Vertical Scar from Old Belly Button?

My PS said I could possibly have a vertical scar from the old belly button in addition to the normal TT scar. Does anyone have any info on this matter?

Doctor Answers 13

Small vertical scar is sometimes necessary

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On occasion, a low, vertical scar is necessary.  This is the result of closing the "old" belly button.  Dont worry, this scar is usually very low, and heals nicely.

Greenville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 138 reviews

Not able to completely remove old belly button hole

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It seems that you have a surgeon who is doing a good job of educating you. That scar is necessary at times and usually heals very well.  It is preferable to having the whole tummy tuck scar too high.

Byron D. Poindexter, MD
Reston Plastic Surgeon

Some people need a vertical scar

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When I perform a tummy tuck most of the time there is adequate laxity to remove the skin from the pubis to the belly button.  On some occasions there is not enough laxity and the skin where the old belly button will be needed to close the incision.   This is what leads to small vertical scar.  Good luck with surgery.

Vertical Scar from Old Belly Button?

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You most likely need a full tummy tuck with rectus repair but are deficient of skin from the umbilicus to the position of the incision's horizontal location. There are 2 methods to solve this, either a higher horizontal placed incision (looks bad) or the small verticle scar. Your choice. From MIAMI DR. Darryl j. Blinski

The vertical belly button scar after tummy tuck

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Most often with a tummy tuck there is adequate laxity to remove the skin from a low line above the pubis, up to the level of the existing belly button. The belly button is then brought through a new opening and the 'old' opening is removed with the excess skin. For some though, the skin will not be lax enough to allow the skin to advance all the way down to the level needed, to keep the scar low and concealed by clothing. In this case, the old opening is closed neatly as a small vertical scar.

Troubles result when the skin is pulled too tightly in order to get the opening down to meet the lower incision, and the closure which results can cause the pubic skin and incision line to rise up. We feel the small vertical scar much more acceptable than a transverse scar which is high and hard to conceal.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

WHY can I have a Vertical Scar with a Tummy Tuck?

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Regarding: "Vertical Scar from Old Belly Button?
My PS said I could possibly have a vertical scar from the old belly button in addition to the normal TT scar. Does anyone have any info on this matter

A Full Tummy Tuck allows for maximal flattening of the tummy by tightening the muscles all the way to the ribs AND by removing all excess skin. To do so, the belly button has to be temporarily dis-inserted from the skin, leaving a round opening where it USED to be. As the skin is pulled lower, the opening moves lower. When there is ample loose skin, the skin and the opening move lower than the standard transverse edge of the incision and are removed. In cases where there is not enough loose skin, the opening is stitched shut and is pulled close to the lower scar but never makes it past it resulting in a vertical scar anywhere from its former location to touching the transverse scar as a flipped over "T".

You can read more about this on my website.

Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Vertical scar with tummy tuck is sometimes necessary

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The traditional way to do a tummy tuck involves removing a football-shaped area of skin from the belly button to the pubic area; the belly button is left in place and the skin going up to the bottom of the ribs is freed up and pulled down so the edges can be sewn together in a low horizontal line just above the pubic area. (In doing so, the flap is pulled over the belly button so an opening has to be made to bring it out.) In some cases, there isn't enough skin in the area above the belly button to pull it all the way down, so less skin is removed. When this is done, instead of removing skin up to the belly button level, there would be a hole on the flap where it was and this would be closed as a vertical line. The only other option would be to make the horizontal closure higher and this is not satisafactory. Once the vertical scar fades it would be inconspicuous.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Small Vertical Scar from Old Belly Button with Tummy Tuck

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For the vast majority of tummy tucks, a horizontal scar along the lower abdomen and a circular scar around the "new" belly button are sufficient. Once in a while, however, there is insufficient laxity or elasticity on the upper abdominal skin, to allow for the "old" belly button site to be completely removed. In these cases, a small vertical scar may remain below the belly button. Usually this is just above the horizontal scar.

Sometimes the extra scar can be avoided by "floating" the belly button. Your plastic surgeon may have brought up the vertical scar only for completeness, but if they are concerned that this is likely in your case, ask if you would be a candidate for the "floating" option, because it can not only eliminate the small vertical scar, but also the scar around the belly button. For this to work, the skin above the belly button must be smooth and elastic, and it helps if you have a belly button which is naturally higher on the abdomen.

Joseph Mele, MD
Walnut Creek Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Vertical scars in tummy tucks

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It is generaly undesirable to have vertical scars on the abdomen but sometimes they are necessary either if you have too much skin (weight loss) or if you don't have much extra skin and are trying to keep the horizontal scar as low as possible.

Vertical Scar in Tummy Tuck

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Occasionally i do see patients who have insufficient excess skin  and are otherwise good candidates for TT that there is a need for a small vertical scar where the umbilicus has been circumscribed.  This is very rare, however, and I almost always am able to avoid this scar at this point.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

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.