I do not have a lot of excess skin and fat around my abdomen, but enough that I think I may need a tummy tuck or liposuction. How big of a scar will I have from a tummy tuck procedure?
Tummy Tuck Procedure Scar Size?
Doctor Answers (18)
Mini abdominoplasty scars can be slightly longer than c-section scars. Full abdominoplasties that include tightening of the rectus muscles will be slightly longer and include a scar around your umbilicus.
One of the scar areas of concern for full abdominoplasty involves the belly button which can look strange post-operatively. In our San Francisco area practice we've developed techniques to minimize the appearance of scars and create fantastic looking belly buttons after tummy tucks.
Ask to see pre and post-op photos and be sure to only deal with board certified plastic surgeons.
I hope this helps.
Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) Scar Size Varies
Questions about the size of the scar are common as you can imagine. The answer varies depending on the extent of the tummy tuck. here are a list of the various tummy tuck procedures and who they are best suited for:
There are variations of the standard operation, including “mini-tucks”, which may be of benefit to patients who require only tightening of the abdominal muscles or removal of a small amount of skin with a scar at the pubic hairline. On the other extreme, patients with massive weight loss may require a more extensive operation and therefore more resultant scarring.
Usually, under general anesthesia, an incision is made across the lower part of the abdomen at the level of the pubic hair line. A circular incision is made around the belly button which stays attached to the muscle. The skin with underlying fat is then separated from the muscle up toward the ribs, so that it can be pulled down like a window shade. The tummy is then “tightened”, (narrowing and flattening the abdomen) by stitching the muscles together. Additional procedures that may enhance the result are Liposuction, Liposculpture, Breast Procedures, or Thigh Lift.
‘Mini” tummy tucks can benefit patients who have a small amount of excess skin and fat or protruding of the lower abdomen. This operation may be done under local anesthesia with sedation, on an outpatient basis. Liposuction may be used alone or in conjunction with a tummy tuck to benefit selected patients.
Mini-abdominoplasty tightens the lower abdominal wall and skin below the umbilicus, belly button, only (shortest scar).
Modified abdominoplasty addresses conditions where just the muscle wall or just the abdominal skin requires repair.
Standard abdominoplasty tightens all of the abdominal wall skin and muscles above and below the belly button. The scar can be altered or lowered to be hidden by most panty lines and bathing suits. (Standard scar).
Extended abdominoplasty tightens the abdomen and the flanks or sides (longest scar extending around the flanks onto lower back.)
Shorten your tummy tuck scar with a MINI tummy tuck
No two patients and no two tummy tucks are the same.
When planning a tummy tuck it is very important to review the surgical plan and techniques with your surgeon. If you don't have a lot of excess fat on the hips and you have minimal stretch marks, a mini tummy tuck may just be the procedure you're looking for.
A mini tummy tuck will limit the length of your incision and also minimize or eliminate any scars around your belly button.
All of my tummy tuck patients bring their favorite panties or bikinis on the day of surgery. This helps us plan where the incisions will be and helps ensure that they will remain hidden under the patients clothes.
Pat Pazmino, MD, FACS
Board Certified, American Board of Plastic Surgery
MIAMI AESTHETIC SURGERY
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Size of Tummy Tuck Scar
The size of your scar depends on how much skin is removed. This will depend on skin looseness and laxity. In general, the more loose skin, the longer the incision to get superior results. Depending on your particular body type, a short incision tummy tuck or mini tuck can give some patients improvement. Liposuction may or may not be used, as well, to further improve the area. Your best bet is to consult with a reputable surgeon who can look at your body type and excess skin and make a customized recommendation.
Tummy Tuck scars can be short or long
The length of a scar depends on the amount of skin to be excised. If there is only a small amount of skin then a "mini" tummy tuck may be appropriate and the scar may only be a few inches (not much longer than a c-section scar). If more skin needs to be resected then the incision can be from hip to hip and possibly longer.
Tummy Tuck Scar
I feel one who is not sure whether they should have liposuction on their abdomen or a tummy tuck should work hard to find a plastic surgeon who feels comfortable doing both procedures so that the final decision is based upon the needs of the patient and not the adequacy of the plastic surgeon.
Liposuction is best for the patient who has more of a problem with fat on their stomach rather than excess skin. Liposuction covers a great area on the abdomen, from the pubis to the breasts and from one side of the table to another, and a lot of fat can be removed. With liposuction of this magnitude, depending of course on the skin of the patient, one can also expect some contraction of the skin to correct minimal excess skin problems. Since becoming experienced with abdominal liposuction, I have used this technique with very good results providing the patient with all the desired results without the scars or recovery of a tummy tuck.
The tummy tuck is best for the patient who has more of a problem with skin instead of fat. This would be especially true of many women after large or multiple pregnancies or people who have experienced massive weight loss. The individuals have an apron of skin hanging down that cannot be corrected with the removal of fat or liposuction. The size of the scar on these patients is dependent upon the amount of skin that one has to be removed and the amount of correction the patient desires. The woman with a little pooch after pregnancy may only need a small incision that could easily be hidden behind even today's bathing suits. The patient who has lost 150 pounds will need a longer excision to remove more skin and in these instances the length of the scar is hardly ever a problem.
Tummy Tuck vs. Lipo
The decision about tummy tuck or lipo should be made in consultation with a plastic surgeon who does both procedures. If the skin is loose enough that a tummy tuck is recommended, then lipo is not going to work. The length of the scar depends on how much skin needs to be removed. Regardless of length, it would be done so that it can be concealed and we have very few issues with patients disliking the scars because of what the tummy tuck accomplishes.
Tummy Tuck Scar
The scar for the tummy tuck depend on two factors:
1: how much laxity of skin you have abve the belly button
2: how much skin laxity you have below the belly button.
Mini abdominoplasty adresses the laxity of skin in the lower abdomen, the scar is shorter
Full abdominoplasty to tighten the skin of the entire abdomen, relocate the belly button and tighten the muscles will be from hip to hip.
Tummy tuck procedure scar size
The length of the scar in a Tummy Tuck procedure TOTALLY depends on the amount of loose skin that needs to be removed (Similar to the length of a hem line in a dress). The less loose skin - the shorter the incision / scar.
Your surgeon should be able to hide the scar within the confines of the vast majority of women's underwear worn today. So, from a visibility point of view the only thing that could be seen (with a trained eye) is a small scar around the belly button. The rest is well hidden in a two piece bathing suit and most underwear.
Scars after tummy tuck
I don't want to frighten you, but most lifts leave you with unsightly scars. There are many things surgeons do to improve a scar's appearance. Today, we suture almost every incision under the skin, leaving no stich marks or "railroad tracks." Working with the patient, a surgeon can also best determine the positioning of most scars.
Before surgery, find out what kind of sutures your doctor favors: Some use traditional sutures, some staples, some dissolving sutures (my preference); some sew under the skin, others over. Each teqnique and suture material results in a different looking scar.
Over time the scar will flatten out. But I also strongly recommend "working" scars with ointments such a steroid creams, silicone gels, and pigment blockers, which soften and improve the coloration of the area. The willingness to follow this regimen has, in my patients, brought about quick, positive results in keeping scars smooth, inconspicuous, and relatively pliable.
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.