Tummy Tuck Scar Made Too High?

Is my Tummy Tuck scar placed too high if it's 3 inches below new belly button, and 1 inch higher than top of pubic line? Are most tummy tuck scars suppose to be straight, or is it more common to have some sort of curve in the line? Mine is shaped and goes up and down like a small upside down V in the center.

Doctor Answers 15

Anchoring sutures

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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.

Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Skin will eventually relax few months after Tummy Tuck

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The maximum amount of skin taken is between the top of the belly button and the midline of the pubis. Some surgeons make the inverted "V" at the pubis just in case the skin from above the belly button doesn't reach all the way to the pubis.

Final scar placement has a lot to do with the balance of tension between the skin above the belly button and the skin at the pubis. The good news is that after a few months the skin will relax, and if you still are unhappy with scar placement, the scar can be revised and brought down some more.

It is not unusual in the immediate postoperative period to go through a period of self doubt, and question if you made the right decision. A lot of patients go though the same emotions you are going through, but the important thing to remember is that all your concerns can be addressed in due course of time.

Ricardo L. Rodriguez, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 98 reviews

Tummy Tuck Scar Made Too High?

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 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.

High scar after a tummy tuck

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the shape of the incision can vary from surgeon to surgeon and patient to patient. It would seem to me that an attempt was made  to leave you only with a  lower horizontal scar and the scar within the belly button. In those cases, the lower incision can appear high. If the lower incision had been placed lower down on your abdomen, you might have had to live with an additional vertical scar between your belly button and lower scar, that would be from the old belly button hole being moved downward. In time, the skin will loosen and the scars might be able to be shifted into a better position for your scar

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Tummy tuck scars in Los Angeles

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most tummy tuck scars in southern california including los angeles are placed very low, just about where a c-section scar would be. I usually ask my patients to decide where they want their scars to be.

Sean Younai, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Tummy tuck

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The shape of a tummy tuck scar can vary. There are v shapes, curves or even something like a W. This all depends on the body and design of the surgery. A high scar may be able to be lowered after  the recovery is complete.

David L. Abramson, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon

Hard to tell without pictures

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 It is hard to tell without pre and post operative pictures of you.  Everyone's anatomy is slightly different, which affects where the incision is placed.  However, generally, the incision has a slight curve just under where your underwear band would be.  

Tummy Tuck scar may not be too high

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This is a hard one to answer without examining you. As already mentioned, there are many ways to do a tummy tuck. Each surgeon has a personal preference. In addition, there are many aspects that need to be considered regarding each individual patient. In most tummy tucks, the scar is a gentle curve starting higher on the sides and lower in the middle. We try to do our best to hide the scars within underwear.

If you did not have too much skin to resect, and you wanted to keep the scar as low as possible, then you might have ended up with a small vertical scar where the old belly-button was located. This is a really a conversation that hopefully you have already had before your surgery. Some patients are ok having that small vertical scar as well. Others would rather the whole tummy tuck scar be higher to avoid that. It sounds as though your surgeon made the scar a little higher for that reason. It is hard to say for sure without knowing the conversation between the two of you preoperatively.

If there is still some looseness, then the scar can be revised, but wait at least 6 months (or even a year) before planning a revision. Bottom line: talk to your surgeon about the location of your scar and see what he/she has to say. Good luck.

Sirish Maddali, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon

There are many different types of abdominioplasty incisions.

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There are an infinite number of variations to tummy tuck scars with all sorts of names like V-M, U-M. high lateral tension, etc.

It sounds as if you have a modified w type scar. This is peformed when the umbilical incision cannot be completely transposed to the pubic hairline. In this instance the pubic hairline is brought up to the hole. This creates the upside down V you describe as well as the short distance between the scar and the new belly button.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

The scars will vary

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Every plastic suregeon has their own way of doing the incision for a tummy tuck. It sounds like the type of incision that you have was doen to remove the hole that is in the skin from the belly button.

There are many ways to do this and some surgeons will tell the patient that the belly button hole amy not come out with the piece of skin that is removed and may result in a small up and down scar in the lower belly.

These are things that are discussed during the consultationa and may come up during the observation of before and after pictures.

If you are unhappy with the scar placement talk to your surgeon and ask if something can be done for it.

John P. Stratis, MD
Harrisburg Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 37 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.