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Is It Possible to Lower Tummy Tuck Scar and Fix Belly Button?

I had a Tummy Tuck 14 mos ago. The actual flatness of my stomach is good; however, much more important to me is how it appears.

The scar is way too high and literally hangs out of 99% of my clothes, including my suit. The scar also is an odd shape with my belly button looking far from natural.

I would like to see if there is any possible way to correct by lowering scar and make my belly button look somewhat natural but my skin is now very tight, I am not sure if this is even a possibilty. This impacts me everyday.

Doctor Answers (10)

Not now

+5

I see your concern. The scar is irregular, and in a less than optimal position. The umbilicus is similiarly, suboptimal in its outcome.

I believe it will be fairly easy to improve the navel. The transverse scar is another story. You will need to wait until the skin is no longer tight. Secondly, the scar beneath the skin/fat will reduce the amount that the skin can be pulled down.

My opinion is that the scar can be revised and straightened, and maybe even brought down a bit, but it will likely always be higher than ideal.

sek


Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

High Scar From Tummy Tuck

+3

First I'm sorry to see such a scar. There really is no reason to put the incision this high. As far as correcting it it's almost impossible. It's difficult to see the scar but it may be possible to redo it and decrease the appearance. This should be possible for belly button as well.

But scar revisions are not perfect. I think you would get an improvement but it will never be perfect.

Christopher L. Hess, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Unhappy with abdominoplasty scar

+3

It seems as though your scar is in fact quite high. Since you are only one year out from your procedure and describe that your abdomen skin is very tight, it would be quite impossible to lower your scar at this time. I agree that lasers can help improve the coloration and thickness of the scar. Once the skin loosens, you will certainly be a candidate for a revision.

In terms of the belly-button, if there is a little looseness to the skin just around the belly button, it would be possible to revise that scar. I'm sorry that this procedure has impacted you in a negative way and hope that you will be able to get some correction soon. Good luck Kendall.

Sirish Maddali, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon

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Revision tummy tuck

+3

Kendall,

Your scars are indeed suboptimal in position and character. Revision tummy tuck is an option to improve the scars, but you would need to wait until the abdominal wall skin relaxes more before considering this. Also, your tattoo would need to be at least partially removed. The belly button scar could be revised at any time. Good luck!

Kenneth R. Francis, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Tough situation

+3

The tightness you feel means there is no extra skin that would allow you to revise the surgery and maybe move the scar down slightly. So the scar is locked in. The belly button looks odd because of the hole that was cut in the skin to bring it out. Maybe it could be revised a bit if there is any laxity around it.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Bad news and good news

+3

Unfortunately, your incision line is quite high on your abdomen. With the tautness of your skin, it would be impossible to lower your scar. However, your incision is still red and this can potentially be treated with a V Beam laser. If the redness was gone the scar may become inconspicuous. Regarding your belly button, it is possible to revise it to give it a more natural look.

Leslie H. Stevens, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Scar

+3

Your scar does look rather high and your skin looks quite tight.  That said, I think it would be rather difficult to surgically lower the scar.

Edmond A. Zingaro, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Lowering a high tummy tuck scar (abdominoplasty)

+2

It would be very difficult, if not impossible, to lower your scar at this point. There are some options but these are not practical. This would involve a multiple procedures with an initial stage of placement of a tissue expander to stretch the skin immediately above the scar (similar to pregnancy) and create sufficient laxity to remove the scar and place it at a lower location.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Anchoring sutures

+1
Thank you for your post. It is not common for surgeons to anchor the lower incision to the fascia or covering of the abdominal muscles to keep the scar low, however, I do use this technique and agree with it. All the tension on the incision is from above, not below, and thus the scar tends to move toward the area of maximal tension (towards the ribs/bellybutton). This moves the scar higher than desired. I like to keep my scars very low, and feel that anchoring the scar helps accomplish this. The following photo is an example of this.

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Is it possible to lower tummy tuck scar and belly button?

+1
Hello! Thank you for the question! It is common for scars to fully mature for up to a year. In the meantime, there are a few things that may help to ameliorate your incision/scar. The most proven (as well as cheapest) modality is simple scar massage. Applying pressure and massaging the well-healed scar has been shown to improve the appearance as it breaks up the scar tissue, hopefully producing the finest scar as possible. Other things that have been shown to add some benefit, albeit controversial, are silicone sheets, hydration, and topical steroids. These can usually be started at approximately 3-4 weeks postop and when incisions healed. In addition, avoidance of direct sunlight to the incision will significantly help the appearance as they tend to discolor with UV light during the healing process. Scars will never disappear, but attempt is made to make the finest scar in a concealed location.  Incisions may be revised to lower or conceal better if enough laxity exists. 

If unsightly scars are still present after approximately a year's time, other things that your surgeon may consider are intralesional steroid injections, laser, or just surgical revision of the scar itself.

Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

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.