Trade Off: Higher TT Scar or Lower Scar with Small Vertical Scar. Which Looks Better?

Hi, Tummy Tuck approaching... Not enough skin above bb to create the low, hidden scar I want... Should I accept a higher scar with no vertical incision or a nice, low scar with a small 1-2 inch vertical incision below my new bb? In your opinion, which looks better? Does the vertical scar heal well and if not, is it simple to revise? Thanks!

Doctor Answers 8

Lower Tummy Tuck Scar with Vertical Component vs Higher Tummy Tuck Scar

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

  A Lower Tummy Tuck Scar with Vertical Component is usually a better choice than a Higher Tummy Tuck Scar.  Find the plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of tummy tucks each year. Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Scar Position After Tummy Tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I personally prefer a lower scar in the bikini line for the horizontal scar if possible.  This way the larger of your two scars will be hidden.  

Should I have a lower tummy tuck scar vs the vertical scar

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

It is much easier to hid a low transverse scar even if you have to have a small vertical scar in the middle.  The higher transverse scar is usually less desirable for most patients as they can't hide it under their bikini or underwear

Paul M. Glat, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

High tummy tuck scar v. vertical scar

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I think there is little question you should take the low transverse scar and short vertical scar.  A short scar is always less visible than the long horizontal scar.  You can never get rid of a scar so put the long scar where you can hide it. 

Robert Kearney, MD, FACS
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Tummy Tuck Scar Options

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

You seem to have a good grasp on the scar trade-offs between the two tummy tuck approaches. Since there is no perfect solution (a low scar with no vertical component), you have to decide which adverse scar you can live with the most... a longer high horizontal scar or a small vertical scar near the belly button. One could argue that the smallest scar (vertical) is the better one to trade into but that is a matter of personal preference. As a general rule, smaller scars are easier to revise than bigger ones.

High tummy tuck scar - maybe a second opinion.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

It has been extremely rare instances where I have had to leave a vertical incision or have the scar placed high.  I would consider a second opinion to see if this were really necessary.  If it is, the small vertical incision will likely be less intrusive than the whole scar riding high.  

Talk with you surgeon in depth and have him or her mark out where the scars would likely fall on your abdomen, then you can get a better idea of where they would be hidden with clothing, undergarments, etc.  That should give you a more concrete feeling on which you prefer.

Brian Dorner, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon

Higher TT Scar or Lower Scar with Small Vertical Scar.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I would much prefer to recommend the lower scar with a vertical extension. Commonly, as the skin relaxes over the course of a year, the vertical scar can be excised in a minor touch up. In the meantime, there is a short vertical incision that might be exposed in a two piece swim suit or undies. 

The alternative is that the entire scar may be too high to conceal in normal swimwear and underwear, and a touch up would be a major redo operation.

Thanks for your question, all the best


Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Higher Tummy Tuck Scar or Vertical Scar?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for the question.

Based on the question, I think that you have a good understanding of the trade-offs involved in your case. On the one hand, keeping the incision as low as possible is better when it comes to wearing certain bathing suits or undergarments;  on the other hand, the junction of the vertical and horizontal scars may be problematic when it comes to healing.  You are correct in that wound healing problems may arise and/or revisionary surgery may become necessary in this area.

 I would suggest that you communicate these specific concerns with your plastic surgeon who is in the best position to advise you,  given that he/she knows your body type and your goals best. It may be helpful to have this discussion when you have a bathing suit or undergarment available to demonstrate the preferred resulting scar line.

 Best wishes.

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.