Scar length and positioning, is it altered based on the excess skin that could potentially still hang from the sides/flanks?

I went to a consult the PS was so knowledgeable and I'm impressed with her work and technique and the moment I can do it shes the one! felt like even 2 hrs with her not enough for the questions I had.was told I don't need lipo went home grabbing the skin on my flanks and thought ok maybe she'd extend the scar so there's no gathering no dog ears or odd looking flanks popping out of tightened tummy procedure I'm so lost any opinions or thought you may have?w/o lipo can waistline be tapered?

Doctor Answers 7

Scar length and positioning, is it altered based on excess skin?

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Thank you for sharing your question, but without an in-person examination or full series of photographs it is difficult to offer definite advice.  In most cases patients benefit from either extending the tummy tuck scar towards the sides of the body to improve tapering or pursuing additional liposuction to help remove excess adipose.  Voice your concerns directly to your surgeon, they are in the best position to advise you.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Abdominal issues

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You would have to be seen in person to determine what might be a reasonable option for you.  Photos would help at a minimum.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

The length of the abdominoplasty incision depends on the amount of loose skin

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Extra skin can only be removed with excision.  And excision requires an incision.  The length of the incision for an abdominoplasty depends on the amount of loose skin.  If there is excess skin on the sides then it is often best to extend the incision in order to improve that area.  If the incision isn't long enough then there will be skin laxity out laterally or the tissue will have to be pulled medially which may result in puckering in the middle.  Liposuction will help with fullness but it doesn't address skin.  When patients ask me how long the incision will be I always let them know it will be as long as needed in order to create the nicest improvement, and no longer.  If the goal is to improve tissue laxity at the waistline that needs to be discussed ahead of time because that will require a longer incision.  Make sure you discuss your concerns with your plastic surgeon before your procedure.  You don't want to undergo an operation only to find out it didn't give you the improvement you're looking for.  Best of luck.

Jason E. Leedy, MD
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 148 reviews

Options with tummy tuck

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Thank you for your questions.  Without photos, we can't really give you specific recommendations.  Occasionally, a tummy tuck scar may be extended further to the sides if there is excess skin in the flank area.  More frequently, liposuction of the flanks will be performed as part of the tummy tuck procedure to appropriately contour the abdomen and flanks as a single unit for an optimal outcome.  It all depends on your needs based on evaluation.  I suggest you discuss your concerns with your plastic surgeon.  Best wishes!

Tummy tuck

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Hello and thank you for your question. There are several options for scar placement.  This decision should be based on your individual anatomy.  Make sure you specifically look at before and after pictures of real patients who have had this surgery performed by your surgeon and evaluate their results.  The most important aspect is to find a surgeon you are comfortable with, which it sounds like you have done. 

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Adding Lipo to the Tummy Tuck

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Additional procedures that may enhance the result are Liposuction, Breast Procedures, or Thigh Lift. Mommy makeovers usually include multiple operations.  Brazilian “butt enhancement” can be done at the same time to provide best body contours. Arm reduction or brachiaplasty is also common. 

If you find yourself at all concerned about the consult information that you received from the one surgeon you have met with, then you should not hesitate at all to continue consulting with other board certified plastic surgeons who make you more confident with the final results you may see with the procedure. There is always the option to combine liposuction with the tummy tuck to help ensure that loose skin and excess fat are removed with the tightening that is done. You have every right to make the decision for yourself as to the surgeon and procedure with which you are the most confident and comfortable. Good luck!

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Questions about tummy tuck

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Thank you for your question about your tummy tuck.

  • I am so very glad you have found a plastic surgeon who is right for you!
  • These are questions your surgeon herself will need to answer for you.
  • If you have no excess fat, there is no need for liposuction.
  • The tightening of the muscle and of the skin will taper the waistline.
  • I suggest that you email your questions to the plastic surgeon's office, so you understand her plan for you -
  • Only she has examined you and only she knows the plan.

Always consult a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes, Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD

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.