Is There an Abdomenoplasty That Removes/sutures Skin from the Sides Vertically?

Perhaps an odd question. The sagging skin/stretch marks on my stomach aren't that bad, mostly just when I bend over, at which point -- kinda gross. Still, not hideous. This noted, when I pull the skin from the side of my stomach toward each hip, not only do the stretch marks almost go invisible, but the weird sagging goes away. I have developed abs, I work out six days a week. It's nice. Is there an abdomenoplasty procedure that cuts/sutures from the sides?

Doctor Answers 13

Fleur de lis abdominoplasty

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Thank you for the question.  You can remove skin horizontally or vertically from an abdominoplasty.  When they are combined this is called a fleur-de-lis pattern.  The end result is tightening of the skin in a vertical and horizontal direction but you will also have a vertical midline scar as well as a horizontal bikini area scar.  If you are wondering if the skin can be sutured and pulled sideways internally the answer is that it is not recommended since the skin will invariably bunch up on the sides of the abdomen.

All the best,

Remus Repta, MD

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Abdominoplasty that accentuates sides

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Thank you for your question.

It doesn't sound that you would need vertical incisions to cut out the stretchmarks on your sides, as these would be considered highly visible. As plastic surgeons, we are in the business of correcting skin issues with the least amount of scarring possible. Stretch marks on the lower sides of your abdomen can be easily removed by using a standard incision (incision line hidden by a bikini). What I do, in addition to a midline plication, is to place sutures on the sides to 'cinch' your waist in to improve its appearance. This also allows me to pull and cut more skin from the sides. Which I think is most concerning to you.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,

Dr. H 

Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 230 reviews

There are unusual types of abdominoplasties.

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I'm not sure I've seen which are describing but there are various modifications to abdominoplasty. When you see a board certified plastic surgeon explain your idea and see if it makes sense to him.

Tummy tuck questions

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Yes, excess skin can be removed in a vertical direction in the situation you describe, but the scar will be more noticeable than the one in a standard tummy tuck. It might not be worth the scar involved unless the looseness is considerable.

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

Removing stretch marks with a tummy tuck

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It's hard to give you an exact answer without seeing you, but it sounds like you might just need a mini tummy tuck or a flankplasty to remove the excess fat from you sides.  The scars are kept nice and low in the bikini line and the "pull" of the skin can go to the side to remove the stretch marks in question for you.  Good luck!   Dr. Schreiber, Baltimore plastic surgeon

Vertical midline scar abdominoplasty combined with traditional transverse incision

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When abdominal skin is in excess in both the vertical and transverse directions then a low transverse incision combined with a vertical scar in the midline is sometimes uses.  This is most commonly used in the massive weight loss patient, so of whom already have a vertical midline scar. 

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

Alternative to Lower Abdominoplasty Incision

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   As my colleagues have mentioned, a vertical incision abdominoplasty is most commonly placed in the midline. This is usually with a traditional lower transverse incision, but can be done alone. While I have not performed (or even heard of) a lateral vertical tightening, we are trained to evaluate each patient separately and we occasionally will perform a "customized" procedure if we deem it to be safe and effective. You should seek consultation with a  board certified plastic surgeon who is experienced with body contouring procedures. Good luck. Dr. G.

Douglas L. Gervais, MD
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

Abdominoplasty with scars on the sides

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Actually the only tummy tuck technique that narrows the skin excess around the waist involves a midline skin removal down the center of the abdomen, combined with the low transverse skin removal over the pubis below the underpant line. There is not a recognized safe procedure which removes the skin with vertical incisions on the side and a sideways pull. Circulation and sensation might be an issue.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Vertical Incision Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

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A vertical incision tummy tuck is relatively common in people who have had massive weight loss because the skin has frequently stretched significantly in both directions. They almost always have a transverse scar also. We generally never use a vertical scar alone as the loose skin can usually be taken out with a transverse incision and that scar hides much better. When we do a abdominoplasty, we generally always also tighten the muscle from top to bottom and, occasionally, in the opposite direction also. This thins the waist. When the skin is taken out inferiorly, the skin left is the superior skin and it is pulled taut. Because of this, there is, for most tummy tucks, no reason to make a vertical scar that is quite visible. See a plastic surgeon with much experience and discuss your desires. This is the only way to find out what is indicated and will work well for you.


Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon

Vertical Side Incision Abdominoplasty

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While this is rarely done, I have used this technique in certain patients who are willing to have a vertical scar on each side (hidden when the arms are at the side) instead of a vertical scar in the front. However, just because the stretch marks "go invisible" when you pull the skin sideways, they are likely to return unless they are cut out as in a standard tummy tuck. You may want to discuss this in person with a Board Certified plastic surgeon.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 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.