Would I Be a Candidate for Abdominoplasty? I Have Had A Vertical Scar Since Infancy

I have a vertical scar running from just below my breastbone down and around my umbilicus. This is from a hernia repair when I was 5 days old. The extra weight is pulling on this scar and causing pain. I am 29 and had 2 children. I went from 112 lbs. to 195 lbs. in 8 years. I have a medium skin tone. I just want the pain and extra skin to go away. Would an abdominoplasty help?

Doctor Answers 11

Tummy tuck after an upper vertical scar

With your weight gains and loss and pregnancy, you will have sufficient lower abdominal laxity to have a successful tummy tuck. The old scar will be released underneath and advance to a small degree lower on the abdomen, and perhaps enlongate slightly, though the tummy tuck will indeed 'work' and the extra skin can be removed. The pain is an unknown issue as very old scars seldom hurt.

Best of luck,


Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Mid-Line Upper Abdominal Scar - Am I a Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?

This is actually a very tricky situation and I have to disagree with most of your other responders.  Depending on the amount of skin laxity you have, I am concerned that a full tummy tuck might lead to a tight band from your breast bone to your pubic area, and therefore either leading to some discomfort standing or pulling the pubic area way above normal position.  Of course, I haven't seen your pictures, nor have I done a physical exam on you, but I would suggest probably skin resection, correction of rectus diastasis (separated muscles), and an umbilical slide.  You don't want a scar going completely across the abdomen from breast bone to pubic area.


One other point here.  Whatever the distortion your belly button has right now, it is healed and you are used to it.  If you do a full abdominoplasty, put the belly button into the middle of the vertical scar, you will see a distortion of mammoth proportion. 

Hernia repair and painful scar

A tummy tuck will removed the excess skin and tissue between your belly button and pubic area but there is no guarantee that it will fix the pain you are having in your upper abdominal scar. You could also have the scar revised at the time of tummy tuck which may help but again, without seeing you, not for sure.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 183 reviews

Abdominoplasty with pre-existing scar.


You may well be a good candidate for abdominopalsty-the vertical scar can be revised at the time of surgery (if needed). If you have had weight gain and loss as well as pregnancies, then you probably have enough laxity of the tissue to allow for a full tummy tuck. Pain is always a tricky thing to treat, and there is no guarantee that it will improve with the surgery, but it may well be that release and revision of the scar will help the pain as well. i hope this helps.


Daniel A. Medalie, MD

Daniel A. Medalie, MD
Beachwood Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Tummy Tuck Candidate?

Thank you for the question.

Based on your description,  you may be a great candidate for tummy tuck surgery. This operation will serve to remove the “extra skin”  and  repair the diastasis recti  that often occurs with pregnancy. If your scar is the source of your pain,  then  releasing it ( and its tethering effect)  may be helpful although it is not possible to promise that you will be symptom-free after this procedure.

I would suggest in person consultation very well experience board-certified plastic surgeon.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,498 reviews

A vertical scar does not prevent you from getting a tummy tuck

The presence of a vertical scar in your abdomen does not prevent you from getting a tummy tuck - assuming you are a good tummy tuck candidate. In fact, it may work to your advantage.  Your surgeon may be able to perform a tummy tuck using the standard low transverse incision bait also use the vertical scar to make things even tighter. This will allow your surgeon to narrow your waist more than he/she could with only the transverse incision.  Because you already have the up and down scar, it can be used also.

Matthew Schulman, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 326 reviews

Vertical abdominal scars don't impact abdominoplasty

Abdominoplasty can be performed safely with a pre-existing vertical abdominal scar.  Such scars don't interfere with abdominal circulation.   The goal of abdominoplasty is to get rid of excess abdominal skin and tighten abdominal muscles.  

However, abdominoplasty is not likely to impact abdominal pain.

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


Without pictures or seeing you in person it is impossible to give you specific advice.  However, if you have extra skin, then a tummy tuck / abdominoplasty may help.  The vertical scar should not affect your surgery and may actually be improved.  


Good Luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Vertical Scar and Tummy Tuck

Your scar is not a contraindication to getting an abdominoplasty.  It will be positioned lower after the procedure and will do around the belly button.  Sometimes excess skin can also be removed by revision of the vertical scar as well.  Your pain may be caused by an incisional hernia which can be repaired at the same surgery if present.

Don W. Griffin, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Vertical Scar Does Not Preclude a Tummy Tuck

We often do tummy tucks on patients with vertical scars. The scar that you have will be moved lower on the abdominal wall and will still be present. If that scar is poor, it can also be revised. You need to see a board certified surgeon for an exam to determine the best course of action. They will also look for a hernia and see if weight loss will be in your best interest. Good Luck.

Brian Klink, MD
Vacaville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 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.