How Do I Know What Surgery is Best for Me? Full TT or Mini TT? (photo)

I am not sure which surgery would be right for my situation!? There is the Tummy Tuck, and Mini Tummy Tuck but I am torn as in to which would be best for me and how would I know if my Insurance could help pay or not? I currently am taking depression medicine due to self image issues and it's really starting to put a dent in my social as well as well as mine and my husbands relationship since I am too embarrassed with my stomach. I have had two c-section both pregnancy's gaining 60+ pounds!

Doctor Answers 16

A mini tummy tuck would only correct the laxity below your belly button

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Hello, Thank you for the photos. Only a select few are ideal candidates for a mini tummy tuck. Since most women have laxity that extends above the belly button, desire belly button rejuvenation, desire reduction of as many stretch marks as possible, and have global abdominal wall laxity, a full tummy tuck is more often the ideal abdominal contouring procedure. A mini tummy tuck is only designed to correct the laxity below the belly button and not much else. In your case I would recommend a full tummy tuck. All the best, Dr Remus Repta

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 171 reviews

Mini or Full Tummy Tuck?

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The choice of mini or full tummy tuck depends on the looseness of your abdominal skin and your desires. If the upper skin and fat is relatively tight, then a mini-abdominoplasty should be all you need. If it is relatively tight, the choice depends on your desires and whether just tightening the lower abdomen would satisfy your desires. A full abdominoplasty tightens both the upper and lower skin and fat and the underlying muscle. If you do not have loose enough upper skin to stretch from the umbilicus to the pubis, then you may need a vertical scar to close the umbilical position. In that case, you would have to decide if the trade of a vertical scar for the very tight abdomen is worth it. From your description of yourself, I would suspect that you would do best with a full tummy tuck. The only way to find out all you need to know to make a decision is with a full consultation.


Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon

Mini or full Tummy tuck?

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You would be a good candidate for the full tummy tuck because the photos show that you have laxity above your belly button and you could use muscle tightening after your two full term pregnancies. Best of luck!

Dana Khuthaila, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

Mini tummy tuck fixes looseness below the belly button only

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Mini tummy tucks often sound tempting because they can be done with a shorter incision.  With a mini, muscle tightening can only be done below the belly button and a smaller amount of loose skin is removed.  In your photo, you have loose skin and muscle above the belly button too, so you will be better served with a full tummy tuck.  A consult with a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery will help you understand the best choice for you.

Elizabeth Slass Lee, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

How Do I Know What Surgery is Best for Me? Full or Mini TT?Answr:

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I would go with the full TT...You have very loose skin and your tummy wall is stretched out as well.. Nowadays we seem to be using mini-tummy tuck less and less as there are probably very few true candidates for it...As surgeons we have all seen too many mini TT come back wondering why they werent tighter in the upper abdomen...I think mini TT is best for women that just have that little flap of skin from a C-section but pretty good everywhere else...

John J. Corey, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Mini or Full Tummy Tuck?

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Thank you for the question and pictures.

I think you will be much better off undergoing a full tummy tuck operation.

In my opinion, the mini tummy talk 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.
It is important  for patients seeking abdominal contouring surgery to work with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon to obtain advice (based on good ethics and judgment) to  improve  their chances of a successful outcome and minimize the need for further surgery.

I hope this helps.

Full vs. Mini TT

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A "mini" tummy tuck is designed to smooth out the lower abdomen from the UMBILICUS DOWN.  There is no incision around the umbilicus, and loose muscles and skin in this area can be treated.  There is minimal tightening of the area above the umbilicus.

A "full" tummy tuck is designed to smooth out loose muscles and skin over the ENTIRE ABDOMEN.  This includes everything from the edge of the ribs to the pubic area.  With this procedure there is an incision around the umbilicus as well as horizontally across the lower abdomen.

It appears from your photos that you have loose skin and bulging muscles above AND below the umbilicus.  Therefore, I feel the best treatmen for you would be the full procedure.  The good news is that all of the loose skin seems to be in the center and does not extend very far around the sides.  So the horizontal incision can be kept fairly short.

Regarding insurance coverage, I don't really think you have a shot   This procedure is only covered when there is so much loose skin that is is overlapping on itself and causing dapmpness, rashes, etc...  This is not the case for you.  Get a consultation with an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon and discuss your options.



How Do I Know What Surgery is Best for Me? Full TT or Mini TT?

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You have loose skin and probably loose muscles/fascia above the belly button, so you would need a full tummy tuck to correct this. Insurance will not cover either full or mini tummy tuck, regardless of the psychological effect of your loose tummy skin.  A tummy tuck is guaranteed to tighten your tummy, but be careful, because a tummy tuck is not guaranteed to improve your social life or your relationship with your husband, so make sure that your expectations are realistic.

Full or mini tummy tuck

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You would not be happy with a mini tummy tuck. It would not remove enough skin and especially above the belly button. For your particular situation a full tummy tuck with muscle tightening and liposuction would be the best.

John P. Stratis, MD
Harrisburg Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Full Tummy Tuck Vs Mini ?

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    Judging from your photos, I would recommend a full tummy tuck. You have a significant laxity of skin and your abdominal wall after your pregnancies (each with a large weight gain as well). I have never seen an insurance company cover this for the reasons you mention and I doubt that they will. Please be careful about your expectations with your surgery and your relationship with your husband. I wish you well.


Douglas L. Gervais, MD
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 178 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.