What is the reasons for the different placements of tummy tuck scars. How can I ensure mine is lower? (photos)

I am considering a tummy tuck. However, I have noticed the many different scar placings. Some are great as they are very close to the pubic bone area, but lots are located just an inch or two below the belly button. What is the reason for this? There are also scars straight across, curved, and angled at the sides. Why? How can I ensure a low scar. I really enjoy wearing lower cut bottoms. Thanks.

Doctor Answers 9

Tummy tuck scar placement

The target results we offer are to (1) minimize the visibility of the tummy tuck scar, (2) keep it as low as possible, (3) while offering the most natural contours, (4) as safely as possible.  Some patients place different emphasis and priorities on the goals just listed.  We offer a variety of the results you have described, but only in response to a thorough discussion with our patients.  You should understand how each goal differs as the priorities shift.  Discuss with your surgeon their experience regarding your desired goals to determine if you may be a proper candidate for the techniques offered.

Tummy Tuck Scar Placement

An experienced board-certified plastic surgeon should be able to customize your surgery to help you achieve the look that you want.  If you want your tummy tuck scar to be very low (which is a common request), that can usually be accomplished depending on your anatomy and the amount of loose skin that you have.  Occasionally it is necessary to place a short vertical scar in the lower midline of the abdomen if there is not a lot of loose skin. This can keep the scar low allowing you to hide it with a bikini or underwear but there may be a short vertical scar.

Meet with a board-certified plastic surgeon who can examine you and give you the best options to achieve the results you are after.  Best of luck!

Jeff T. Healy, MD
Oahu Island Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

What is the reasons for the different placements of tummy tuck scars. How can I ensure mine is lower?

Thank you for the question.
The main determinant of the tummy tuck incision and resulting scar line is the patient's body type. Ideally the incision and resulting skyline is kept as little as possible, planned to be hidden beneath undergarments and swimming suit.
If the patient has a significant amount of redundant skin (especially about the umbilicus) then the incision and resulting scar line of the tummy tuck may be kept very low. On the other hand, if the patient has a short torso and/or very little skin above the umbilicus then the incision and scar line may need to be placed higher. Sometimes a short vertical scar is also necessary (previous umbilical opening).
I hope this helps.


Thank for your question.

The #scar that results from your #abdominoplasty will depend upon the type of #tummytuck you and your #boardcertified #plasticsurgeon decide is best for you.

In a typical abdominoplasty, an #incision is made along the lower abdomen at about the pubic hair line, and another is made around the belly button.  The scar can be altered or lowered to be hidden by most panty lines and bathing suits.

A mini abdominoplasty will have a shorter scar and an extended abdominoplasty will have a scar that extends onto the lower back.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Placement of tummy tuck scars

Aloha and thanks for your excellent question.
The placement of tummy tuck scars begins with Patient desires; including what type of clothes/swimsuits do you want to wear. Then we have to consider what issues you want to improve: is it just some loose lower skin, is there muscle weakness from pregnancy, is the upper stomach ok? Every Patient is different and every tuck tuck needs to be designed to fit your goals, within reason.
It would be best for you to visit an experienced board certified plastic surgeon for an in-depth consultation to review your options. Mahalo, Dr D

Kevin Dieffenbach, MD
Oahu Island Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Placement of tummy tuck

Each person is differently built.  Some has a short torso and some are very long.  Some have a lot of excess skin and some do not.  Tummy tucks should be designed based upon the person's unique anatomy.  If you have a person with a long torso and not much excess skin and you put the incision very low the skin above the belly button will not reach the low incision and you will then have an unsightly scar where the old belly button used to be.  The design of the scar is based upon the type of bathing suit or underwear the woman wears.  We try to plan to hide the scar in the underwear as much as possible.  Its also best not to try to stretch the skin too much as there will be a lot of tension in the incision which can lead to poor scarring. 

Benjamin Chu, MD, FACS
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Find a good doctor who listens

All you have to do is find a doc who does it your way! The old school approach was a high scar. I place mine super low and focus on a cute belly button. Nothing says "tummy tuck" like an ugly belly button and high scar! Be selective. Look at before and afters. And find your doctor!

Tummy Tuck Scars

Thank you for your excellent question.  Every abdomen is unique and every tummy tuck will be different depending on your unique characteristics. When we evaluate your abdomen we look for previous incisions, skin quality ( presence of stretch marks), excess skin, fatty deposits beneath the skin, the amount of intrabdominal fat, the diastasis of rectus abdominus. All these factors contribute to where we play the incision and how high it will go and how long the scar will be. Lastly there are physician preferences. Please take you time at the consult to have all these factors addressed and all your questions answered. Please find a board certified plastic surgeon, certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Tummy Tuck - Scar Location?

Thank you for your excellent question. Scar location will vary based on the amount of excess skin present and your surgeon's skin excision technique. Please see a board certified plastic surgeon for an in-person examination to discuss the specific details of the procedures. Ask to see before and after photos to get an idea of what can be achieved. Hope this helps!

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.