Can I Get a Tummy Tuck After a Open Appendectomy Left Me Disfigured?

I am a 26yo female. Type 1 diabetic on a pump and very well controlled. In 2003 after my appendix ruptured I was left with a huge misshapened horizontal scar and due to a variaty of reasons such as gaining weight postop and insulin injections to my lower abd for 13 years and surgical damage to my lower abd muscles I have a very large overhang. I cannot due crunches due to extreme pain in my incision. Can this be fixed and is it considered reconstructive or cosmetic? Thank you

Doctor Answers 6

Tummy Tuck for unfavorable Appendectomy Scar

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Hi there-

From the information and photo provided, I do think you are likely to be pleased with the results of a tummy tuck.

It would be (as with any aesthetic surgery) very important to place yourself only in the hands of a surgeon certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery, and to be prepared and optimized for surgery by your family doctor.

Here's some more advice on choosing a surgeon that's right for you:


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The incision for an appendectomy is typically in the lower abdomen, and the scar is usually removed as part of the tummy tuck procedure.

Please consult with a board certified plastic surgeon regarding other issues as it is difficult to answer your questions without an examination.

Best of luck.

Michael A. Jazayeri, MD
Santa Ana Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck

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Although the appendectomy scar is not shown in your photos the traditional placement of the incision falls within the skin removed at the time of abdominoplasty.

During the procedure the abdominal muscles are tightened and the abdominal contour is dramatically improved.
The insurance companies consider abdominoplasty a cosmetic operation and so will not cover this. There is a lesser operation called a panniculectomy which will remove the "pannus" or overhanging skin at the pubic hair line which the insurance company may cover if you meet their criteria. Your surgeon will be able to discuss this with you.

Operating for painful conditions is tricky. I would not guarantee pain relief from a painful scar with the abdominoplasty. This is another important discussion to have with your plastic surgeon.
Good luck

Robert W. Kessler, MD, FACS
Corona Del Mar Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 130 reviews

Tummy tuck should remove appendectomy scar

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Most often the incision for an appendectomy is in the lower abdomen where the skin is removed with a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty.) I can't really tell from the picture, but you would need to consult with a plastic surgeon anyway. Hopefully you will be better able to exercise afterward, but no amount of exercise is going to tighten the skin.

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

Tummy tuck after ruptured appendix

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Your photo would certainly indicate that a tummy tuck might be very reasonable for you.  Your diabetes is under control and if your weight is within 10-15 pounds of ideal, you should visit the best plastic surgeons in your area for a consultation.  You could have a nice tight flat tummy with the appy scar removed.

Post-appendectomy abdominoplasty

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It certainly appears as if you would be a candidate for a panniculectomy or abdominoplasty. Of course you would need a complete examination by your plastic surgeon and a medical clearance by your internist. Often an abdominal procedure can replace the appendectomy scar and tidy it up. Whether this is considered cosmetic or reconstruction would depend on your insurance company and the anatomical and functional complaints you might have.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills 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.