T-Incision Good Idea For Me? (photo)

I am a 26 year old female. I am 5'4 and about 130lbs. I have always been on the heavy side (200+) until I finally dropped all the weight. After loosing all the weight I have loose skin on my stomach and above my belly button there's a little bit of fat. I recently went to go see a plastic surgeon and he told me that he might have to perform a "T-incision" on me because of the fat above the belly button. I was wondering if this a good idea. I'm not so thrilled about the whole "T-incision" process.

Doctor Answers 9

DO NOT get a 'T' incision!!!!

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Thank you for your question and photos. I have never seen a patient who is happy with their 'T' incision which is one of the reasons why I never perform that procedure. If you were that heavy and have lost a lot of weight, you should have enough excess skin for a standard tummy tuck without a 'T' incision. Those who don't have that much excess skin can get a mini-tuck or a mini-tuck with umbilical transection. I strongly recommend staying away from the 'T' incision.

Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Avoiding the t incision

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There are times that the T incision is necessary.  That is when the belly button is positioned high or the abdominal skin is relatively tight.  Neither of those conditions seems to be the case with you. 

Combining liposuction with the tummy tuck will help with fullness that you mention is present above the belly button.  It is possible that your surgeon was just covering all bases and doesn't really believe that the t incision will be necessary.  It would be a good idea to clarify this and even consider additional consultations. 

Best wishes, Doug Hargrave M.D.

I do not believe you need a "T" incision

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Thank you for the question and photos.  I do not believe you need a vertical incision.  The horizontal incision alone performed as a full tummy tuck as well as some liposuction will likely give you a very nice result.  Although you may think you will never wear a bikini many people change their minds after a full tummy tuck and having the vertical incision will detract from your ability to do so comfortably.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta

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

T or no T?

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The T incision is beneficial if the upper abdominal skin is in excess of what can be gathered in by a traditional abdominoplasty.  The tradeoff for a better contour is a longer incision.  Midline incisions are harder to disguise and will always be present.  The choice of incision depends on what your clothing options ie. one piece vs two piece are going to be.  The other consideration is that you are a young lady; do you have future plans for pregnancy?  The most important piece of information that you can glean from this post is to go and get evaluated by a plastic surgeon, preferably someone who has an extensive experience in body contouring with normal weight as well as weight loss patients.

Many Options Available

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If the fat above the belly button is a significant problem you might consider liposuction as a preliminary treatment so you will not need the long mid line scar.

A T-incision is used when you need to remove excess skin.  Your photos do not lead me to believe that you need a T-incision tummy tuck.  You may need to have a little longer horizontal scar to capture the loose skin on the hips.

Discuss your concerns with a second opinion consultation and see where you are comfortable.

Best Wishes

Dr. Peterson


Marcus L. Peterson, MD
Saint George Plastic Surgeon

T-Incision With Tummy Tuck Not Recommended

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Good morning and thank your for your photos and sharing your concerns.

Based on your photos I would absolutely not recommend a T-incision for your tummy tuck procedure.  This results in a long, highly visible vertical scar directly in the middle of your abdomen which cannot be hidden (except when clothed).  The benefit of this extra incision is the removal of extra skin that is very loose in the upper abdomen.  However, it is rarely necessary and compromises your final result!!!

FYI...the fat above your belly button can be easily addressed during a standard tummy tuck procedure.

You should seek additional opinions from a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area.  Glad you asked our Real Self community before committing to a procedure

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

A T-incision will work, but not necessary

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Congratulations on your weight loss. A T-incision allows the surgeon to get more skin and fat out with excellent contour, but leaves an additional unsightly scar. A standard full abdominoplasty with a low bikini line incision will also give you excellent results if you are not interested in the T-incision. Furthermore, the T-incision does have more risks of wound healing problems. Discuss this further with your surgeon.

Armin Moshyedi, MD
Bethesda Plastic Surgeon

T-incision tummy tuck

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Thank you for your pictures.  An in person examination would give the best information but based on your pictures, a full T-incision should not be needed.  Did your surgeon specify the length of the vertical portion of the T-incision?  Sometimes a small vertical scar is necessary to prevent too tight of a closure.  If you are not comfortable with what your surgeon told you, you should seek another opinion from a board-certified plastic surgeon.  Good luck!

Naveen Setty, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

T-Incision Good Idea For Me?

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From the photo alone, which is nowhere near as good as an actual exam in person, I would not think that the benefits of a "T" incision justify the long vertical incision that comes with it. When there is a large horizontal excess of skin and soft tissue that plays a visible role in the problem, the "T" or vertical abdominoplasty is useful. I feel that you would do well with a d standard abdominoplasty. 

I would think about getting a second opinion before making a decision.

Thanks for your question and for the photos, which contribute to an interesting issue that does come up from time to time. 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.