Tummy Tuck: Will I require a vertical scar? (Photo)

Two doctors said I would need a vertical scar and one said I could do a float. I'm 5'5, 148 pounds. It is unanimously agreed that I need muscle repair. Also, if I lose a bit more weight will that help avoid the scar? (I'm 15 pounds over my regular weight.) Thank you!

Doctor Answers 26

Vertical scar?

Absolutely not!! You have a low belly button and good elasticity to your skin; both factors are favorable for a low transverse scar placement.


Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Vertical scar or umbilical float

It is not necessary to make a vertical scar unless your surgeon is planning a very low incision for your tummy tuck and he feels that he cannot completely excise the belly button opening. In this case a small vertical incision in the pubic area would be reasonable and an acceptable trade off for a higher transverse incision.  The higher transverse incision for the tummy tuck could possibly be as high as or higher than the height of the small vertical incision when using a lower incision. Floating the belly button is a good option if you don't remove very much skin and need to tighten the muscles  above the belly button. However, removal of excess skin may lower the ultimate position of the belly button. Losing 15 pounds is unlikely to change the choice of procedure, but it could improve the end result of either.  

Henry Wells, MD
Lexington Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Tummy Tuck: Will I require a vertical scar?

Greetings.  This is a good question.  An exam would be needed to determine if a vertical scar is needed.  If it is needed, it is usually not a large scar.  You can always get more opinions from plastic surgeons who could examine you in person.  Good luck!

Ravinder Jarial, DO
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Tummy tuck

Without an in person exam, it is impossible to answer your question. However, I can say that it is always best to be at a maintainable weight before any kind of cosmetic procedure but especially one that involves the stomach. Best, Dr. Nazarian

Sheila S. Nazarian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Tummy tuck vertical scar

An exam would be needed to tell you for sure if you would need a vertical scar.  If you want the horizontal scar very low (which is usually best) then a small vertical scar may be needed.  But that scar (if needed) usually heals very well, so I would not worry too much about that.  To avoid a vertical scar, all of the skin between the lower incision and the top of the belly button has to be removed.  The laxity of your skin also determines how much we can stretch the remaining skin.   I do not like to float the belly button and prefer to keep it where it is naturally.  Good luck and I think you will be happy with your outcome.  

Dean Fardo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Tummy vertical scar

it is doubtful that you will need a vertical scar with your photos and the abdominal dimensions. if you want the most improvement, you will need the TT and also some liposuction. losing weight to your comfortable weight is always a good idea. you will have a good result. but do not do a TT if you are still going to have more children.

Tummy tuck

From your photos I do not see that you need a vertical scar. You are a good candidate for the routine tranverse incision. Excise extra skin, tighten the muscle and perform a small amount of liposuction for sculpturing

Deborah Sillins, MD
Cincinnati Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

No vertical scar seems to be needed from the pictures provided.

nothing replaces an in-person examination, but from the pictures you provided, it would seem that you would not need a vertical scar - and can still have a low placement of the tummy tuck incision.  losing weight before surgery will help 'deflate' the skin, and this will allow the skin to be pulled lower/tighter.  the picture provided is of a patient of mine who has no vertical scar and I was able to remove her entire lower abdominal tattoo while still maintaining a low tummy tuck scar.  this patient also had a full muscle repair.  good luck.

Weight loss and vertical scar TT

The ideal time to assess body contouring procedures is when you are your fittest and in a healthy, stable lifestyle as far as diet, excercise, activity level, and habits. If you agree that you are not there yet and are able to lose the weight and maintain it, by all means, go ahead and try to do that first. Your surgery will be more safe, precise, predictable, and long-lasting. If you are unable to ose the weight or at your fittest, it appears as if you can achieve a reasonable result without a vertical scar which should be avoided as much as possible. Your belly button also appears low enough on your torse where a floating belly button abdominoplasty would either render the belly button too low, or would limit any additional advantage over a full abdominoplasty.

Robin T.W. Yuan, M.D.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Vertical scar with tummy tuck?

Based on your pictures, I see no reason why you would need to have a vertical scar.  You look like the ideal candidate for a traditional tummy tuck with tightening of the stomach muscles.  I think you have enough tissue to get everything from the belly button downward out without the need for the extra scar.  I also don't think you need to do a float.  I also don't think that 15 pounds one way or another will have any effect on your result or my assessment of your need for a vertical scar.

Edwin C. Pound, III, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 24 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.