Will I Need a Vertical Scar? (photo)

please take a look at my before pictures and tell me if you think i would need a vertical scar. im not really comfy with this it looks horrible

Doctor Answers 12

Vertical Scar with Tummy Tuck

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   I do not think you will need a vertical scar of any sort as your belly button is low enough, and you do not have enough horizontal laxity.  Find the plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of tummy tucks each year.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Vertical scar for abdominoplasty

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I believe that several of the other physicians have made a mistake in their advice. When you mentioned vertical scar they may have thought that you meant a scar all the way up you abdomen. (fleur-de lis). However this type of procedure is used usually only for patients with a huge excess of skin. In your case that is not the problem. In fact your upper abdomen is thick and appears to have very good skin tone. This may require you to have a small vertical scar from your pubis halfway to your belly button. A typical abdominoplasty works by removing all of the skin below the belly button and then stretching the upper abdomen skin down to the inferior scar. Your skin may not be quite stretchy enough. The solution to this problem is to either raise the lower scar or put a small vertical line in the scar (the end result is not a bad scar). The only way to tell for sure is to see you in person and do the operation. You definitely require abdomen, flank and side liposuction as an adjunct to the procedure. I hope this helps.

Daniel Medalie, MD

Fleur-de-lis Tummy Tuck

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Good news, thank God you don't need the vertical scar.   The fleur-de-lis is usually reserved for patients that have had massive weight loss that has left them with so much upper abdomen (above the belly button) skin that a traditional low transverse abdominoplasty will not get rid of all the excess.  Of course the procedure leaves you with a long obvious scar that is less than desirable.  In summary, all you need is a traditional abdominoplasty combined with judicious and selective liposuction. 

No, a vertical scar tummy tuck is not needed!

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Based on your photos (a personal examination is always better), it does not appear as if a vertical scar will add much except unneeded scarring, time, and cost to your cosmetic abdominoplasty. Vertical-scar abdominoplasties (fleur-de-lis) typically are needed in cases of massive weight loss, such as after gastric bypass, where the vertical AND horizontal skin excess is truly incapable of being corrected by "standard" tummy tuck. In many of those cases, rather than fleur-de-lis abdominoplasty, a circumferential beltlift (lower body lift) is often the preferred and recommended operation.

I also agree with Dr. Ball that if further weight loss is possible before you have your elective surgery, your result could be significantly enhanced, as losing intra-abdominal fat will put less pressure on your muscle and skin closures, and will allow a flatter tummy and improved result! If your present weight is "as good as it gets," then by all means find the best-qualified and experienced ABPS-certified plastic surgeon in your area, and have a great result! For examples of fleur-de-lis abdominoplasty and lower body lifts, click on the web reference link below. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Vertical scar in tt

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Hi princesserika

You absolutely definitely do not need a vertical component to a tt incision in your case.  Vertical incisions are only rarely needed, and you will achieve a lovely result with the usual low transverse incision.


All the very best.

Vertical Scar for abdominoplasty

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  No, you do not need a vertical scar.  With a regular abdominoplasty and liposuction (yes, you need liposuction) of the waist/hips/love handles/back area and any other areas needing improvement), then you will have a nice result.

  The Fleur-de-leis tummy tuck is used in special cases and you are not one of them in my book.  Patients with a great deal of weight loss can benefit from the vertical/horizontal approach but you are not in this situation.

  If someone says you "HAVE" to have a vertical component, then go to another board certified plastic surgeon to get an opinion.

      Steven M. Lynch, M.D.   Albany, New York

Will I Need a Vertical Scar?

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A vertical tummy tuck may give you a somewhat better shape in terms of waistline, but I don't think that benefit is enough to encourage me to suggest that extra incision that will likely result in your never wanting to wear a two piece swimsuit. 

All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Vertical scar with tummy tuck?

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I would not promise that a good quallity abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) could be done with no mid-line scar.  Pulling the skin overly tight to eliminate the verticle scar can produce an unattractive look.  Ultimately that decision would have to be make in the operating room.  From the photos it appears that a much better result could be achieved if you could reduce your weight to ideal (or near ideal) prior to surgery.  There would be more laxity of skin and the odds of avoiding the scar you are trying to avoid would improve.

Mark D. Ball, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck with vertical scar

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The two times that a vertical scar would be used during an abdominoplasty would be in the case of massive weight loss or inability to bring the bellybutton incision down to the horizontal incision. The second scenario is a very small vertical scar, whereas the first is quite long.  Looking at your photos, I don't think you would need either. Your plastic surgeon may have mentioned the vertical scar in reference to the possibility of not bringing the belly button all the way done. 

Asaad H. Samra, MD
New Jersey Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Tummy Tuck Scar

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Based on your photos, I do not think you will need a vertical scar.  Consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon for an exam, and to discuss any concerns and expectations.  Best of luck!

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 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.