Tummy Tuck Vs Mini Tuck? (photo)

I am 25 yrs old , I have 2 children, 7 year old and a 3 month baby girl. I do want more children in the future. I hate my belly button and the tattoo. I prefer a mini TT done b/c the recovery is so much shorter and I do not want to tighten my muscles because I want more children In the future. Is there any way I can get a new belly button with a mini tummy tuck?

Doctor Answers 12

Short Scar Tummy Tuck or Minitummy Tuck

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   Short scar tummy tuck is far superior for your concerns.  A short scar tummy tuck has the same length scar as a minitummy tuck but removes skin above the belly button and gives you a new belly button.  Find the plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of tummy tucks each year.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Candidate for mini-tummy tuck?

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Based on your picture and stated goals, I think you are a great candidate for a full tummy tuck.  A mini-tummy tuck has very limited usefulness and only on tissue below the belly button.  A full tummy tuck would go all the way up to the ribs on each side.  The longer the incision, the more skin can be removed.  With a mini-tummy tuck, only a small sliver of skin can be removed.  Much more can be taken out through the longer incision of the full tummy tuck.  Since your tattoo extends almost to your right hip, you would need a longer incision anyway to remove it.  It is certainly in a good location for removal.  Also, a full tummy tuck would allow for removal of the stretch marks below your belly button.  In short, a full tummy tuck would be my recommendation for you.  If you want to have future children, you might want to hold off on the full tummy tuck.  Obviously, all bets are off after a pregnancy with regards to what your stomach might look like.  If you want to do something in the meantime to make you feel better about your stomach, I might suggest possible liposuction especially with SlimLipo or SmartLipo to help tighten the skin a bit.  There are also some small tricks that can be done under local anesthesia in an office setting to help change the look of your belly button if you are unhappy with the way it looks.  These procedures will not remove stretch marks, tighten stomach muscles, or get rid of the tattoo.  That will have to wait until you are ready for your full tummy tuck.  Still, they might make you feel a bit better about your stomach in the meantime.

Edwin C. Pound, III, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Mini vs. Full tummy tuck

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My indications for a mini tummy tuck are very limited. It is ideal for a woman who has a small amount of laxiity below the umbilicus and whose upper abdominal area is firm . Usually these women have not been pregnant so that the rectus muscle has not separated. Also a small ridge above a C section scar can be revised with a mini tuck . In your case the best result would come from a full TT to remove much of the stretch marks and recreate your umbilicus. Unfortunately you do not a great excess of skin and in order tl keep the incision low and remove the tattoo you probably will need a small vertical component . This keeps the scar below the bikini line. If you are truly planning more children I would recommend waiting since the plication is very important to the final result.

Mini vs full tummy tuck

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Hi aveyvay,


Thanks for the post and the questions. As the other doctors here have mentioned, a FULL tummy tuck is the better choice. A skin ONLY Full tummy tuck would be the best option for you, especially if you are thinking about more children. Remember, with each pregnancy, new loose skin and new stretchmarks are created. So it may cause you to need a second tummy tuck once you are finished having babies. 


People have different definitions for a "mini" tuck. Generally a mini tuck uses the same incision as a full typically. But a mini does NOT move the belly button or tighten muscles. 

In either case, i typically use a drain for 1-2 weeks. 

Bennett Yang, MD
washington DC


Bennett Yang, MD
Rockville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Mini vs full tummy tuck

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A full tummy tuck is more indicated to get the best result.  I believe a mini is best for a patient who has a little extra skin on the lower abdomen or after a c-section and the skin hangs over a scar.  With more stretch marks and and muscle weakness, a full tummy tuck is indicated.  The mini will give some improvement but not nearly as good as the full procedure.  Consider waiting until you are done have kids and have the correct procedure that will give you the best long term result.

