Tummy Tuck scar too high, will a revision to lower it be possible for me in the future? (Photos)

7 weeks p.o., the Board Certified PS should have made a vertical incision on me and lowered the scar placement. I'm very short waisted. I have 5.75" between center of BB and top of clitoral hood. Scar is 2.25 inches from center of BB. I have more mons than lower tummy. I look freakish. Laser hair removal not an option, too many grey hairs and stretch marks. I'd like it to be lowered 1.25" minimally in the future! Will this be possible? I'm 54, 5'7" 132 lbs.

Doctor Answers 8

Tummy Tuck Scar Too High

Thank you for your question and photos.  Lowering your tummy tuck scar, while challenging, can usually be accomplished after a prolonged healing process.  The goal is to allow adequate time for your skin to stretch (often one year after your initial surgery) so that lowering the scar to a reasonable position can be done.  

As your healing progresses, you may find that your scar will lower itself once the upward stretching becomes less (imagine the skin above the scar trying to pull upwards) with time.  This relaxation of the skin will allow the skin below the scar to pull down slightly thereby lowering your scar.  

Patience is the most important (and most difficult) consideration going forward.  I wish you all the best with the healing process.

Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Anchoring sutures

Thank you for your post. It is not common for surgeons to anchor the lower incision to the fascia or covering of the abdominal muscles to keep the scar low, however, I do use this technique and agree with it. All the tension on the incision is from above, not below, and thus the scar tends to move toward the area of maximal tension (towards the ribs/bellybutton). This moves the scar higher than desired. I like to keep my scars very low, and feel that anchoring the scar helps accomplish this. The following photo is an example of this.

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Tummy Tuck scar too high, will a revision to lower it be possible?

This is what can happen when a surgeon knows that there is not enough skin laxity above the belly button skin to be able to advance and remove the old belly button "hole", and, in order to avoid a short vertical scar in the lower tummy from closing the hole, instead raises the level of the entire scar. As a result, the scar is too high, the tummy looks "short", and the pubic hair is raised high so it is abnormally close to the belly button.  Unfortunately, even though the post-tummy tuck tummy skin relaxes over time, it may take at least a year or more...and often it never relaxes enough to lower the scar more than an inch or so, and certainly not as far down as it should be.  Another faster approach would be to place one or more tissue expanders under the skin between the belly button and the scar and stretch this skin over several weeks, just as a pregnancy would. Then, after removing the expanders, there would be enough loose skin to lower the scar more significantly.  Of course, this would require two more surgeries, the cost of expanders, etc.

Robert M. Grenley, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

Lowering of tummy tuck scar.


Your scar, which appears high in the photos, can be revised after the tummy tuck has healed and all of the surgical scarring has softened. 

You should discuss the benefits of a later scar revision with your plastic surgeon. I would suggest a wait of a minimum of 9 months to a year.  During this time frame, the abdominal tissues will stretch and a revision will be more effective....

Best Regards,

Douglas J. Raskin, MD
Colorado Springs Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Too high a TT scar

TT scars should be as low as possible and as short as possible.   Yes it is possible, but tricky, to lower TT scars somewhat.  You are very early  in recovery and often the scars will seem to lower a bit on their own.  Be patoent and take good care of yourself.  You may be just fine.  My best, DR C

George Commons, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Difficult to Lower a TT Scar

The distance from the vulvar commissure to the scar can be decreased by several centimeters, but the distance from the umbilicus (belly button) to the scar can not be reasonably increased.

In order to achieve this, a full year at least needs to elapse between surgeries. This will allow your skin to stretch. I do not think that your ideal will be possible, but there is a way to improve the location of the scar. While it is high, it is not "freakish" as you describe. You will need to be creative with underwear and bathing suits, but the pattern of scar that you have is very common following breast reconstruction with abdominal tissue.

Adam J. Oppenheimer, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 200 reviews

Tummy Tuck scar too high, will a revision to lower it be possible for me in the future?

 I am sorry to hear about your concerns after tummy tuck surgery. Unfortunately, only time will tell whether there will be enough tissue laxity above and below the scar line to allow for revisionary surgery to lower the scar significantly. This time frame may be somewhere between 1 to 2 years. 

Sometimes, especially for patients with a relatively short torso and/or minimal redundant abdominal wall skin, a short vertical scar is necessary ( in addition to the usual transverse tummy tuck scar). This vertical scar results from closure of the previous umbilical opening and prevents excessive tension upon closer in the midline of the tummy tuck incision line. If this vertical incision is not used, patients may end up with high scars, wound healing problems and/or wider scars.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

High Incision is Tough to Lower

Thank you for your pictures.  It appears that the design and location of the final incision was executed incorrectly.  Lowering your incision would require you to have excess skin which you do not have.  This skin can be gain by a two stage procedure. First placement of tissue expanders beneath the skin above the scar.  Stretching the skin over several months. The next procedure would be to remove the expanders and re do the tummy tick with a the final closure at a lower level.

Dr. ES

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