Tummy Tuck for Me? (photo)

I wanted to get multiple opinions before I decide what I should do. I am 5'5, 127 pounds and have had 1 child. As you can see, I got pretty bad stretch marks despite only gaining 25 pounds, and my muscles have split the entire way and I have an umbilical hernia as well. How low would my scar be w/a tummy tuck? How much of the stretch marks would be removed? Can a doctor do a tummy tuck w/o "creating" a belly button for me?

Doctor Answers 9

How low would my scar be with a tummy tuck?

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Don't think you are the only mom who is worried about her abdominal contours.  Although many patients, if not most, are concerned with the scar from a tummy tuck, with current fashions and low rise jeans, a tummy tuck scar can be placed extremely low.  Although most patients are concerned with the scar prior to the surgery, the results are so dramatic and the scars heal so predictably, I rarely hear any negative comments about the incision.  The belly tuck scar is also hidden deep inside the belly button and is virtually unnoticeable.  The dramatic improvement in contour with respect to skin tightening, liposuction if necessary, and abdominal wall flattening, far outweigh the very slight noticeability of the tummy tuck incision.  With this low placement as well, all previous surgical scars in the lower abdomen can be removed.  This would include C-Section, hysterectomy, appendectomy or any other surgery between the belly button and the pubic mound. 

Eugene Plastic Surgeon

Factors to Consider for Mini Tummy Tuck Selection

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Mini-abdominoplasty tightens the lower abdominal wall muscles and removes redundant skin below the umbilicus, belly button, only. In your particular case it will not significantly improve your large belly button nor the loose skin above it.  The shortest scar technique for a mini tummy tuck leaves a scar at the pubic hair line. 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.

Your body is in between several good tummy tuck procedures options

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Thank you for the question and photo.  You have some but not a significant amount of laxity to your abdomen.  This laxity is centrally located as opposed to below the belly button as in most women.  Because of this your body is in between several good tummy tuck procedure options.  As you may be able to visualize, pulling up on your abdomen by lifting at your breast folds improves some of the laxity above your belly button.  Similarly you may be able to envision the benefits of a small amount of skin removal very low by your pubic bone.  You may benefit most from a combination of reverse tummy tuck and mini tummy tuck.  This would allow your abdominal muscles to also be tightened.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta


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

Tummy Tuck for Me?

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Thanks for the posted photos. Yes maybe but IONLY in person evaluation in your case is a MUST!! Seek a few boarded PSs in your city 

Tummy Tuck Options

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A Mini Tummy Tuck will address the skin laxity below the belly button. But, this particular surgery will not smooth out loose skin above the belly button. With regard to the separation between the rectus muscles, the mini tummy tuck approach will only tighten the muscles below the belly button, not the muscle above. With this surgery, one may have some residual fullness above the belly button if the rectus muscle separation is significant.
Your best results will be obtained with a Full Tummy Tuck if your rectus muscles are separated along its entire length. The full tummy tuck does result in a scar around the belly button, as well as a long scar along the lower abdomen. But, your entire abdomen will be smooth and flat.
Another less popular option is to do the full tummy tuck by releasing the belly button from the underlying muscle attachment. This will allow you to avoid an incision and scar around the belly button. You will still have a long lower abdominal incision and your belly button will be a little lower. But, the entire length of rectus muscle will be repaired and the entire abdomen will be smoother.
Thank you for your question and photos. Best of luck with your decision!


Gregory C. Park, M.D.

Gregory Park, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

Tummy Tuck For Me?

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Thank you for the question and pictures.

 Precise advice would require direct examination. More than likely, you will benefit from a full tummy tuck operation, assuming you have completed having pregnancies.

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 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.

 I hope this helps.


Tummy Tuck options

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The precise answer to your question depends on physical exam, since it is difficult to tell just how loose your skin is from a photo.  The term "mini tummy tuck" is used in different ways by different surgeons.  It can refer to the length of the scar, the degree of undermining, or whether the rectus muscles need to be tightened.

To get a great result you will need to have the rectus muscles brought back together.  In order to accomplish this the surgeon will need to release the umbilicus at its external aspect for good visualization of the muscle gap in the upper abdomen.  Some people might try to tighten the muscles with an endoscope and avoid umbilical release, but I personally don't think the repair is as good when done that way.


This is particularly important in your case since you have an umbilical hernia.  With proper technique the new umbilicus can look better than your current one.  It is important that the umbilicus should be properly anchored so that the scar is hidden within the umbilicus, rather than showing itself as a circular scar around the umbilicus

When the skin is tightened with an abdominoplasty, stretch marks tend to look better, but certainly don't disappear.  You can simulate this by placing your skin under tension with your two hands pulling away from each other.

The scar from an abdominoplasty should sit low, so that it can be hidden within the line of a swim suit or underwear.  When I go to plastic surgery meetings I see far too many results presented where the scar is well above this swimsuit line.

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


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From your pictures it’s hard to determine what kind of tummy tuck would benefit you the best. We cannot see if you excess skin, without an exam. The best advice is that you could probably benefit from a mini or a full tummy tuck, to repair your muscle and get rid stretch marks removed. A PS would be able to give your the best options.


Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Tummy Tuck

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Thank you for your question and for attaching the photos. What I cannot tell from the photos, but what a surgeon can tell at an in person exam is how loose the upper abdominal skin is. If the skin is loose enough, you would get the best improvement with a full standard tummy tuck.

The incision would be low enough to be hidden by undies or a bikini bottom, and there would be an incision around the navel, which typically is left in place. The surgeon will discuss how to manage the navel due to the presence of the hernia. 

With a full TT, most (?85%) of the stretch marks below the navel would be gone, the rest would be lower.

The muscle separation would be repaired, the hernia addressed, and the excess skin removed. 

When you 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 your for your question, best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle 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.