Mini tummy tuck with an umbilicoplasty

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There are options for you.  First off, your best reshaping result would come from a full tummy tuck. Most,if not all, of your stretch marks would be removed. The tattoo on your right would be removed as well. Your abdomen would be very flat and tight. Of course the scar is from hip to hip but can be well hidden along the bikini line (wear your favorite bikini during the presurgical markings).  Tightening of the muscles is either here nor there when it comes to future pregnancies. In other words, you can get pregnant afterwards but it may just stretch your abdomen out again. The stretch may not be as much as before the tummy tuck because your abdomen has more support. If a full tummy tuck is still not an option for you, then a mini tummy is definitely an option. The scar is shorter and the result is great but not amazing.  Half of your stretch marks will be gone, the tattoo may be completely removed depending on your scar acceptance, and the abdominal muscles can still be tightened or not. Your belly button can be improved as well and this won't effect a future tummy tuck as long as your belly button is not elevated (plastic surgeon will understand this). You have a great body that just needs a tune-up. Ask around and find a board certified plastic surgeon who you like.  Tummy tucks are our bread and butter. 

Justin Yovino, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 103 reviews

Mini vs. Full Tummy Tuck

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In general, the mini-tummy tuck does not address the belly button. It addressed loose skin below it. If you want your belly button enhanced, you might as well have a full tummy tuck. The full tummy tuck address the entire abdomen and can be done without tightening of the muscles, although I do not believe that though can't have children after tightening of the muscles. Please consult with a board certified plastic surgeon.

Moises Salama, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 1,881 reviews

Mini or Full Tummy Tuck?

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Thank you for the question and pictures.

Based on your history and photographs, I think that you will do well with a full tummy tuck operation.

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.

You may also find the following words of advice helpful to you:

1. Make sure you are doing the procedure for the right reasons (for yourself)  and that you have realistic expectations.  Be aware that an improvement in the “problem area” may not translate to an overall improvement in your life   situation.  You are bound to be disappointed with results of the procedure if your motivation for doing the surgery is not internally driven.

2. Time your surgery carefully; generally, it is not a good idea to have surgery done during or immediately after a stressful period in life (for example divorce or death of a loved one). The additional stress of surgery will undoubtedly be  more challenging to deal with if a patient's emotional reserves our already exhausted. Remember, that an improvement in your physical appearance will not translate to an improvement in your life situation.

3. If possible speak to patients who have undergone similar procedures and query them about the toughest times of their recovery period. Any practical hints previous patients can provide may be very helpful.

4. Make sure you are aware of potential complications that may arise how to reach your surgeon if necessary.
5. Make sure you have a strong and patient support system (several people if possible) in place who have time/patience to take care of you. Arrange for professional nursing if any doubt exists regarding the availability and/or stamina  of your caretakers.

6. Be patient with the healing process, understanding that it will take several weeks to months to feel “normal” again. It may also take many months/year to see the end results of your surgery.

7. Be prepared to distract your mind with things of interest such as books, magazines, and movies.

8. Expect less of yourself; do not go back to work, school or chores too early and let others take care of you (for a change).

9. Pick your surgeon carefully (a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon) and trust in his/her advice. Keep in close communication with your surgeon and do not hesitate to communicate questions/concerns and the   emotional swings that you may experience.

10. Resume all medications that you were using preoperatively when cleared by your plastic surgeon and stop the use of narcotics and sedatives as soon as feasible after surgery.

11. Keep in mind the end results as you go through the tougher emotional times after your surgery.
I hope this helps.

Mini Tummy Tuck and Belly Button

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Mini tummy tuck does not address the skin and muscle wall above the belly button and there is no incison around the umbilicus (belly button).  Umbilicoplasty or "belly button shaping" can be performed as an isloated procedure.

Craig Mezrow, MS, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon

A full tummy tuck will remove more of your stretch marks

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You can do either procedure, but a full abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is a better procedure for you.  The disadvantage of a mini-tuck tuck is that not very many of the stretch marks are removed.  While patients strongly dislike the scar that is created with a full tummy tuck, it is important to remember that stretch marks are scars and that you are trading one long scar that hides in a bikini, for several stretch marks scars that are removed.  Usually it is well worth it to have the full tummy tuck in that case.   The only time a mini-tuck is a better option is when the patient has few or no stretch marks, and a lot of rectus diastasis (tummy muscle separation.)

Lane Smith, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 98 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.