Can a Tummy Tuck Repair an OLD Wilms Tumor Scar? It is 38 Years Old and Anchored. Dr. Says It Will Be Complicated. (photo)

I had a wilms tumor at 4 months old and have always lived with the scar. I now would like a mommy makeover but afraid there will be complications with this old butchered scar!! It is probably attached and anchored to everythig in my body by now!! PLEASE HELP!! I had one consultation today and they said it would be VERY complicated! We can send a man to the moon...this has got to be a somewhat normal process so I can have a normal stomach by 40!!

Doctor Answers 7

Can I get a tummy tuck with big upper abdominal scat?

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I wish we could see your entire abdomen instead of a close up picture. From what I see you can not have the traditional tummy tuck. Your scar is indented which means your shin is attached to the muscle layer. The scan can be corrected By a scar revision. At the Sam time a complete liposuction of your abdomen could be done without undermining and if necessary excess skin could be removed above the pubic area. This should give you a result similar to a tummy tuck but unfortunately you would still have a visible scar on your upper abdomen. The scar revision should get read of the indentation and make that scar a lot better.

Consider a scar revision of your old scar, not a traditional tummy tuck

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Thank you for your question and the photos. Yes, doing it the conventional way would be problematic.  I suggest you consider direct scar revision of the old scar first with maybe limited skin excision below the belly button without undermining for any excess skin that you may have there.  The surgical plan in your case would be one that is planned and tailored just for you.  It is important that your surgeon be experienced and flexible to think outside the box and willing to do it a different way. To be sure you know all of your options, see two or more board-certified plastic surgeons in your area for a full and complete evaluation to make sure you are a good candidate and that it is safe for you to have surgery.  I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Tummy Tuck Candidate?

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Thank you for the question and picture.

This surgeon you have consulted with his correct;  this situation is significantly more complicated because of the previous transverse scar present. Blood flow is the issue of critical importance;  a significant “pathway” of blood flow has been interrupted with your previous operation.

I would suggest that you achieve your long-term stable weight ( if not there already)  and seek a few opinions by well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons before you make any decisions.

Best wishes.

Can Tummy Tuck Fix an Old Tummy Scar

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I think a standard abdominoplasty is contraindicated for you. It would not be complicated to make the current scar look a lot better and after it's well healed do some careful liposuction for contour improvement, but I doubt you can find any well trained surgeon that would perform a tummy tuck for the reasons the other doctors mentioned. Here's a good thing to remember: surgeons make a living and pay their bills by doing surgery. They don't make money by saying "NO" to a case, so when your surgeon says no to your request for surgery you would be wise to listen.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

You can have tummy tuck

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Your scar tissue presents a problem for the blood circulation to the section below the incision as stated by your surgeon. The solution is  to preserve the blood flow with the preservation of the perforaters as we do it for the DIEP flap for breast reconstruction. This is very different than the traditional tummy tuck.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Tummy tuck with abdominal scars

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Some abdominal scars do not pose a problem for a tummy tuck. The transverse subcostal scar from your surgery as a child can pose a significant risk as the circulation will be limited to the skin just below the upper scar in a traditional tummy tuck. It is possible to reverse the tummy tuck and release the old scar upward. Safer, perhaps, though more complicated.

Best of luck,

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

Sometimes the starting point is very complicated

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Regardelss of sending men to the moon, the problem you have is one of blood flow.  The scar is like an iron curtain to blood flow and no blood can flow from one side to the other through the scar.  This makes doing a tummy tuck more complex and potentially risky on you and nothing can change that because doing a tummy tuck requires wide undermining of the abdominal wall and its blood flow.

Another compromise would be to do the breast part of a mommy makeover and a scar revision of the upper abdomen.  Also, rather than calling it a "butchered" scar, you might think of it as the one that saved your life!

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.