How Big is the Tummy Tuck Scar?

Where does the scar appear after surgery?

Doctor Answers 48

Scarring after a tummy tuck

Of course the length of the scar is important. The position is also important as you do not a tummy tuck with a scar that his high. What is most important is finding a plastic surgeon who will not leave you with a scar around your belly button. Ideally, scars will faced to a fine white line over time. look at many, many photos to see the kind of work your plastic surgeon can do.

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 120 reviews

Size of scars are less with mini tummy tuck than full abdominoplasty

The size and location of tummy tuck


depends on the type of surgery and the skill of your board certified

plastic surgeon


Typically both procedures have a horizontal incision on the lower abdomen whoich cna be placed low at the level of the pubic hair.

The mini tummy tuck scar can often be designed to be hidden beneath a bikini line.

Full abdominoplasty requires a scar around the belly button and the lower scar is often extended out to the sides to the hip area, but the lower scar can also be designed to be hidden within the underwear line.

Good careful surgical technique is essential for a good scar.

Tummy Tuck Scars

Tummy Tuck scars are planned to be below the panty or bikini line, just above the pubic hair line.

The length depends upon how much skin laxity exists: the more skin and fat to be removed, the longer the incision will need to be.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Abdominoplasty scars depend on the amount of skin being resected

Most patients are understandably concerned about the incision and resultant scar required for abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). The answer is that it depends on the amount of skin being resected. If you are very thin and just have a moderate amount of loose skin around your belly button and below, then your scar will likely be very small - usually in your natural skin crease extending from one hip bone to the other. However, if you are larger and have skin rolls that extend around to your sides, then the incision will naturally have to be longer. Basically, as far as the skin roll goes is as far as the incision needs to be. Some surgeons try to make the incision shorter to make their patients happy. The only problem is that this gives you an abnormal appearance with "dog ears" or skin rolls extending past each end of the incision. For small "dog ears," liposuction can be combined with abdominoplasty to try and decrease the length of the incision. I do find, however, that after surgery, patients could not care less about the incision. They are so happy with their new body and new shape. Additionally, after 6 months to a year, the incisions are barely noticeable. So, please do not demand a shorter incision, since this will likely lead to an inferior result.

I hope this is helpful.

David Shafer, MD
Shafer Plastic Surgery
New York City

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Scar Depends on Type of Tummy Tuck

This depends on the type of tummy tuck you are getting. Generally speaking, a full tummy tuck will give you an extended horizontal scar, as well as a small scar around the navel.  A mini tummy tuck will give you a horizontal scar as well. A floating abdominoplasty will give you a scar that is slightly longer than that of a C-section. However, these are not definite and it really depends on the extent of correction you require.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 179 reviews

There are 6 things to know about length of the scar when having a tummy tuck.

There are 6 things to know about length of the scar when having a tummy tuck.
1. Mini tummy tuck scars are generally shorter than full a full tummy tuck.
2. A longer scar does not necessarily mean a better result
3. The placement on the body of the incision is more important in terms of hiding it than the length of the scar, so bring your swim suit in to your surgeon when planning the surgery.
4. In general, the incision could be as short as 8" and long as 20"
5. Make sure your plastic surgeon has a large book of before and after photos and patients who can speak with you about their experiences.
6. A perfectly designed and executed belly button is more important to your result than the incision that is hidden in your bikini. So make sure your surgeon makes a perfect new cute belly button for you!
I hope this answer is informativeā€¦.good luck!

Douglas S. Steinbrech, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Tummy tuck scar

Scar are usually located in a bikini line so it can be hidden. The traditional length is from hip to hip but most surgeons will keep them shrter depending upon the amount of tissue to resect.  

Raj S. Ambay, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Tummy tuck scar

The length of the scar is directly depended on how far the skin hangs over your waist line when you sit or bend forward.  If it extends laterally toward your hip bones the incision will have to extend that far to address the lax skin. If not,you will have extra skin  after surgery, referred to as to as "dog ears"

William Loutfy, MD
Albuquerque Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Tummy Tuck Scar Size Varies

Questions about the size of the scar are common as you can imagine. The answer varies depending on the extent of the tummy tuck. here are a list of the various tummy tuck procedures and who they are best suited for: 

There are variations of the standard operation, including “mini-tucks”, which may be of benefit to patients who require only tightening of the abdominal muscles or removal of a small amount of skin with a scar at the pubic hairline. On the other extreme, patients with massive weight loss may require a more extensive operation and therefore more resultant scarring.

Usually, under general anesthesia, an incision is made across the lower part of the abdomen at the level of the pubic hair line.  A circular incision is made around the belly button which stays attached to the muscle. The skin with underlying fat is then separated from the muscle up toward the ribs, so that it can be pulled down like a window shade. The tummy is then “tightened”, (narrowing and flattening the abdomen) by stitching the muscles together.  Additional procedures that may enhance the result are Liposuction, Liposculpture, Breast Procedures, or Thigh Lift.

‘Mini” tummy tucks can benefit patients who have a small amount of excess skin and fat or protruding of the lower abdomen. This operation may be done under local anesthesia with sedation, on an outpatient basis. Liposuction may be used alone or in conjunction with a tummy tuck to benefit selected patients.

Mini-abdominoplasty tightens the lower abdominal wall and skin below the umbilicus, belly button, only (shortest scar).

Modified abdominoplasty addresses conditions where just the muscle wall or just the abdominal skin requires repair.

Standard abdominoplasty tightens all of the abdominal wall skin and muscles above and below the belly button. The scar can be altered or lowered to be hidden by most panty lines and bathing suits.  (Standard scar).

Extended abdominoplasty tightens the abdomen and the flanks or sides (longest scar extending around the flanks onto lower back.)

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Abdominoplasty Scarring

I don't want to frighten you, but most lifts leave you with scars. It, in part, depends on how much sagging skin you have. There are many things surgeons do to improve a scar's appearance. Today, we suture almost every incision under the skin, leaving no stitch marks or "railroad tracks." Working with the patient, a surgeon can also best determine the positioning of most scars.

Before surgery, find out what kind of sutures your doctor favors: Some use traditional sutures, some staples, some dissolving sutures (my preference); some sew under the skin, others over. Each technique and suture material results in a different looking scar.

Over time the scar will flatten out. But I also strongly recommend "working" scars with topical ointments such a steroid creams, silicone gels, and pigment blockers, which soften and improve the coloration of the area. The willingness to follow this regimen has, in my patients, brought about quick, positive results in keeping scars smooth, inconspicuous, and relatively pliable.


Michelle Copeland, MD, DMD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 10 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.