Unveiling Tummy Tuck Scars: What to Expect and Where

A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a transformative surgery that creates stunning and incredible dimensions for many patients. However, there are many concerns regarding the scarring from an abdominoplasty. This is understandable, as any potential surgery can feel frightening, especially regarding scarring. Patients need to be aware of scarring location and prominence. This can help ease concerns and allow you to make an informed decision.

Along the Lower Abdomen: The Main Incision

Excess skin is removed from the middle and lower abdomen during a full tummy tuck and includes an incision across the lower waist from hip to hip. This incision creates the space visibility for your cosmetic surgeon to eliminate skin and fat from the lower abdomen and the region slightly above the belly button.

A tummy tuck creates a flatter, toned abdominal region and can remove stretch marks in the skin.  However, the scar from an abdominoplasty is inevitable as this incision is necessary to create a flatter, toned stomach. The length and visibility of the scar depend on the type of tummy tuck performed and the amount of excess skin removed during the procedure. However, most tummy tuck scars are discreetly placed low on the pelvic region and can be hidden underneath clothes and swimsuits.

Around the Belly Button: Secondary Incision

 A full tummy tuck Bellevue can include the incision from hip bone to hip bone as well as a minor incision above the navel. This secondary incision allows the surgeon to restructure the belly button, remove overhanging skin, and eliminate stretch marks that reach higher up on the abdominal region. It also allows the leftover skin to be reshaped and placed in a better location.

The belly button incision is necessary to reshape and reposition the navel and create an aesthetically pleasing core. The scar around the navel is minimal and typically fades over time but does not entirely disappear. Sometimes, the reshaped belly button can change structure with time but never return to its original appearance.    

Less Scarring with Mini-Tummy Tuck: A Variation

A mini tummy tuck is a less invasive procedure that creates a smaller scar for those needing minimal skin removal. A mini tummy tuck Bellevue is another type of abdominoplasty that creates a flatter and tighter lower waist. It only removes the appearance of a pooch or overhanging skin in the low abdomen.

The scar from a mini tummy tuck is smaller and runs along the low pubic line, reaching the hips. It does not include a secondary scar above the belly button and requires less downtime during recovery.  However, it does not remove as much skin as a full tummy tuck and only focuses on the lower portion of the stomach. Most patients prefer a full tummy tuck for extensive results.

Individual Variations and Considerations

Every patient is unique and responds differently to a cosmetic procedure. The visibility and prominence of a tummy tuck scar depends on the individual patient, their genetics, and how well they care for their scar. Keeping up with topical scar treatments, eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding direct contact with the sun can help minimize the appearance of your scar.

Being open and honest with your board-certified cosmetic surgeon about your concerns and potential scarring is essential. During a consultation, your provider can help you make an informed decision and guide you to the right surgery for your needs and overall goals.

Choosing the Right Procedure: Factors to Consider

Potential scarring is not the only factor to consider when deciding if a tummy tuck Bellevue is right for you. When deciding which type of tummy tuck is best for you, consider the amount of skin you need removed. While a mini tummy tuck may have more minimal scarring, it also removes a minimal amount of skin from the lower abdomen.

Both surgeries have incredible benefits depending on your aesthetic goals and concerns. A full tummy tuck provides dramatic results that can reshape the lower abdomen and belly button. However, a mini tummy tuck can help create a beautiful, flat shape for the lower abdomen and has less scarring and downtime.


 A full tummy tuck leaves a thin scar from hip to hip and one above the navel. A mini tummy tuck only has one smaller incision that does not reach the hips. However, the scars from a tummy tuck can be well hidden and are not as prominent as you may believe. Open communication with your board-certified plastic surgeon is the best way to determine which procedure is best for you. With time, adequate care, and an experienced provider, scarring from a tummy tuck is nothing to worry about. A tummy tuck Bellevue is a transformative surgery that can increase your shape and confidence.     

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