32 years old, 5 ft, 116-118 lbs with raised c-section scar 15 months later? Should I do a full or mini TT? (photo)

I am 32 years old, 5 ft tall, 116-118 pounds, 3 pregnancies. The last was a c section. My scar is still a bit raised, red and itchy 15 months later. I'm a bit worried that a tummy tuck scar would wind up the same way. I've been using scar away sheets for about 6 months and they've flattened it tons and improved the color, but it's slow progress . I'm wondering if I'd be a good candidate for a mini tuck or if I'd need a full tummy tuck? Thanks!

Doctor Answers 15

Full or mini tummy tuck.

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While many women seek minmal scar abdominoplasty , and I practice endoscopic as well as mini abdominoplasty ,so I do more of these than a lot of surgeons, I feel you are definitely in the full tummy tuck range. This is because of your stretch marks and skin laxity. If you have a mini tumy tuck you will be disappointed because you will still have loose skin and not only also loose skin but loose skin with stretch marks. The trade off or the long scar is the fact that you will have much tighter skin, get rid of most of your stretch marks, and you can hide the scar in your bikini line. Also, even if you get a bad scar your surgeon can go back and remove it and resuture it to get a better one and thee are also many new treatments to make scars better.

Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Full or Mini Tummy Tuck?

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You are petite and the changes you have are classic for your history. You would be best served to have a full tummy tuck with your anatomy. Most times mini surgery gives mini results.

As far as the scars, I do not run a stitch in the superficial layers of the skin as it causes more inflammation and subsequently more scarring. I also give all my patients a relatively new scar recovery gel and taping starting one week after surgery and continuing for several months until the scar is white, flat, faded and mature. I have been extremely pleased with this method as my scars have dramatically improved.

Brian J. Lee, MD
Fort Wayne Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Full vs mini tummy tuck--- or something in-between?

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There are mini tucks, there are full tummy tucks, and nothing in between, right?

Well, there are actually at least 3 main procedures that fall in between those commonly performed procedures, depending on what the patient's needs are.

A shorter scar option may be appropriate, especially since the belly button to scar distance is quite large, and you wouldn't to do a fully tummy tuck and leave the existing scar in place!

Postoperatively, you may want to inquire about scar creams, silicone sheeting, and laser treatments, as well as steroid injections; all may improve the overall healing.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Tummy Tuck is It Normal to See a Spot of Blood from the Belly Button?

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Should you choose to proceed with surgery, you would need a full TT.

A mini-TT is only useful in the occasional patient who has a problem that only involved the lower abdomen, below the navel. A mini-TT does not imply a shorter incision. 

Your photos demonstrate abdominal wall laxity and excess skin involving the upper and lower abdomen.

A plastic surgery consult can help weigh the pros and cons in light of your c-section scar. There are other treatments other than scar creams that can be tried. But you will be at a higher risk for excess scarring with any future surgery. When you are ready for an in person consultation,RealSelf has listings of surgeons in your area. You should consider cross referencing the listings from the The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (plasticsurgery dot org). A listing in the ASPS website assures you that your surgeon is not only board certified,  but also is a member in good standing of the major plastic surgery organization in the U. S. Thank you for your question, best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Scar revision, mini tummy tuck and laser liposuction may work for you

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Thank you for your question and photographs. In my experience patients with your findings shown in your photograph can often benefit from C-section scar revision, a mini tummy tuck and laser liposuction.

Be sure to consult a plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, experienced in tummy tuck, and who has an excellent reputation in your community. Do not rely on Internet advice

Full or mini tummy tuck?

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Dear mommato3boys, thank you for your photos, they provide good information about your tummy.  I can tell that after three pregnancies and a c-section (maybe an emergency one?) your tummy has a lot of damage.  You have issues with skin laxity, stretch marks, bulging abdominal muscles, folding skin and a rough c-section scar.  A mini tummy tuck would help a patient with minimal or no skin issues and minimal abdominal bulge limited to the area below the belly button which is not your case. The more skin laxity issues the larger the scar needed to correct it. In addition to that a standard Tummy tuck will treat the entire abdominal wall muscles and fatty tissues to give you a much flatter atractive tummy with a brand new cute belly button (check my photos) You will get more benefit from a Tummy tuck.

I know you are concerned about the scar and are afraid it will turn rough just like your c-section scar.  Tummy tuck scars fare a lot better than c-sections especially if the c-section was an emergency one.  I have removed a lot of c-section and hysterectomy scars with much better results in the course of tummy tucks.

Let me know if you would like a personal consultation... DrBrou

Juan A. Brou, MD
Oklahoma City Plastic Surgeon

Full or Mini Tummy Tuck?

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You would be better served with a flu TT but an extended incision mini TT might give a moderate improvement. 

Full or Mini Tummy Tuck?

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       You may want to consider a short scar tummy tuck, which will have the same length scar as the minitummy tuck but will remove about twice as much skin as well as allow tightening of the abdominal wall.  Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of tummy tucks 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

Full or mini tuck?

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From your photos and history, a full tuck would be best.  As for scars, if you don't want scars, you cannot have the surgery.  Its a tradeoff and you must accept scars and the risks for poor scarring in order to achieve a better contour.  Only you can decide if that is worth it to you.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Full vs Mini Tummy Tuck

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Thank you for posting your photos.  It appears that you would achieve the best result from a full tummy tuck.  Pregnancies cause what is known as "diastasis", or a space between the abdominal muscles which can only be repaired surgically rather than through diet or exercise.  This repair is not performed in a mini tummy tuck.  I am sorry to hear that you have had healing issues with your C-section scar.  The good news is that your scar would be removed during your tummy tuck.  Plastic Surgeons have tools and techniques to minimize scarring and achieve the most pleasing aesthetic result.  Best of luck to you.

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.