Vertical BB Scar - How to Ask for Revision? (photo)

3 months post-op - Old bb incision/vertical scar jagged & ugly. I didn't have much skin to pull down, so I am left with a vertical scar. I was prepared for that. This will not heal "inconspicuously". I expected a straight, clean line like my horizontal incision. Having a low scar serves no purpose when I have to hide the higher, uglier, vertical one! Time is *not* going to improve this scar. What is the right way to ask for a revision on this jagged, wide vertical incision? My new bb is cute!

Doctor Answers 6

Vertical BB Scar - How to Ask for Revision?

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It seems like you know how this will heal and are not really interested in advice other than how to approach the surgeon. 

The one question you don't answer yourself is why the small scar is less favorable than the larger. That I will answer--the vertical incision goes against the skin tension lines, so the incision is predictably less attractive, despite the length. That is one reason why surgeons who operate on the abdomen through an open incision usually prefer horizontal incisions to vertical. 

If you talk your surgeon into revising this now, there is quite a good chance that you will be back at the same point as you are now in three months. If you are patient, chances are that by 6 to 12 months the skin will be loose enough such that the scar can be removed and  incorporated into the horizontal incision. Discuss with your surgeon. All the best.


Seattle Plastic Surgeon

"I would like to improve the appearance of my vertical scar"

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Hello Trina,

Thank you for the question and the photos.  There is nothing wrong with wanting your vertical incision to look better.  It can be revised quite easily actually.  The position of the scar will not change much but the appearance can be improved.  Excising the scar and re-closing it can be done under local anesthesia in the office.  Here is a before and after photo of the improvement that can be accomplished.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Most scars do not require a revision after the healing is complete.

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I think you're being overly concerned about what appears to be an incision that should heal quite nicely. I don't think you will require a revision. In any event it's much too early to even consider one.

Scar revision for vertical scar 3 months post-op after tummy tuck

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I have good news and bad news for you . . . the bad news is that I respectfully disagree with your assessment that time will *not* improve this scar.  It will.  The good news is that there are a number of things that you can also do in the mean time to help it along.  At 3 months post-op this scar is maximally "hyperemic" or full of blood supply as it tries to heal.  Most of the "jagged" shape of the scar that you are seeing is bright red, dilated blood vessels in the skin, and this will decrease as the scar maturation process continues.  Most people with a surgical background will know from "Wound Healing 101" that it takes a full year, and sometimes longer, for a scar to fully mature.  During this time you should be applying a topical scar treatment, such as SkinMedica's Scar Recovery Gel twice a day, massaging the scar, and avoiding any ultraviolet exposure.  If you wish to be maximally aggressive and proactive with this you may also consider laser treatment with a V-beam or pulsed dye laser to take the red out and a fractionated CO2 laser to address any contour/texture issues.  If the scar becomes thick, not only laser, but injections with steroid + 5 - FU would also help.  Jumping to scar revision at this point is premature, may result in recurrent scarring that is no better, and maybe worse than what you see now.  My advice is to take a conservative approach, as things WILL get better with time.  Good luck.

Joseph L. Grzeskiewicz, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Scar Revision (Vertical Scar) after Tummy Tuck Surgery

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Thank you for the question and pictures; based on the limited photographs and your description, it sounds like your plastic surgeon has done a very nice job for you. In regards to timing for revisionary surgery, it will probably be closer to one year post op (if not longer) until there is enough skin laxity to allow for removal of some or all of the vertical scar. Sometimes, these types of revisions are best done in stages ( more than 1 operation).

 Again, timing will depend on achieving enough laxity to allow for tension free closure.  Your plastic surgeon will be able to evaluate this laxity based on your physical examination.

In the meantime, I hope you are able to enjoy the improvements achieved.

Vertical BB Scar - How to Ask for Revision?

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After reviewing the poorly posted exposed photos you need more scar maturation time! The scar will fade in the next few months but yoiu will ALWAYS be able to see them. Revision is NOT the answer. Better understanding of the operative techniques and decisions are needed. 

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.