Mini tummy tuck or full tummy tuck? (photos)

I'm a 35 year old mother of 3. Having babies has giving me a wrinkly belly. I have attached a picture showing my belly. Would a full tummy tuck or mini tummy tuck be more suitable? I was told by a surgeon at a consultation that my abdominal muscle are ok and quite strong. What's the cost between the two? And what at the pros and cons? Thank you

Doctor Answers 12

Tummy Tuck/Abdominoplasty - Am I a candidate?

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Judging by your photograph your wrinkling problem encompasses the entire lower part of the abdomen extending from just above the belly button to your pubic area. To address this probably a mini tuck will not be entirely satisfactory.  The wrinkling is caused by skin damage from pregnancy and just stretching it, which would occur with a mini tuck, would not necessarily make it look better.  Mini tucks are used when there is a true excess of skin below the belly button in the lower part of your tummy.  In your case it looks as if there is not really an excess but just wrinkling. Therefore you may be a candidate for a full abdominoplasty but this can only be determined with a consultation with an experienced plastic surgeon.  The pros of a mini-tuck is that the belly button is untouched. Sometimes the scar is shorter and it is a lesser procedure and recovery is shorter.  The full Abdominoplasty is a bigger operation, the scarring can be more extensive, but the whole of the rectus sheath can be tightened at the same time.  With both procedures liposuction can be carried out as well. However, these are two different operations for different abdominal problems.  The full abdominoplasty is more expensive. The typical costs for these procedures in the UK are  between £4200 and £5550.

Tummy Tuck - Am I A Candidate?

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Thank you for your question and photos. You appear to be an excellent candidate for a full tummy tuck, not a mini. The abdominal skin excision and muscle tightening could give you an excellent contour as well as improve the tone of the anterior abdominal wall. Liposuction could be used to better define your flanks and hips at the time of tummy tuck surgery. Please see a board certified plastic surgeon for an in-person examination to discuss the specific details of the procedures. Ask to see before and after photos to get an idea of what can be achieved. Hope this helps!

Mini or Full Tummy Tuck

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A variety of tummy tucks are available. Patients who only need a tightening of the abdominal muscles or removal of a small amount of skin may be best treated with a “mini-tuck.” Patients who have undergone massive weight loss, on the other hand, will probably require more extensive surgery. You should be able to determine the final procedure selection in consultation with a local plastic surgeon. An abdominoplasty is usually done under general anesthesia. An incision is made along the lower abdomen at about the pubic hair line, and another incision is made around the belly button which stays attached to the muscle. Mini-abdominoplasty tightens the lower abdominal wall and skin below the umbilicus, belly button, only (shortest scar). Modified abdominoplasty addresses conditions where just the muscle wall or just the abdominal skin requires repair. Standard abdominoplasty tightens all of the abdominal wall skin and muscles above and below the belly button. The scar can be altered or lowered to be hidden by most panty lines and bathing suits. (Standard scar). Extended abdominoplasty tightens the abdomen and the flanks or sides (longest scar extending around the flanks onto lower back.) A general anesthetic is most common, although mini-tucks may be done with local anesthetic and intravenous sedation. A standard abdominoplasty is generally an outpatient procedure, but extended abdominoplasty may require a short hospitalization of 1–2 days.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Tummy tuck

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Thank you for your question.  Based on your submitted photos you appear to be an excellent candidate for a full tummy tuck procedure to produce beautiful overall results.  Schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to be further evaluated, discuss your surgical options, address your goals and then work together to create the surgical plan that will best help you achieve your overall desired goals.
With kind regards,
Lane F. Smith, M.D., F.A.A.C.S., F.A.O.H.N.S., F.A.B.F.P.R.S.
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon

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

Full or mini abdominoplasty

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A full examination would give me the opportunity to assess the elasticities in your tissues as well as the strength or laxity in the muscle wall but you look like a good candidate for a full abdominoplasty. I would recommend seeking a consultation with a reputable plastic surgeon in your area who can fully assess you and talk you through the risks and benefits of each of the procedures. Good luck

Mini tummy tuck or full tummy tuck?

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Thank you for your question.  Based on your photo which shows considerable loose mid abdominal skin, you would be a better candidate for a full tummy tuck.  Be sure to consult with an experienced board certified plastic surgeon.  Good luck.

Zachary Farris, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Mini tummy tuck or full tummy tuck?

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Thank you for the question and picture. 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. 

Full or mini- tummy tuck?

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Your photo shows that you have a considerable amount of loose skin in the central part of your abdomen. I cannot tell just how much muscle laxity exists. Because there is loose skin above your navel, then a traditional "full" tummy tuck is appropriate for you to get the best result. During this type of operation, the muscle tone can be tightened as well.

Tad Grenga, MD, FACS
Suffolk Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Tummy Tuck

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Based on your photos, you are an excellent candidate for a full tummy tuck.  I feel it would be a waste of your time and money to have a mini tummy tuck.  Consult with a board certified plastic surgeon for an in person consult.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Dr derby

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Thank you for your question an photo. I would recommend you a full tummy Tuck since it wil attend the whole abdominal area. With a mini TT it only attends below the belly button and that will not give you enough results. Best of luck

Derby Sang Caputo, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 99 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.