As a plastic surgeon, I understand that one of the biggest concerns potential tummy tuck patients have is the scar. The thought of having a large scar running horizontally across the lower belly gives many people pause. However, with good surgical technique and planning, tummy tuck scars are often barely noticeable once healed. Here’s an overview of what you can expect when it comes to different types of tummy tuck scars:
The Scar Comparison
- Mini Tummy Tuck Scars: A mini tummy tuck focuses on the lower abdomen below the belly button. This scar runs horizontally between your hip bones, usually about 5-6 inches long. It sits very, very low, usually an inch lower than a C-section scar. This scar is easily hidden in any type of underwear or bathing suit. This is an example of a mini tummy tuck:
- Full Tummy Tuck Scars: A full tummy tuck removes loose skin and unwanted fat from both the upper and lower abdomen. This scar is placed as low as a mini tummy tuck scar but it is longer, running at least from hip to hip. For comparison, it is usually a few inches longer than a mini tummy tuck scar and it is easily hidden by underwear or a swimsuit.
- Extended Tummy Tuck Scars: An extended tummy tuck includes everything you get with a full tummy tuck but also includes the removal of loose skin around your love handles. This scar definitely extends farther back over your lower waist when compared to a full tummy tuck scar and the length depends on how much loose skin you have. Fortunately, the scar remains low, like the other types of scars so it should be covered with most types of underwear or swimsuit.
- Belly Button Scars: In a full or extended tummy tuck, an incision is also made around the belly button. This scar is extremely minimal, barely visible even on close inspection. We take care to bury this scar circumferentially so your end result is a naturally contoured belly button with no visible scar.
The Healing Phase
The scars from any tummy tuck procedure heal quickly. They start fading at 3-6 months and after one year become difficult to see. Low-cut clothing easily conceals any type of tummy tuck scar during every phase of the healing process.
The Scar Tradeoff
In my experience, our patients find that tummy tuck scars a non-issue. The transformation in their body contour and the boost in their self-confidence outweighs their presence. In some ways, these scars represent a reasonable trade-off for the dramatic, slimming, and contouring effects of a tummy tuck. And if these scars ever do become an issue or a concern, we offer every type of treatment to minimize their appearance. Laser and RF treatments, injectables, and deep needling can all help scars blend in and seemingly “disappear” over time.
When placed low and treated properly during the healing phase, tummy tuck scars are barely visible, no matter what type of tummy tuck you have. If you have questions about the different locations of tummy tuck scars, schedule a consultation with us and we can show you all the examples we offer.