Can you still have a tummy tuck when you have old previous surgery scars? (Photo)

30 years ago I had my Gaul bladder out which has left me with a very fine hairline scar of about 10 inches. In fairness you can hardly see it. I also had some of my intestines removed . This has also left me with a scar of about 8" from my tummy button straight up. Will I still be able to have a tummy tuck and will I still get reasonable results. After 2 natural births and losing a lot of weight it has left me with an apron of wrinkly loose skin. Any improvement would be better than this.

Doctor Answers 3

Can you still have a tummy tuck when you have old previous surgery scars?

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Thank you for the question and pictures. Based on your photographs, I think that you are good candidate and should have a nice outcome with tummy tuck surgery assuming you have realistic expectations.  The fact that the cholecystectomy was done 30 years ago suggests that much of the blood supply in the area of the scar will likely have reconstituted by now.

The scar present along the right upper abdominal wall will likely remain ( of course much lower after the tummy tuck operation).  The presence of the scar will necessitate extremely careful planning/execution of the operation to avoid blood flow compromise and resulting wound healing problems.  A limited undermining technique will help preserve blood flow in the area of concern (right lower abdominal wall.) 

I would suggest that you consult with board certified plastic surgeons in person; ask to see lots of examples of  similar patients they have taken care of.   Again, with a well-planned/executed procedure I think you can expect a very nice outcome. Best wishes.

Tummy tuck with old scars

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Your scars are quite mature. A tummy tuck can be done with reasonable results. A modification would be required whereupon a combination of liposuction in the upper belly is performed to keep the skin in the area of scar healthy. The lower belly skin would be removed. 

Select a plastic surgeon familiar with these concepts. Good luck. 

Gary Vela, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon


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Given your abdominal scars, you may do better with a midline abdominoplasty often called a "Fleur-de-lis" abdominoplasty.  The scars especially on the right side of your abdomen probably are decreasing the bloodflow and may make wound healing on that side difficult in a traditional abdominoplasty.  

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.