Which Is Better For Me, A Mini- Or Full Tummy Tuck?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I need advice as to whether I should have a mini- or full tummy tuck. I have attached some pictures of my stomach so you can see. I have been to two plastic surgeons and have gotten two different opinions. In listening to them, both make sense for what they want to do so I am confused.

A: When considering the type of tummy tuck one may need, it is important to look at the components of the excess tissue problem. The most important consideration in choosing between a mini- vs a full tummy tuck is how much skin is present. While you don’t have a large amount above your belly button, there is enough there that a mini-tummy tuck will not fully get rid of it.  The other tissue consideration is the amount of muscle laxity or protrusion. You appear to have a protuberance of your abdomen starts way above your belly button.  Like the skin excess, this muscle protrusion indicates that you will get a much better result from a full tummy tuck. One issue to consider in doing a fully tummy tuck is the vertical level of the horizontal scar. If the belly button cut out in the skin needs to stretch down to meet the lower incision, the horizontal scar will likely end up a little high. Therefpre, I would recommend that you end up with a small vertical scar in the lower part of your abdomen.  That way the scar can stay low and the belly button hole can be closed vertically. I think this would be better given how jeans and underwear are cut and designed today for women.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana