Would a Tummy Tuck or Scar Revision Surgery Be the Best Option to Minimize/remove my Abdominal Scar? (photo)

I have a very deep abdominal scar resulting from surgery that I had at one month old. I was born 10 weeks early and suffered from a bowel perforation that required emergency surgery. I had a section of my small intestine removed as well as a colostomy. I've had 2 children and will not be having any more. I have always felt extremely self conscious and hated how it looks and feels. What is the best way to minimize the appearance of the scar?

Doctor Answers 5

What to do to minimize scar

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Thank you for the opportunity to comment. First, it is difficult to be certain without being able to examine the looseness of your skin. That being said I do not think a standard tummy tuck will work and in fact may be a bit dangerous because of the upper smaller scar. It would be nice to replace both scars for just one. I think the scar will ultimately be horizontal, across the upper abdomen. Liposuction will help to flatten your tummy. For the best results I could see needing to do this in two stages. I would avoid complicated procedures such as tissue expanders.

Minimizing a deforming abdominal scar

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In my experience (40 years) this would require at least a 2 staged reconstruction:

1. You have a very severe 'unitized" scar of your mid abdomen. In lay talk that means that the skin,subcutaneous tissues, and fascias and muscles are fused in one unit so they cause a severe indentation at rest or when you tense your abdomen or cough. This needs to be reconstructed with a multilayered revision.

2.After this has healed liposuction of the abdomen and flanks can improve your shape.Some of the fat might even be used as a graft to "polish" or improve the scars if need be.

As others have said it won't be perfect but in the hands of an experienced BOARD CERTIFIED plastic surgeon it can be improved. 


Barry H. Dolich, MD (Retired)
Bronx Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck or scar revision?

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I don't think a tummy tuck will remove the deep scar you have in the mid-abdomen.  Of course, a physical exam would be needed to make this decision.  Another option might be a scar revision of the main and the smaller scars, followed after healing by abdominal liposuction.

Michael Leff, MD (retired)
Bellevue Plastic Surgeon

High abdominal scar cannot be removed with tummy tuck.

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Unfortunately, these scars cannot be removed because you don't have enough loose skin.  But they can be revised so they are smooth and not indented, which should look a lot better.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Scar revision vs abdominoplasty

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While scar revision is an option for you, it does not eliminate the scars. Based on your pictures, it is difficult but possible to remove the larger scar with an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). Of course an examination is needed to confirm this. The smaller scar will then be taught and less indented as a result and if needed revised at a later date. Unfortunately (or fortunately in some cases) your tattoo will likely be removed as part of the skin removal. 

Kevin Tehrani, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 112 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.