Can You Get a Mini Tummy Tuck Without a Huge Scar? (photo)

I see the before and after from the tummy tucks people post and they are scary! I am not that big, but have loose skin after weight loss. I have tried radiofrequency and good old weight training. Nada! So I am thinking of a mini tummy tuck (I'm a PS alumni by this point with my boobs, lipo, nose and eyes done) but realllllllllllly don't want that ugly massive scar I keep seeing. Tell me there is hope!!!

Doctor Answers 10

Scarring after a mini tummy tuck

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Your photos show that you’re in great shape. If you just have a bit of loose skin below your belly button, then a mini tummy tuck can definitely help tighten it up. The incision may be placed so that it remains covered up by the multi-coloured bikini bottoms you’re wearing (I can’t see the black one entirely). That means the incision will be in your lower pelvic area. You can keep your scars from becoming worse by following the scar care instructions outlined by your surgeon. Also, keep them covered up from the sun because tanning makes them permanently darker.

Mini tummy tuck

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The incision for a mini tummy tuck can be placed very low, just above the pubic area and following the groin crease. Therefore, some of it can be covered by pubic hair and it will remain well hidden by underwear/bikini bottom. The procedure is best suited for those who cannot reduce the bulging beneath their navels or who have stretched, lax skin, therefore it may not be suitable for you based on the photos you provided. Please see an experienced board certified plastic surgeon to confirm suitability.

Mini Tummy Tuck Scar length dependent on amount of loose skin

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Mini Tummy Tuck Explained

  1. Mini-abdominoplasty tightens the lower abdominal wall muscles and removes redundant skin below the umbilicus, belly button, only. The shortest scar technique leaves a scar at the pubic hair line where it is usually hidden . Liposuction may be used alone or in conjunction with a tummy tuck to benefit selected patients

‘Mini” tummy tucks can benefit patients who have a small amount of excess skin and fat or protruding of the lower abdomen. This operation may be done under local anesthesia with sedation, on an outpatient basis. Liposuction may be used alone or in conjunction with a tummy tuck to benefit selected patients.

Tummy tuck without a large scar.

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Based on your photos it appears you have minimal upper abdomen skin excess. If the skin excess is located primarily in the lower abdomen then a short scar abdominoplasty would be quite possible. If you have relaxation or distention of the muscular wall of the abdomen that could be addressed at the same time. Any scar place on a patient such as yourself should be concealed within a bikini bathing suit. It was really hard to find a problem with your tummy based upon your photos so I think if you are a surgical candidate a modified abdominoplasty would probably suit you well.  Best of Luck    Dr Harrell

I am not convinced that you are a mini tummy tuck candidate

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Thank you for the question and the photos.  From the photos alone I am not convinced that you are in need of a tummy tuck whether that is a mini tummy tuck or any other type of resection procedure.  Perhaps my conclusion would be different upon examination however based on the photos alone it seems like you have very little excess laxity.  You may want to consider something like cool sculpting for a little bit of fat reduction which may help you with the tone of your abdomen.  

All the best.

Dr Remus Repta 

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Mini tummy tuck scar length

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The length of the scar on a tummy tuck is related to two factors.  The first is the tone of the abdominal wall musculature and whether there is a significant gap between the inner edges of the muscles.  This can be evaluated when you tense the muscles as in a sit-up.  The other issue is how much looseness there is of the abdominal skin, both above and below the umbilicus.  From your pictures, your tone looks reasonably good, but photos can be deceptive.  In general a low well placed scar hides well under the bikini and is worth the aggravation if it produces a beautiful tummy.  See my website's abdominoplasty section for a more thorough discussion of various abdominal techniques.

John Q. Cook, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Can You Get a Mini Tummy Tuck Without a Huge Scar?

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You have fallen prey to two of the myths regarding tightening damaged abdominal skin. Don't make a third mistake. There are no shortcuts to good results. A mini TT will give you mini results, you will have spent significant money and have a scar with little improvement in your area of concern. The longer scar of a standard abdominoplasty is the trade off to a nice tight abdomen. If placed properly the scar can easily be hidden under underwear and swimwear.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Mini Tummy Tuck

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This term has no universally accepted definition. Most surgeons defined this as a TT limited to the lower abdomen--that is, nothing above the navel is treated. This works well for the occasional patient who has some skin overhanging a c-section scar but is otherwise without abdominal wall issues. 

Many patients assume this is a small scar operation, but usually the scar is the same length as for a full TT. An exception may by where the problem is muscle laxity without excess skin, in which case a small incision can be used to tighten the abdominal wall.

The incision must be somewhat wider than the width of the area with excess skin.


Looking at the two photos you attached, I can see your concern. From these photos alone, I don't see enough margin for improvement to justify the incision used for a TT.


Thanks and best wishes. 


Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Mini Tummy Tuck Candidate

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It is difficult to give you a definite answer based on these two pictures. First of all, you look very fit to begin with. You could consider a mini tummy tuck without a very extensive scar along with possible muscle tightening.The scar will depend on the amount of loose skin laterally (toward your sides) but is smaller than a full tummy tuck scar. The mini tuck would also tighten your muscles and remove and tighten some loose skin below the belly button. It would be easier to give you a more informative opinion if you were seen in the office. Good Luck with your decision!

David Rankin, MD
Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 168 reviews

Short Scar Tummy Tuck

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A variety of abdominoplasty techniques have been described as short scar tummy tuck.  

These tummy tuck techniques include the use of a scar similar to, but shorter than, that used for a c-section.  This is often call a mini-tummy tuck.

There is also a technique makes the incision around the belly button and takes out a doughnut of the surrounding abdominal skin and closes the wound as a purse string.

A consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon, and physical examination are necessary to determine which procedures may be good options for you.  

Fredrick A. Valauri, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon

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.