Abdominoplasty (Small Inverted-T Incision)?

Dr recom'd t-tuck w/o plication using sml inverted-T incision b/c he didn't believe I had enough loose skin for standard t-tuck. He explained that vert incision would be relatively small & hidden beneath underwear. And he explained that horz incision would ext'd hip to hip & be hidden beneath underwear. Dr described procedure as "finesse procedure." I have a 6-pack, but 5 years ago I lost 80lbs & suffer from skin laxity, stretch marks & misshapen umbilicus. Is this a "good" surgical technique?

Doctor Answers 6

T incision

This is a good technique for patients with pre existing midline scars. I hesitate to use this unless there is a tremendous amount of skin that will need a midline resection for contouring

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Small Inverted T Incision

     A small inverted T scar is a reasonable approach to your situation, particularly if you have a misshapen belly button and not a lot of skin laxity.  The inverted T - scar represents the old umbilicus.

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Small T incision after Tummy Tuck

Yes.  This is a reasonable approach to an abdominoplasty.  Any plastic surgeon worth his/her weight will advise you of this outcome or possible outcome prior to surgery.  The incision is small and can be hidden by undergarments. 


Dr. ES

T-Pattern Tummy Tuck and A Vertical Scar

While any form of a T-based excision is an acceptable tummy tuck procedure, it is not one that I find many patients unhappy with because of the vertical scar. The idea that the vertical scar it is 'hidden under the underwear' is a variable  concept based on what type of underwear and what hidden means. It certainly is not hidden out of underwear. and often ends up not hidden in them. This is an approach I would avoid in my patients and see little need to ever use to get a full tummy tuck closed.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Abdominoplasty (Small Inverted-T Incision)?

When planning and performing a tummy tuck, if the skin from lower end of the sternum (breastbone) to the navel will not reach the lower TT incision, a decision must be made about how to manage the navel, While doing a standard TT, the navel is incised, left in place, and the hole where the navel was comes off with the excess skin.

  • If there is not enough excess skin, that hole will wind up in the lower abdomen and will have to be closed, hence the vertical incision.
  • Alternative, when you are quite sure this will happen is to just do lower TT, but that is usually a bad compromise since the whole abdomen usually needs to be treated.
  • Another option is lifting the navel with the abdominal skin and resetting it a bit lower. Even when the surgeon thinks the navel is a bit high, most patients complain about the new navel position when this is done.
  • The last option is making the main TT incision a higher. To me that makes no sense since now instead of one part of the incision being high, the entire incision is high. 

In summary, it is a good surgical technique, but it is a compromise.

Thanks, best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Small T extension for abdominoplasty

It is certainly a well recognised technique and people who use it say that it decreased the risk of wound breakdown because you can close the wound with less tension.  Personally, I do not like it and I feel that there is a greater risk of wound healing problems because there always is at the T-junction.

You will find that there is often no rights and wrongs and the thing to do is to find a surgeon that you feel comfortable, ask to see photographs of his or her work and check that you feel happy with things.  The fact that you are posting this question suggests that you are perhaps not 100% happy with the advice, so it may be worth seeking a second opinion.  Good luck.

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.