How does tummy tuck scar compare with C-section scar?

A lot of tummy tuck scars I see online make my jaw drop. They are wide, prominent and dark compared with C-section scars. What makes a tummy tuck scar so much more prominent, other than being wider? or is that it? It's just wider and otherwise pretty much the same? I consider a C-section scar fairly minor.

Doctor Answers 12

Scar size depends on amount of skin laxity

Usually the best way to determine this is by the amount of skin that hangs or folds over when you bend at the waist. You can always use a very short incision to create a short scar but you may be cheating yourself and you can be left with extra skin.


Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Why do tummy tuck scars look different than C-section scars?

A tummy tuck scar is designed to remove excessive abdominal tissue and the incision is closed with some tension to produce the best result. Therefore, there are forces pulling on the healing incision at the end of the surgery and this can make the scar widen.  A C-section scar is closed without tension and the incision heals without tension.  As a result, C-section scars often look better than tummy tuck scars.  In addition, C-section scars are just long enough to deliver the baby while tummy tuck scars must be longer to contour the whole abdomen and sometimes the flanks.

John Zavell, MD, FACS
Toledo Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

How does tummy tuck scar compare with C-section scar?

Generally the scars are similar except the tummy tuck is longer. Often the C-section scars are hidden in the pannus or roll and not visualized, yet can be retracted or depressed. The tummy tuck scars are fully visible because the skin is pulled tighter and cannot hide under a fold. Using tape and scar gels can help fade scars as well. 

Brian J. Lee, MD
Fort Wayne Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Better quality and lower but usually longer

Typical tummy tuck scar is better quality than C-section scar since it is closed by a skilled plastic surgeon. Also typically can be placed lower . However most tummy tuck require longer scar than  a C-section

Tummy tuck scar

Thank you for your question.The scar from a tummy tuck depends on the patient and the surgeon’s technique. A tummy tuck scar should look like a longer C-section scar brought out into the hip area and placed a little lower than a typical C-section scar. It should be a fine incision line that refines over time but every patient can heal slightly different depending on their genetics, skin type, age, diet, external factors etc that is why you may see a variety of scar types. There are scar treatments such as silicone strips, creams and laser treatments that can also help further reduce the appearance of surgical scars. Best of luck.
Sincerely, James Fernau, MD, FACS
Board Certified ENT
Board Certified Plastic Surgery
Member of ASPS, ASAPS, ISAPS, The Rhinoplasty Society, AAFPRS, OTO/HNS, ASLMS, International Federation for Adipose Therapeutics & Science

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Tummy Tuck Scar

Thank you for your question.  The tummy tuck scar is basically an extension of the c-section scar.   The tummy tuck incision is closed under much more tension than the c-section incision because a lot of skin is removed prior to close the tummy tuck.  It generally goes from hip bone to hip bone and generally the scar heals very nicely however everyone heals differently.
Best of luck,
Dr. Hisham Seify

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Tummy tuck scar

A well placed tummy tuck scar is similar to a C-section scar, but can be lowered to just above the supra-pubic region to be concealed and should be a fine line.

How does tummy tuck scar compare with C-section scar?

Generally a tummy tuck scar is just an extension of a c section scar. It generally goes from about hip bone to hip bone and will fade over time just as any scar would. There are many methods out there to assist it in healing fine and flat, but of course everyone heals differently. 

Lawrence Bundrick, MD
Huntsville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Tummy tuck scar

The tummy tuck incision is closed under much more tension than the C-section incision because a lot of skin is removed prior to closure with the tummy tuck.   Also, a lot more of the bloodflow surrounding the healing incision has been disrupted with the tummy tuck.  However it is the tight closure that provides the nicest aesthetic results to the abdomen.  Plastic surgeons are well aware of this, which is why scar surveillance and management of scar issues are a part of every tummy tuck procedure.  Discuss this with your surgeon. Best wishes to you!

Erik Miles, MD, FACS
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Scar differences

The "wound healing environment" is different for them. In Ttuck it is much more challenging. In a c-sx, the skin is cut, edges pushed apart, "business taken care of" and the skin essentially falls back together under even LESS tension than before the delivery. There is no tension(pull) and great blood supply.In Ttuck, the skin is removed, the remaining skin flap is undermined (thus reducing its blood supply) and then it is closed under a great deal of tension. While there will be great scars and bad scars in both groups, you can expect more poor scars in the TTuck and more great scars in the Csx.The biggest factor is always genetics.

Robert H. Hunsaker, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 72 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.