Mini Tummy Tuck vs Full Tummy Tuck

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in a mini tummy tuck, I think. I am thin but after two pregnancies I have a lot of loose skin round my belly button. I also need a diastase’s muscle repair and possibly fixing an umbilical hernia as well. I have attached pictures for your review and recommendations.

A: Thank you for sending your pictures. While you may be small and thin, your abdominal problem is not ‘small’ and a mini-tummy tuck is not going to provide the type of improvement you probably seek.

You abdominal problem is a classic ‘tweaner’, meaning a mini-tummy tuck is inadequate and a full tummy tuck to really correct the problem has its own aesthetic distraction. What defines a mini vs a full tummy tuck is the decisional pattern of the skin/fat segment removed.This is illustrated in the attached images based own your abdomen. A mini tummy tuck removes a horizontal ellipse of tissue BELOW the belly button. This keeps the belly button attached to the skin, so no scar occurs around it but leaves all the loose skin and stretch marks around it or above the cut out area. While the pull down to close the tummy tuck does stretch out the tissue around there all still be stretch marks and some loose skin around the belly button in the end. The one advantage of the mini tummy tuck is that the scar is shorter and can sit lower, well within your pant or underwear line…but it does NOT correct the full extent o the abdominal problems.

The full tummy tuck provides the definite treatment by removing all of the loose skin and stretch marks by having the cut out pattern extend above the belly button. While providing the optimal removal of loose tissue, it does result in a scar around the belly button and a higher positioned and longer transverse tummy tuck.

As you can see there is no perfect tummy tuck for your abdominal concerns. You have to which of their liabilities is most acceptable to you….incomplete tissue removal of the mini tummy tuck or more scar from a full tummy tuck.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana