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

Q: I am 28 years old and have had 2 kids. I only gained about 25 to 30 lbs with each pregnancy but I still ended up with stretch marks on my lower stomach and loose skin around my belly button. I know that liposuction alone is not the solution for my stretch marks and loose skin. I am at a fairly good weight for me being 5’ 3” and weighing 130 lbs. Which type of tummy tuck do you think would be best for me?

A: While it is impossible to give an accurate assessment without photos, your description of your abdominal concern do make for a philosphic discussion between the two types of tummy tucks.   The conceptual difference between a mini- and full tummy tuck is that the more limited procedure produces less of a result (around the belly button area) but has a smaller and lower placed horizontal scar. The key question is which trade-off can you live with better…a flatter and more complete abdominal result but with a much longer and higher horizontal scar (full) or a less long lower placed horizontal scar but with some stretch marks and loose skin still left around the belly button area. (mini-) There is also a belly button scar difference as the full tummy tuck will have one and the mini-tummy tuck will not.  It really comes down to which aesthetic trade-off  (scar vs amount of improvement) is more important to you.

Many women will less severe lower abdominal concerns (excess tissue) do opt for a mini-tummy tuck. When combined with liposuction in the upper abdomen and around the sides of the waistline, this more limited tummy tuck approach can provide for good improvement with a very acceptable low-placed scar.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis Indiana