My Scar from a Gallbladder Surgery over 20 Yrs Ago is on my Right Side. Will It Interfere With a TT?

Scar is almost 3in long over the right side of my body, is there any reason for concern, in requards to a tummy tuck. What precautions will need to be taken because of the scar it is very long and thin. The scar starts mid way in my stomach an past my belly button going outwards. \ this is how it looks. Its not near my belly button at all more toward my side any advice on tummy tuck?

Doctor Answers 13

My Scar from a Gallbladder Surgery over 20 Yrs Ago is on my Right Side. Will It Interfere With a TT?

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 Tummy tuck surgery in your case can be potentially dangerous if there is a long transverse scar present after your gallbladder surgery (open).   If the longer scar is present,  potential problems with  blood supply to the abdominal wall flap raised during tummy tuck surgery should be considered. A limited undermining tummy tuck operation ( with the standard transverse incision) will be your best bet.  You may wish to post photos with your next question for more precise responses. When the time is right, seek consultation with an experienced board-certified plastic surgeons who can demonstrate significant experience ( and safety record) achieving the types of outcomes you will be pleased with. I hope this, and the attached link, helps.  Best wishes.

Scar and tummy tuck

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It needs to be taken into consideration in your preoperative planning.  It may limit the amount of skin loosening that can be done.  The operation can still be done, but may have to be modified.

David A. Lickstein, MD
Palm Beach Gardens Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Gallbladder scar

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I have done many tummy tucks on patients with large gallbladder scars.  The concern is that the scar will interfere with circulation to part of the skin when the flap is elevated.  Although  this is a possibilty, I have never had this problem. It is something you need to be aware of , but the risk is low overall. You should discuss this issue with your Plastic Surgeon and ask what his or her  experience is with this issue.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

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Gall bladder scar is a relative concern for tummy tuck.

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Thank you for your question.  It is important for your surgeon to note the location and condition of scars on your abdomen before a tummy tuck.

A 3-inch scar from gall bladder surgery can be factored into the plan for a tummy tuck.  Having one doesn't mean you can't have a tummy tuck, it just means that extra precaution should be taken to prevent potential problems after the surgery is done. 

A experienced plastic surgeon should be able to assess your scar and make the appropriate recommendations for what the best plan is for your tummy tuck.

I hope this helps. Best wishes and good luck.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Scar will not interfere with tummy tuck

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A scar from a cholecystectomy performed 20 years ago will not interfere with an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). Find a plastic surgeon in your area who is experienced with abdominoplasty.

Donna Rich, MD
Webster Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Open gallbladder incision

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Thank you for an excellent question.  I do believe your incision needs to be factored into the thought processes of your plastic surgeon.  Wit the scar being relatively short (3 inches you state) and being 20 years old, I think your surgeon can be more aggressive with his/her undermining. 

Tummy tuck after conventional gallbladder scar

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The old gallbladder incisions deprive areas of the stomach of a normal blood supply.

This should be factored in when a tummy tuck is designed.

Often the surgery is designed more conservatively, and the patient is warned that there could be wound complications or delayed healing.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Gall Bladder Scars and Tummy Tuck

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Good question and not a rare problem, although it is becoming less an issue with so many gall bladder removals being done with the laparascope through small incisions. Conventional wisdom is that there is increased risk to skin healing properly if a full tummy tuck is done. I have always done a full tummy tuck on patients with your scar as long as it was at least 10 yearsold and this includes undermining above the scar and up over the ribs and I have never had a problem with skin healing. I have been doing that for 3 decades so quite a few patients.  I do restrict this procedure to nonsmokers.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Abdominoplasty after gallbladder surgery

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Patients with a lengthy gallbladder incision should be very cautious when considering abdominoplasty (tummy tuck).  The longer the gallbladder surgery scar, the less likely it is that full abdominoplasty can be safely performed.  The reason for this relates to the blood supply of the lower abdominal tissues.  It may however be possible to perform liposuction, or to perform a panniculectomy.  In this operation the lower abdominal tissue is removed without risking the blood supply of the lower abdominal skin. If the gallbladder surgery was performed laparoscopically, then there is no problem with performing a full abdominoplasty.  In a select group of patients, it may be possible to perform a very specific type of full abdomoplasty that involves removal of the gallbladder scar.  In your particular case, a 3 inch scar is relatively short.  I would strongly advise you to discuss with one or two BC plastic surgeons.

Glynn Bolitho, PhD, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Upper abdominal scars and tt

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There are published studies that show increased risks when patients have pre-existing upper abdominal scars, like a gallbladder incision.  The cut in the skin, even though it's small and has healed now, reduces the blood flow in the abdominoplasty flap right below the scar, and wound healing complications are somewhat increased.

While a careful surgeon can reduce these are still at a slightly higher risk than someone who doesn't have that scar.


All the best.

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.