Mini, Full or neither? (Photos)

I am trying to decide if I would be a good canisters for a mini or full tummy tuck. I would like to reduce the appearance of stretch marks and also get rid of loose skin. Or is it not necessary for either. Are there any other types of procedures or methods to make my stomach more tight and less stretch marks? I had 4 c sections and had a lot of scar tissue that had to be removed. Will a doctor cut where I had my c section or create another cut? It's makes me a bit nervous but I need something.

Doctor Answers 14

100% full tummy tuck and you will rock it!!

It is really hard to give advice without examining patients with regards to abdominoplasties and the many permutations and “versions” of them that get offered to patients.  Briefly, if you have excess skin or laxity in your skin and fat, removal of that tissue would be of benefit.  If your muscle contour is not what it used to be or it not optimal, a procedure to tighten your “core” may be necessary.  This is especially important in the post-pregnancy population as during your pregnancy, your muscles were forced to adapt to a growing baby inside.  Most times, those muscles don’t  go exactly back to where they were before.  Some come back really darn close, but rarely to their exact pre-pregnancy position.  If you don’t have the musculature issues addressed, and you only have the skin and subcutaneous tissues removed, your contour will not be optimal and I believe you will be dissatisfied with your results.  It’s paramount to fix the foundation (the musculature) before building the house. The next question to address is what to do with your belly button.  Depending on the amount of upper abdominal laxity, you may have your belly button brought through a new place in your skin (belly button stays where it is on your abdominal wall, but by stretching skin downwards, it needs to come out in a new place or it would look tethered and not natural) or you  may need to leave it where it is or potentially “float” it down the abdominal wall an inch or two (it actually ends up being lower on your torso than where it started).  Decisions about pre-surgery position of your belly button and tradeoffs between potential scar placement vs. keeping your belly button in a naturally-appearing position are used to determine that.  As you can see, there are lots to consider when discussing abdominoplasties.  You really need to discuss all of these issues with a board certified plastic surgeon and see pictures of their results. Who cares if someone does “drainless tummy tucks” if their results do not look great.  Likewise, tummy tucks that are done overly tight do not look natural and defeat the purpose of having your abdomen rejuvenated in the first place.  What good is getting a tummy tuck if you aren’t excited to show it off?  Hope this helps! -JGH

Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Full TT vs mini

From the pictures alone it looks as if you are a candidate for a full tummy tuck.  Generally the surgeon would cut out the csection scar and go below it for your TT incision.  Best of luck to you

Milind K. Ambe, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Mini, Full or neither?

A full tummy tuck is your best choice. It will remove the most skin and tighten the abdominal wall above and below your belly button. I make sure to keep my incisions as low as possible. Typically my tummy tuck incision is lower than a C-section scar, so the C-section scar is removed. The incision should be kept low so that it can be hidden by underwear, a bathing suit, and your day-to-day clothing.

Austin Hayes, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Full abdominoplasty

Thanks for your question and the photos. You will need a full abdominoplasty and possibly some liposuction of the posterior hips to restore your waistline. The old C-section scar can be used usually and the majority of your stretch marks can be removed. You are a great candidate. Find a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in your area that is an ASAPS member and specializes in body contouring. The Smart Beauty Guide is an excellent resource. Best of Luck!

M. Scott Haydon, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Are you a candidate for a tummy tuck

From your photographs, it seems like you are an excellent candidate for a tummy tuck. You would require a full tummy tuck and muscle tightening to get your best results. Your C-section scar would almost certainly be removed with the excess skin of your lower abdomen.

Ira H. Rex lll, MD
Fall River Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Mini or Full Tummy Tuck?

Thank you for the question and pictures. Based on your pregnancy history, photographs, and stated goals, you will do best with a full tummy tuck operation. In my practice, I would not offer you a mini tuck operation.     Generally speaking, the “ideal” patient for tummy tuck surgery is one who has completed pregnancies, is psycho socially/emotionally/financially stable, has an excellent social support system surrounding him/her, is capable of arranging enough recovery time, does not smoke and who has reached a long-term stable weight.

 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 the vast majority of patients who have had pregnancies and/or weight loss a full abdominoplasty is necessary to achieve the desired results.   When the time is right, seek consultation with board-certified plastic surgeons who can demonstrate significant experience helping patients achieve the types of outcomes you would be pleased with. You may find the attached link, dedicated to tummy tuck surgery concerns, helpful to you as you learn more. Best wishes. 

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Tummy Tuck, Abdominoplasty

You will get the best answer to your question by scheduling an in person consultation with a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and discussing your unique situation and concerns. The surgeon would meet with you, examine you, physically feeling the tissue, assessing your desired outcome, taking a full medical history, and discussing the pros and cons of each operative procedure in person and what you can realistically expect. Then you can make an informed decision on which procedure(s) to start with according to your desires, recovery time necessary, your history and current health. Surgery after children is very rewarding for our patients. One of the most important factors is not only your health going into the procedure(s) but the support system you have available for your recovery time and the amount of time you can seriously devote to recovery. If you have three active children and only a few days where you can rely on assistance driving, taking care of housework and children and daily activities then staging the procedures may be your best option. If you have help for a good two weeks where you can really focus on you and your recovery and someone else is going to take care of the daily routine and responsibilities than it is not uncommon to do combined procedures for one surgery, one recovery. Patients that have the needed recovery time scheduled in advance usually recover faster as they don't have the added stress of knowing they are needed 4 days after a tummy tuck to be back to their normal routine. Take all of this into consideration with your surgeon when making this decision and get realistic answers to your concerns in advance will make the whole process easier.

Mark Schoemann, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Full tummy tuck candidate

The story and photos you have provided suggest that only a full TT would give the best result. That's because you have muscle damage and loose skin above the umbilicus and only a full TT deals with this. Please seek expert in person consultation for more details.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Mini, Full or neither?

With so much damaged skin over the entire lower abdomen and extending above the belly button, the only choice would be a full TT. Anything else would leave you unhappy with the result and feeling like you wasted a lot of money.

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

Mini, Full or neither?

There are a variety of tummy tucks that can produce a good cosmetic result in the appropriate patient: a mini tummy tuck, a modified with an umbilical float, or a variety of a full abdominoplasty, all of which may, or may not, include tightening of the muscle and liposuction of selective areas. Generally if there is significant loose skin above the umbilicus (belly button), a full tummy tuck will result in a greater correction and better outcome. Lesser procedures will not provide a good cosmetic result in a patient with your individual anatomy.
The lower stretch marks will be removed with a tummy tuck and the upper ones brought to a lower position where they will be less obvious. While there are many nonsurgical procedures that are claimed to get rid of stretch marks, most ethical knowledgeable plastic surgeons will tell you that they have limited if any benefit, are unreliable, and not a satisfactory option in your particular situation.
Keep in mind that following advice from a surgeon on this or any other website who proposes to tell you what to do without examining you, physically feeling your tissue, assessing your desired outcome, taking a full medical history and discussing the pros and cons of each operative procedure would not be in your best surgery. I would suggest that you find a surgeon certified by the American Board of American Plastic Surgery and one who is ideally a member of The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) that you trust and are comfortable with. You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person.
Robert Singer, M.D., FACS La Jolla,California

Robert Singer, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.6 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.