Is a vertical scar where the old belly button was common if there isn't enough skin to cut off?

Doctor Answers 10

Vertical Abdominoplasty Scar

It is not particularly unusual to have a vertical lower abdominal scar if there is insufficient loose skin to pull down to the horizontal incision.  While it is possible to raise the position of the horizontal incision to reduce the likelihood of the vertical incision this can place the horizontal scar in a more conspicuous position and is typically not a good solution.

Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Will there be a vertical scar?

Yes a vertical scar is the "answer on the test" if you don't have enough loose skin to pull downward during the tummy tuck procedure. The only person who will know that answer is the Plastic Surgeon who does your pre op consultation,. I am located in Memphis and my office and I would be happy to consult with you for a second opinion if you desire. All the best . Dr. Neumon Goshorn

Neumon T. Goshorn, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews


A vertical scar will be needed if there is not enough skin to pull down to tummy tuck incision.  Alternatively patient can accept a higher tummy tuck scar and not have a need for vertical closure.

Vasdev Rai, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Abdominoplasty: Information

Dear Ms. Hcoleman,

Thank you for your question and information about yourself.

In general:
1) incisions are usually placed as low as possible.
personally gave the patients bring a bathing suit bottom or panties of their choice
to ensure the placement of the incision is where they want it.

2)in thin patients with long torsos and little redundant skin may require a a small vertical scar centrally located. This is where the your orginal umbilicus was located. The trade off is to have a lower horizontal scar for a temporary small vertical scar. This small vertical scar can often be resected under local anesthesia and converted/combined with the horizontal scar  9-12 months later when the skin loosens

3)there are four types of abdominoplasties. A-C All have horizontal
incisions and D has a significant vertical compotent.
A) mini- muscle tightened below umbilicus to pubic bone
B) standard- muscle tightened from breast bone to pubic bone
C) extended as in standard but incision longer to excise excess skin/fat in outer thigh
D) fleur de lis- same as standard but in addtion excess skin/fat excised in a vertical

Please make several appointments with experienced Plastic Surgeon(s) who are Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and in addition ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (denoting by membership as having met additional criteria and a focus on Cosmetic Plastic Surgery).

My best wishes,

R. A. Hardesty, MD, FACS
Diplomate and Certified by the Am. Bd. of Plastic Surgery
4646 Brockton Ave
Riverside, Ca 92506
(951) 686-7600

Robert A. Hardesty, MD, FACS
Riverside Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 98 reviews

Is a vertical scar where the old belly button was common if there isn't enough skin to cut off?

Thank you for your question.  In the majority of patients this vertical scar can be avoided with a full tummy tuck.  If there is not enough skin to cut off patient's may be a better liposuction or mini-tummy tuck candidate, but only an in-person evaluation can determine this.  Hope that this helps.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Old belly button scar?

This is a question that needs to be discussed in person with your plastic surgeon. If there is not enough skin to pull the umbilical opening past the lower scar, the vertical scar may be necessary. The only way to do this without the vertical scar if there is not enough skin is to raise the level of the abdominoplasty scar. This may then show above the bathing suit or underwear line and limit your choices of fashion. It is much more obvious you have had surgery if the abdominoplasty scar shows than a small vertical scar in the lower abdomen. A high scar may also place undue tension on the mons pubis area causing the hairline to be raised to an unacceptable level as well. See a Board Certified plastic surgeon to determine what is best for you. 

David F. Klein, MD
Concord Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

The answer is yes. If there isn't enough tissue to excise there will be a small vertical scar

This is an unusual situation but sometimes the only alternative to give the best result in patients with a high belly button and very little laxity in the short distance from the rib cage to the belly button. If there is considerable loose skin below the belly button it may be the only way to remove most skin and leave you with the best result. If you have stretch marks in the lower abdomen, the little scar may not be very noticeable. An experienced plastic surgeon should be able to guide you in the right direction. 

Richard Bendor-Samuel, MD
Nova Scotia Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Vertical scar with tummy tuck

It is very uncommon to need to leave a vertical scar when using the a No-Drain tummy tuck procedure using a special technique know as progressive tension sutures. This technique allows for advancement of the abdominal skin more than with traditional tummy tucks and thus it is extremely rare to have to leave a vertical scar in my practice. However, on a rare occasion if your skin is not very loose and it does not stretch much it could still be necessary. Pictures may be helpful to better answer your question, however and in person examination is best. I hope this helps and best wishes. 

Luis H. Macias, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Is a vertical scar where the old belly button was common if there isn't enough skin to cut off?

In general, this is very unusual in my practice.  The operation should be tailored to your specifications and anatomy to produce a dramatic result. Seek out a plastic surgeon who has performed these combination procedures hundreds of times and has a great number of reviews and before and after pictures.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Beverly Hills, CA

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

Umbilicus belly button scar, what is the trade off.

Thanks for sharing your question. I can appreciate your concern.

The presence of the umbilicus scar is a trade off. Usually is possible to remove the umbilicus scar. However, when doing so the scar will have a tendency to ride up. At the end the small scar up right is a good trade off.

Wishing you the best in your journey

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.