Give it to me straight. Is this a bad tummy tuck? (Photos)

I'm 6 ft scar is 24 inches long and about 2-3 inches higher than the doctor and I discussed. I saw 4 different doctors and I still ended up looking horrible. Can this be fixed at all? Do I laser the scar? These pictures are 10 months post op. I seriously have no idea what went wrong with the surgery. My doctor did the total opposite of what she said and she is a board certified plastic surgeon in Orange County. In the end I want to know what I can do if anything?

Doctor Answers 11

How can I help my scar after a tummy tuck?

I recommend ScaRxTape for all my patients to minimize the scars. I recommend that this be worn over the incisions after any type of surgery for up to 3months to achieve the best results. 

Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Is your results from a tummy tuck bad?

It depends on what your priorities were.  If you wanted a flat tummy without any vertical scars, you have a great result.  If you wanted  low scar with removal of your old pfannenstiel scar, you have a bad result.  Your belly button is normal for a tranposed belly button.  Your scar is very  high and I would ask why was your old scar not removed at the same time?  But you would have had to accept a vertical scar if you chose that.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Abdominoplasty Scar


The tummy tuck itself seems to be ok, with well healed scars and a reasonably natural looking belly button. The problem is that as skilled and experienced your surgeon is, he made the mistake that most surgeons continue to make time and again: to prioritize getting the old belly button hole in the skin flap out at all costs. Those costs are substantial. In your case, it led to poor (too high) placement of your scar, which he clearly did intentionally. We should use the same principles for tummy surgery that we use for facial surgery: placing the incision in-between 'aesthetic units'.  When this is done, and the incision is placed exactly where it belongs in every person, at the thigh-abdominal border laterally, and low across the pubic triangle centrally, the resultant scar no longer catches the eye. When done like this, it is common to have to close the belly button hole, leaving a vertical scar in the midline. This scar is much more inconspicuous though.  The current location of your scar will be impossible to fix unfortunately, without either getting pregnant again or having tissue expanders placed in a staged operation.  Best of luck.

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Give it to me straight. Is this a bad tummy tuck?

Thank you for your question and photos. There's no straight answer, but this is not the location where most plastic surgeons would place an abdominoplasty scar. It is very,very high. Even though the contour looks OK, this detracts from your results, limiting the type of swimwear and other clothing you might hoped to wear. Preoperative photos would've been helpful. When I see a patient who might not have enough skin laxity to place the incision low with a standard tummy tuck, I always tell them that they will end up with a small vertical incision in the lower abdomen/pubic area. I like to place my incisions at the pubic bone level and keep it in the thigh crease laterally. The small vertical scar can be removed under local anesthesia in one year. This scar cannot be lowered! I'm sorry that you did not achieve the results that you expected.

George Marosan, MD
Bellevue Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

High Incision

The tummy tuck itself looks like they did a great job but that scar is wayyyyyy to high. I have no idea if there was a situation leading to a high scar which I would only know if I was there with our surgeon when you discussed surgery, but I would have placed that scar low by your c-sectin scar and actually would have placed it below that scar so that I could have removed the c-section scar. The belly button is pretty standard and actually yours looks better than most. It is hard to hide the scar around the belly button. I am in now way telling you your surgeon did a bad job because they actually did a great job. I just don't know enough information about why maybe they chose a higher scar than normal. 

Richard J. Brown, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

High Incision with high tummy tuck

There are alternative incisions for patients with a long pubic to umbilical distance but that ship has sailed.

It is misleading to suggest you can magically lower an existing incision without raising the pubic structures onto the abdomen, including the urethra.

If you are unhappy with your current surgery and can't resolve things with your current surgeon, you can seek another opinion from a responsible plastic surgeon who can go over options with you.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

Is this a bad tummy tuck?

I am sorry to hear about your concerns after tummy tuck surgery. As you can imagine, a "fair assessment" would require much more information including details of your preoperative physical examination and prep communication. In other words, what you  and your plastic surgeon discussed will be relevant when it comes to evaluating the outcome of the procedure performed.

 Having said that,  I think that your outcome does leave much to be desired; the scar sits somewhat high on your torso and the asymmetry is quite noticeable.

 Unfortunately, it may take months/years before there is enough tissue laxity to allow for lowering of the scar and/or improvement of symmetry.

 Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews


Your scar is higher than what is ideal.  In fact, the scar is typically placed below your existing C-section/Hysterectomy scar.  The contour otherwise is very good.

Hope this helps.

Dr. Ali Mosharrafa

Ali Mosharrafa, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Tummy tuck

thank you for your question and photos. Without an in person consultation it is impossible to say what Can or cannot be done to help improve your results. It does appear as if your scar is a little high but that really depends on your preoperative evaluation. This is something you should discuss with your operative surgeon to see if a revision can be performed. 

James Shoukas, MD
Lake Mary Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 7 reviews


Thank you for the photos but an examination is really needed  and pre op photos to say what can be done.  So see some experts in your area with preop photos and your operative note

Dr Corbin

Frederic H. Corbin, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

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.