Can I Have my Tummy Tuck Scar Lowered to Bikini Area? (photo)

I had a tummy tuck 22 months ago to get rid of the saggy skin and stretch marks that I got after three pregnancies. I ended up with a high incision and noticeable scar around my belly button. I was thin and "fit" going into the procedure. I am now considering a revision and would like to know all of my options. My skin is still tight from the previous procedure although I do have some laxity around the belly button area. I welcome all opinions.

Doctor Answers 11

Lowering Of High Tummy Tuck Scar ??

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With residual tight skin, I think there is no chance that you can lower the vertical position of your tummy tuck least not close to the bikini line area. If you can not get it there, then there is no reason to do it. This high scar is the trade-off for a full tummy tuck with maximal skin removal in a thin person. A mini-tummy tuck would not have made it as tight but the scar would have been lower in the bikini area with no scar around the belly button.

Lowering a tummy tuck scar can be done

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If your skin is still too tight, pulling the scar down now may result in a worse scar.  However, if you continue to massage the area and wait a little while longer for the skin to soften you might get a nice result.  You might want to consider getting the muscles tightened a little more if they can as this will add to the looseness of the skin.  Good luck!  Dr. Schreiber...Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Lowering a tummy tuck scar depends on several things

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The ideal tummy tuck scar should be low enough to be concealed under  a bikini bottom or panties. Sometimes there isn't enough skin to pull it down that low, in which case my preference is to do an upside down "T" which enables the scar to be low but with a short vertical line. That part of the scar usually fades very well and keeps most of it where it should be. In your case, it will require a significant amount of undermining and expanding the skin between the belly button and the scar, and anchor sutures to keep it as low as it can go.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Anchoring sutures

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Thank you for your post. It is not common for surgeons to anchor the lower incision to the fascia or covering of the abdominal muscles to keep the scar low, however, I do use this technique and agree with it. All the tension on the incision is from above, not below, and thus the scar tends to move toward the area of maximal tension (towards the ribs/bellybutton). This moves the scar higher than desired. I like to keep my scars very low, and feel that anchoring the scar helps accomplish this. The following photo is an example of this.

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Lowering abdominoplasty scar

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Problem scars around the umbilicus and positioning of the low transverse scar after an abdominoplasty.  The umbilical scar is really he cherry on the ice cream sundae when it comes to abdominoplasty surgery.  It is the most visible scar and most plastic surgeons are very careful to create a nice, aesthetically pleasing scar.  Everything can be done correctly and a small percentage of patients will make a bad scar.  Your scar may lower over time.  I always have my patients pull up as hard as they can in the pre op room and I mark the incision to be 6 cm above the top of the superior labial area.  This keeps the scar in low position.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Tummy Tuck Scar Above The Bikini Line

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Good Morning and thank you for your question and photo.

Based on your photo, lowering your tummy tuck scar is likely to be very difficult with a high probability that the scar will again rise above the bikini line.  The most important aspect of revising the scar position is having enough laxity in the skin above the scar.  You mentioned that you have very little, if any. skin looseness in your abdominal area.  Attempting to revise the scar now will likely lead to more issues with the healing process including scar widening, scar thickening and poor scar position.

A consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon is extremely important so that he/she can determine whether you are an appropriate candidate for scar revision.  As for your belly button, the scar is very acceptable and need not be revised.

Good Luck and Best Wishes!!!!!

Louis DeLuca, MD
Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Can I Have my Tummy Tuck Scar Lowered to Bikini Area?

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The easy response is NO! There was a breakdown in understanding between you and your surgeon pre operatively so now the incision rides too high. As for the bb scar- it is very very acceptable. Remember full informed consent and understanding of WHAT exactly is going to be done is paramount. 

Tummy Tuck Scar Position

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It can be very difficult to lower a tummy tuck scar if you do not have much vertical looseness to your skin after your first surgery.  While you can excise more skin below the present scar, the position will not lower unless you have loose skin to pull lower.  If you don't, the scar will ultimately be in nearly the same position.


Some lowering of the scar should be possible

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Thank you for the question and photo.  Lower the scar will be dependent on how much laxity you have.  The more laxity you have the lower the scar can be placed.  I would definitely recommend a complete tummy tuck revision with elevation of the abdominal soft tissue all the way up to your rib cage as well as tightening of the abdominal wall.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta

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

Can I Have my Tummy Tuck Scar Lowered

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Nothing beats an in-person exam to make this sort of recommendation, but based on the photo i don't think there is enough laxity to lower this scar much. The only tissue available without adding a new scar is the tissue from navel to the current scar, and it looks quite tight. 

The scar could be made a little lower in one of two methods.

Redoing the tummy tuck as before would allow for more lowering, but the new  incision around the navel would not come out with the excess skin (as last time) and there would be a vertical incision in the lower abdomen. 

The other possibility is redoing the TT, and lowering the navel a bit. This would avoid that vertical scar, but would lower the navel. 

Discuss these possibilities with your surgeon, or with others for second opinions. Thanks for your question, best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

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.