Patients who have a tummy tuck are happy with the flat and firm abdomen and the removal of the excess skin. However they are apprehensive about the scar. The scar following your the surgery (also known as abdominoplasty) will depend on a number of factors. The main factor is whether you have a full tummy tuck or a mini tummy tuck. In this blog I’ll discuss the two different types of procedures and where you can expect the incision sites to be placed.
The exact placement of the incision and hence the abdominal scar differs in every patient and is mostly influenced by individual anatomical characteristics such as:
- Abdominal girth
- The position of the umbilicus
- The presence of stretch marks
- The truncal height
- Size of the pelvis
In most cases your plastic surgeon will place the incision in a spot where the scar can be easily covered when wearing clothes. It is possible for the patient to still wear either low cut jeans, a swimsuit or bikini bottoms without the scar being visible. Some plastic surgeons ask you to bring a swim suit to the consultation so they can easily see where they need to position their incisions.
How big can the scar be?
- With a full tummy tuck a bikini line incision is made, which usually runs from hipbone to hipbone.
- With a mini tummy tuck the incision is usually significantly smaller and only a little larger than the average caesarean section incision scar.
In a full procedure, there will also be some scarring around the belly button as it is moved and reshaped during the surgery. As the tension of the skin is also affected by the surgery, there will also commonly be some upwards shifting of the initial scar. If a caesarean scar is present, the incision will include the caesarean section scar.
One incision that can leave a significant amount of scarring is the T-incision. This type of procedure can remove inferior and central fat and skin for a better contoured abdominal shape, but the incision runs from hipbone to hipbone and from the pubic bone to where the ribs meet. It’s best to discuss with your plastic surgeon what type of surgery will suit your needs.
Another factor that can influence the extent of the scar is whether the patient experiences keloid or hypertrophic scars. In these cases, scarring can be minimised through the use of silicone therapy and the use of steroid injections early if the scars become hypertrophic or keloid.
Most plastic surgeons are able to perform the surgery and create a low lying, well placed scar that can be hidden by most garments. Be sure to discuss, prior to surgery, what type of scarring you can expect. Scars are inevitable in any surgery. With some careful preoperative planning, a skilled surgeon and a well closed incision, you’ll be able to focus on your flatter, firmer abdomen rather than your scar.
Do you have any questions related to tummy tucks, and live in Sydney? If so I invite you to attend one of my free Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery information evenings. They usually run once every two months in either my Bondi Junction or Bella Vista practices. This is perfect for people who are not yet ready to commit to a one on one consultation but have some questions they’d like answered by a certified plastic surgeon. Come along and ask me questions directly in a friendly, small group setting. Click on the button below to learn more and register for your seat.