I Have a Large Scar Above my Belly Button is It Dangerous to Do a Full Tummy Tuck?

I had a tumor removed along with part of my liver and my gallbladder. The scar is 3/4 inches above my belly button and about 7 inches across. Will it survive a full tummy tuck? My stomach is almost all flab. Maybe possible to remove it completely.

Doctor Answers 7

Abdominal scar and tummy tuck

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

There is no question that scar will cause problems and increase your risk of skin loss.  You cannot elevate as much skin as you normally would and therefore cannot get your abdominal wall as tight as your normally would.  Lose as much weight as possible before undergoing this procedure.

La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Scar in abdomen and TT

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

It is possible to have a tummy tuck, but one need to be ready for an increased chance for wound healing problems. depending on the condition of your abdomen some variations are possible including a min-abdominoplasty. This is where a consultation is crcial.

M. Vincent Makhlouf, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon


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



Without a picture or an exam it’s very hard to determine what could happen with the scar your mentioning. You would need to be examined for an accurate advice.


Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Some prior scars just won't work with tummy tuck

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

The upper abdominal scar you have, a transverse subcostal, will pose a problem with the health of the skin during a tummy tuck. The circulation between the two scars could be such that the skin might not make it, a hugh problem to contend with. A careful hands on consultation will help.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Full Tummy Tuck?

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

Back in the days before laparoscopic surgery many many patients had their gall bladders removed through an incision just below the right rib cage. Tummy tucks were sometimes done, usually without skin loss, but often with some variation in technique (such as incision under the breasts for a "reverse tummy tuck").

To discuss your particular risk an in person consultation with a plastic surgeon is needed. If you could post a photo, some advice could come from RealSelf surgeons. 

Thanks for your question, best wishes. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Sounds like you know the risks...

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

Sounds like you understand the risk of inadequate blood supply resulting from your prior subcostal incision. It would certainly be risky to do a tummy tuck on you and could potentially be terrible if you lost skin along your incision due to poor perfusion.

Robert Frank, MD
Munster Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews


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

A picture would be most useful.  Usually, a large incision in this area would be a contraindication to an abdominoplasty, unless the scar and all tissue below it could be removed at the time of the abdominoplasty.  This is why a picture/examining you is critical.

I suggest seeing a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area to discuss your options.

Warmest Regards,

Asif Pirani, MD, FRCS(C)

Asif Pirani, MD, FRCS(C)
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 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.