a high belly button and sagging strictly limited to the lower abdomen.  Judging from your photos, you are not a suitable candidate, because you have a low belly button, which will get pulled down lower with the operation, and you have what is known as type III redundancy, which by definition requires a full tummy tuck for correction.  If you are worried about your belly button, in experienced hands, the belly button will turn out very natural and nice looking, and will not be a "tell-tale" sign of having had a tummy tuck.

Ruben B. Abrams, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 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.