Why is It That Sometimes the TT Cut/scar is a Perfect U and Sometimes Its Zigzag?

When I see the pictures of the before and after some have it [ and some like this } and some like this ( it basically comes in different patterns, why is that? I'm afraid that my surgeon might leave it zigzag going up and down, instead of a perfect u shape. Also why is it that the bellybuttons are sometimes perfect but at times they might be left like they got seeds in them? Below are examples of other patients I found.

Doctor Answers 7

Tummy Tuck Scars

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The resulting scar after a tummy tuck is ultimately determined by the surgeon performing the procedure. This is influenced however by a patients overall anatomy. In most patients a smile type of incision is desirable because it can best be hidden easily with clothing. Along with the shape of the incision the actual location of the incision should be considered. In other words how high or how low is the resulting scar. In general an incision should be able to be covered by under ware. If the incision is to high it will be very noticeable no matter what the shape. Review your surgeons before and after photos and make sure you are comfortable with the type and location of incision he or she uses.

El Paso Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck scar patterns are dependent on surgeon.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Each surgeon has the ability to choose a particular scar pattern, and many choose what they were taught in their plastic surgical training by their professor (who was probably more of a reconstructive surgeon than a cosmetic surgeon--but that's a different topic). Some choose on the basis of patient request, but most will choose what they feel is safest and best for a particular patient's anatomy.

The "W" type scar was used more commonly years ago as a way of reducing tension on the midline and belly button incision. The "U" scar or curving bikini-line scar is just as easy to perform, and leaves a superior scar, IMHO. The ends of the scars can be raised or lowered according to fashion styles, swimsuit preference, or extended for better skin tailoring. Liposuction of the hips can also enhance your results when applicable.

Bottom line: talk to your surgeon and ask for photographic examples of his or her work--choose accordingly. For 7 examples of my patients with tummy tuck scars in various phases of maturation and fading, click on the link below. Each plastic surgeon you see should have similar examples you can review! Good luck!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Tummy tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Every surgeon has a different way they like to leave the scar. I personally like the u type of scar others will use a more of a W type of scar. This is just personal preference.

David E. Kim, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

Tummy tuck scars

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The shape of the scar is determined partly by the patient's anatomy but can be altered depending on the patient's desires.The w pattern is still used sometimes, but a curved smile type is most common. Previously a straiter incision was also popular to go with some bikiny bathing suits.But now with bathing suits  exposing the lateral hips so much the U shape has predominated. This can be discussed  and decided upon preoperatively with your board certified plastic surgeon.

Ernest D. Cronin, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck scars

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The artistic vision of the surgeon who is doing the tummy tuck plays a role in determining how the scar is designed.  Typically I will draw out the scar for the patient so they have a sense of how it might look.  It is true however that the patient's pre-surgery anatomy does impact on post surgery outcome, but there is room for adjustment based on the surgeon's vision and pre-operative planning.  The belly button is where I spend a lot of time.  I feel that this is the one area that might someday be exposed say in the bathing suit so I want this to be the most natural appearing.   In my opinion, the surgeon should have some artistic vision in creating the final outcome.

Bhupesh Vasisht, MD
Voorhees Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Different Tummy tuck Incisions/Scars

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I agree with you that what you term a U shape incision and I call curvilinear is preferable for tummy tucks.  This is largely a surgeon's preference, but I think that most plastic surgeon's would be willing to adhere to your wishes.  There does exist a theoretical situation where there is not enough excess skin to allow the incision of your choice, but I have never found this.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Why is the scar from the tummy tuck is different in shape.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The shape of the scar should ideally be decided depending on the shape of the pelvis, the folds in the skin and the desire of the patients. I ask the patients to wear a bikini and place the scar so that it is hidden in the bikini.The W shape scar was popular years ago.

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.