Does a Tummy Tuck Leave a Scar?

As plastic surgeons, this is a common question we are asked by patients considering an abdominoplasty, or ‘tummy tuck’ procedure.

The short answer is yes, a scar is required to remove the extra skin that can be present after childbirth or weight loss, but you get to choose where the scar goes. Most patients choose to have the scar placed low on the abdomen, just above the pubic hair, where it can be easily hidden by underwear or a bikini bottom.

Your anatomy plays a significant role in choosing what kind of tummy tuck is right for you. If there is lots of extra skin, then you can choose to have the scar as high or low as you want. This is because after all the skin is removed, a new area is made for the belly button to be placed. An example of this is shown below:

Virginia Tummy Tuck

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All of the skin below the patient’s belly button was removed during the procedure, along with performing liposuction and tightening the abdominal muscles. The patient’s belly button was placed at the exact same level as pre-op.

If there isn’t as much skin, then all of the skin below the old belly button opening can’t be removed, so there is a slight vertical scar just above the pubic line. An example of this small scar is shown here:

Maryland Liposuction

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Some patients have the skin return to normal and they are mainly interested in having their muscles tightened to achieve the flat pre-pregnancy abdomen. An example of this is shown here:

Body Contouring

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Regardless of which kind of tummy tuck is right for you, the goals are to have a thin, flat scar that is easily hidden with even minimal clothing. The scar will be pink during the first few weeks to months, but the typical course is that the scar slowly fades to match the surrounding skin. There will always be a visible line, but patients find the fine-line scar is worth getting rid of the extra skin and having a flat and thin abdomen. If the scar does get raised or pigmented, sometimes a scar revision is performed under local, or sometimes the scar can be treated with lasers or special creams to allow it to flatten and fade.

The best candidates for tummy tuck are done having children and have maintained a stable weight for at least several months. To find out what kind of tummy tuck is best for you, come see the board-certified plastic surgeons at Austin-Weston for a free consultation.

Christopher D. Knotts, MD
Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery

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