Tummy Tuck Scar Placement, Can if be Lowered? (photo)

I am 10 weeks (to the day) post op. My recovery has been difficult as I had internal bleeding and was admitted to the hospital 6 days post op with an hgb of 6.6, where I required a 2 unit blood trans and a second surgery. Overall, I'm comfortable with the tightness of my abdomen, but not my scar placement. So, my 2 questions are: can I expect my scar to fade enough that I can be comfortable in a bikini? and Can my scar be lowered? I do not know why my surgeon placed the incision where he did.

Doctor Answers 5

Too high a scar from a tummy tuck

Was your surgery performed by a board certified plastic surgeon or someone else? I would like to know - and you can email me this info.

Regarding your scar, it indeed is way too high. Though it should fade with time, it will be permanent and still apparent. 

I would give this around a year for full maturation. It may or may not be able to be lowered slightly but unlikely to be enough to hide in the bikini line. You may want to consider another surgeon for this - and a reputable board certified plastic surgeon.

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 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 Revision?

Thank you for the question.

Yes your scar will fade with time and yes I think your scar is too high. I would suggest waiting at least one year before considering revisionary surgery to lower the scar. How much this scar can be lowered will depend upon tissue laxity above and below the incision line.

Best wishes.

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

Lowering a tummy tuck scar

I am sorry for your complicated recovery and disappointment.You will need to wait at least 6 months to a year for the scar to fade, and I would wait that long to do a revision with massages to help loosen the skin in preparation for the revision. I have revised several patients with this appearance, and it is actually harder to do than an un-operated tummy, so it is more costly. The scar can be lowered some but it means a complete redo of the skin portion of the procedure, and you will end up with a scar from the belly button site. Plus the scar will be longer. Your belly button could be made smaller during the revisional surgery, too. I would seek an opinion about the revisional procedure from a board certified plastic surgeon who can show you examples of his work, and what you might be able to expect this time around.

Victor Au, MD (retired)
Chapel Hill Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Tummy tuck scar should be low

While I do not like to comment on the results of surgery by others, I do feel that your scar is quite high and so I understand your desire to have it placed lower. It should fade with time but surgically lowering it is very difficult after the original abdominoplasty unless the skin of the lower abdomen can be expanded.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 53 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.