Why are some Tummy Tuck scar curved while some are "W" in shape ?

Why are some Tummy Tuck scar curved while some are "W" in shape ? If the scar placement is too high after a full tummy tuck, is it possible to do a scar revision to lower down the scar line ? if yes, how can it be done?

Doctor Answers 18

Tummy tuck scar shapes

The placement and shape of scar is usually up to the surgeon's preference which should be discussed with the patient before surgery. I generally prefer the supra-pubic scar to be as low as possible, which ends up making the side scars look a little more angled. But I think it looks better in bathing suits and lingerie. I'm not a fan of the "W" shape.

Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Tummy Tuck Scar

Different techniques will result in different scars. Scars can be revised and lowered after you have healed.

Clark Schierle, MD, PhD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Why are some Tummy Tuck scar curved while some are "W" in shape ?

Thank you for the question.
The main determinant of the tummy tuck incision and resulting scar line is the patient's body type. Ideally the incision and resulting skyline is kept as little as possible, planned to be hidden beneath undergarments and swimming suit.
If the patient has a significant amount of redundant skin (especially about the umbilicus) then the incision and resulting scar line of the tummy tuck may be kept very low. On the other hand, if the patient has a short torso and/or very little skin above the umbilicus then the incision and scar line may need to be placed higher. Sometimes a short vertical scar is also necessary (previous umbilical opening).
I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,503 reviews

Tummy Tuck Scar

It depends on where the scar is to be placed and this is dependent upon the patient’s amount of loose skin and other preexisting issues.When it is lower it can end up being a W shape. Overall incision placement is surgeon dependent.You can discuss this with your Plastic Surgeon at the time of your consultation.

Eugene Kim, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Tummy tuck scars

Most good tummy tuck scars should be low and have a gentle curve to them. The ones that look like a "W" likely were closed under excess tension which created the notch at the center of the incision which ends up appearing like a "W". Ask to see lots of before and after photos of your surgeon's tummy tuck patients to get a good idea of what scar to expect.

Best wishes,

William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 382 reviews

W scars

were designed to improve the healing at the 'achilles tendon' right above the mons where it met the tummy flap.  By having the 'w', the blood supply is a little better.  But with the newer techniques and discontinuous undermining, the 'w' is no longer really needed.  So now its more surgeon preference.  After having used the 'w' years ago, I am now a plain curved scar that goes from hip to hip.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Tummy tuck scars

Thanks for your question.  Different techniques result in different scars.  The surgeon should review the type of scar you will have and can adjust based off your desires.  I prefer the low curved scar to keep the scar concealed in undergarments and bathing suits.  A high scar can be revised and placed lower in most cases.
Best wishes!

Jamie Moenster, DO
Tucson Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Shape of tummy tuck scars

The shape of the scar after a tummy tuck is determined somewhat by each patient's anatomy, but mostly by the surgeon's technique. In plastic surgery there is a lot of artistry as well as medical knowledge, so results can vary widely from surgeon to surgeon. The key is attention to detail during the planning phase and then making appropriate adjustments to the original plan during the procedure to provide the best aesthetic result. A few key components to the tummy tuck are making sure to keep the lower middle third of the scar as low as possible over the public area and taking extra time to produce a nice hidden scar for the new belly button. Providing a nice central vertical depression in the upper abdomen while maintaining a slight convexity between the belly button and the pubis are other fine details which distinguish expertly executed abdominoplasties from mediocre ones. 
As to your other question, yes indeed, a previous poorly positioned abdominoplasty scar can be revised and lowered with revisional surgery.
One of your most important decisions when choosing a surgeon to perform your abdominoplasty is to make sure that he or she is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Good luck!

Mark Gaon, MD - Account Suspended
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Tummy tuck scars


thanks for your question. The shape of the tummy tuck scar is related to multiple
things from the abdomen's shape and size, the perceived areas of need to surgeon and patient's preference. A good practice is to see where your normal underwear line is and in collaboration design an appropriate incision. I hope this helps.

Ross Farhadieh, MBBS, MD, FRCS
Sydney Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

W versus a curved scar

The "W" incision was introduced many years ago to lengthen the bottom incision and reduce the disparity in length between the top incision and the bottom incision. In my opinion, it rarely resulted in an excellent post operative scar/result. Most attentive plastic surgeons do not do it anymore. A low curvilinear incision looks best. Progressive tension suturing is a technique that helps lower the incision and take tension off that incision to give a better overall result.

Paul E. Chasan, MD
Del Mar Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 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.