How much extra weight loss would impact a mini-tummy tuck?

If you're heavy before pregnancy and lose all the "baby weight", and continue to lose the weight, but the extra skin is going to be a problem — at what point should one consider a full-tummy tuck over a mini-tummy tuck? Is the amount of skin that needs to be removed a factor that surgeons consider for the type of tuck needed?

Doctor Answers 16

Mini-tucks give "mini" results. Most women want Maximum results!

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Very few women are candidates for mini-tucks, since the entire abdomen of MOST women is stretched, and the degree of loose skin is such that a short incision that takes out only a small amount of skin and does not treat the upper abdomen or belly button at all (mini-tuck) will not give a good result!

If you are still losing weight, good for you! But this also implies that there will be (and already may be) enough loose skin that a full tummy tuck with breast bone to pubic bone muscle sheath tightening (rectus plication) will be needed for your best result. Only the very slimmest women who gain little weight with pregnancies are candidates for mini-tucks. Really!

This past month I (re)operated on two women (friends who had gone to the same plastic surgeon elsewhere) who underwent "mini-tucks" and after waiting patiently for the healing and swelling to be done, realized that they had made an expensive and time-consuming mistake. Fortunately, I was able to still perform a proper complete tummy tuck on both (they still had that much "extra" skin even after their mini-tuck) and give them the results they both wanted.

What is sad is that it took two operations, two times the lost vacation time, and nearly double the cost! The sad reality is that so many women who seek "more for less" (as in more result for less scar) are often duped into paying a "premium" for the promised result, when a "full" and proper tummy tuck would have given a much better result at only a slightly higher cost. Thus, a "mini" ends up being a fool's savings.

So, continue to lose weight in a way that you can maintain long term (no fad diets), stabilize at wherever your body is heathiest, and go for the real deal. You will not be dissatisfied unless you are seduced by the short scar and slightly lower cost (I just typed loser--is that a Freudian slip or what?) for a much-poorer result.

Keep up the good work and best wishes!

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Weight loss and tummy tucks-mini vs full?

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I just saw a patient today with the same question. She had gain about 60lbs with her first and only pregnancy. She subsequetly lost the weight and has no loose skin , no extra fat, and no weakend muscle above her belly button.  She may consider a mini tummy tuck---but frankly those patients are quite rare in my practice. Most patients would benefit from a FULL abdominoplasty; and as a result of this- I perform mostly the full procedure.

If you are one of those fortunate ladies, you may consider this- but if not- have a full tummy tuck.

William Loutfy, MD
Albuquerque Plastic Surgeon

Beware of the mini tummy tuck!

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I do mini tummy tucks but only on very, very select patients - probably less than 5% of my tummy tuck patients.  Mini tummy tuck is often done with a big dose of wishful thinking on both the surgeon's and patient's part and often does not achieve the result both are hoping for.  And if a mini has been done, it can compromise the result of a full tummy tuck done later.  Don't go with a mini unless your only problem area is really just below the umbilicus.  I have learned this the hard way both as surgeon and patient!

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Mini tummy tuck vs full tummy tuck

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Tummy tuck surgery involves removing the excess skin and fat, tighening up the midline fascia, recreating the new belly button opening, and contouring your tummy during skin closure. The more loose skin you have, the more dramatic result you will see. Mini tummy tuck in general means removing the excess skin and fat belore the belly button. The belly button is left alone and not reppositioned. You have to come in for a formal consultation in order for your surgeon to examine you to determine what procedure is the best option. My recommendation is set up a consultation appointment with your surgeon, go over all the details of the option, then you can decide which procedure is right for you.


Kim-Chi Vu, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon

I don't offer mini-tucks because you will not get the desired results.

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I don't offer mini-tucks.  Most women need several areas treated after a large amount of weight loss or pregnancy which include treatment of loose skin, extra fat and muscle seperation which can not be achieved with a mini-tuck.


Renato Saltz, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Lose the weight before tummy tuck

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I would recommend losing all the weight you are planning to lose before your tummy tuck. The looseness of both the ski and the muscle both contribute to what type of tummy tuck would be best for you. The tighter you want to be, and the looser the skin and/or muscle will make a full tummy tuck a better option.

Is the amount of skin that needs to be removed a factor that surgeons consider for the type of tuck needed?

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THe amount of excess tummy skin which needs to be removed and its location (above VS limited to below the belly button), the woman's weight and its stability, having completed her family with no more planned pregnancies, the amount and distribution of excess fat, other medical history and emotional history (including the woman's goals and acceptance of surgical scarring in exchange for a flat tummy and narrow waist) - ALL are part of the decision making process between picking the kind of Tummy Tuck best suited for a particular woman.

In general, a MINI Tummy Tuck is an operation which does NOT address the needs of women who were pregnant and lose significant wait since it does not correct excess skin and muscle laxity/separation above the belly button. You should consult more than one Plastic surgeon but the odds are that you may look a LOT better with a FULL Tummy Tuck done after your weight has stabilized for 4-6 months.

Good Luck.

Peter A Aldea, MD

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Full tummy tuck vs mini

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I am not a fan of the mini tummy tuck because it does not treat the upper abdomen.  Often patients have loose skin in the upper abdomen and the upper abdominal muscles are not tightened.  In addition a full tummy tuck removes alot more skin from between the umbilicus and lower bikini area.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews


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Patients are more educated now than ever before and the internet including this forum has a ton of information. At the end of the day, the choice is yours...however... you are not in the position to decide what is the operation to give you the best outcome. The surgeon is. Go see a board certified plastic surgeon.

Odds are you'll need a full tummy tuck

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Congratulations on your weight loss after pregnancy.  Because mini tummy tucks are not the right operation if you have any laxity of skin or muscle above the belly button, they are quite rare in my practice.  They sound like what you want to hear you need, but they will leave you disappointed if you really needed the full TT which most people need.

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.