Should I Convert My Mini to a Full Tuck?

by Dr. Neinstein

Converting a Mini Tummy Tuck to a Full Tuck

The right thing is the hard thing
The hard thing is the right thing

Ok, so how does this related to mini tummy tuck compared to full tummy tucks? Let me make this simple for you to understand. Mini tucks almost never work. How do I know this? Because I did a lot of mini tucks in the beginning of my career. This is me being honest. I did a lot of mini tucks because patients wanted them. It made sense – they all said, “I just want a mini” or, “oh no, I would never have a full tummy tuck” or, “ I want something less invasive”.

Were a few people happy? Of course, sure; but the vast majority felt disappointed. They felt disappointed because they did not ultimately get what they were looking for which was a body that would make them happy, confident, proud, and above all feel sexy!

So what did I do? I took a good long look at myself. I thought about this quote from Nelson Mandela:

“I never lose. I either win or learn.”

So I decided to learn.

I decided to be deeply and truly honest with myself.

Ultimately, patients want to love their bodies – they are happiest when more skin is removed, complete hourglass sculpting is done, and all the muscles are repaired.

So I got better at each part.


I thought ok, I need to make the scar better because I am going to make them longer. We added progressive tension sutures. This technique sews the skin back down to the muscle sequentially toward the scar. It adds about 45 minutes to surgery but it allows the skin at the incision to just kiss and not be pulled. This means less tension and better crisper scars.

I then thought, how can we post operatively improve scars – so I looked worldwide and found the incision management system. We can now pump extra blood supply into the healing incision, protect it from infection, and help get our crisp irrelevant scars we are known for.

See this blog on how we rethink incisions.


Most surgeons do the whole tummy tuck with the patient on their back and do a little waist lipo in about 15 minutes. This is like painting a house and saying you renovated it.

I’m a tear down and build up brick by brick kind of guy. So we do everything from neck to bum and thighs as needed, which takes 2 to 2.5 hours; this is 10x the sculpting of the average surgeon. Yes, its more time, yes its more work, yes its’ more downtime…….but who cares because you get the body of your dreams forever.

Muscle Repair

I learned from South American colleagues that you can repair more than just the rectus or the up and down muscle. To better help flatten the tummy after babies, I will repair all the muscles in whatever vector that are separated to get a better result.


This 43 year old mom of 6 came to see us after having a mini tuck elsewhere. She was unhappy because she felt she still looked pregnant and she had a lot of extra skin. After listening to her fears and feelings we came up with a plan to convert her mini tuck to a full tuck and repair all of her separated muscles. Here she is before and a year and a half after:

Here is another mom of 3 who was referred by a dermatologist in Palm Beach to convert her mini to full so she could fall in love with her body again: