Length of The Scar After A Tummy Tuck
Every single patient that comes to the clinic is extremely concerned about the length of the scar after a tummy tuck. As a matter of fact, one of the first things that they ask for when we start a conversation is a mini tummy tuck, rather than a traditional tummy tuck. Usually, the scar of the tummy tuck goes from hip to hip, which is the standard when it comes to tummy tuck scars. The reason is that most people’s skin has been stretched significantly in all quadrants of the abdomen (i.e. upper and lower quadrant on the right and the left side of the abdomen). So if you have excess skin everywhere on your abdomen, there is no way the surgeon can cut the excess skin with just a small incision like in a mini tummy tuck.
The mini tummy tuck is a procedure that results in a much smaller scar than a regular tummy tuck. However, the surgeon cannot do a mini tummy tuck on everybody. This will depend on the your skin. The more excess skin you have, the longer the scar.
For the traditional tummy tuck, you will have a scar from hip to hip. In some patients, we even have to extend it farther than the hip, and sometimes all the way to the lower back in order to close the incision to avoid producing dog ears. If you try to cut corners because you want a shorter scar, the excess skin around the scar will bunch up on the sides, creating what is called a dog-ear. This is a very unsatisfactory and unappealing result of a tummy tuck, which any surgeon wishes to avoid at all costs.
To understand what determines the length of your scar, it requires a bit of math and geometry. If we look at the abdomen from the bellybutton and we draw a line to the sides where the skin needs to be removed, once we connect this to the lower abdomen, the shape that it creates is like a triangle when we put all this together. So when we close, the two lines on the top need to match the line on the bottom part. In other words, the amount of excess skin needs to match the length of the triangle that we are creating.
Your surgeon may boost the size of your bottom from the side with fat grafting; however, he or she may not necessarily be able to reshape your body into an hourglass. Only an experienced, innovative, and skilled plastic surgeon can do this perfectly.
For this reason, whenever you have a tummy tuck, one of the things that needs to be determined prior to surgery is more or less how long the scar is going to be. If you are not willing to accept the length of the scar required to remove all your excess skin, then you are not going to be a satisfied customer. Therefore, you should take into account that the length of the scar is crucial to having impressive results, but at the same time will leave scarring. It is up to you to decide whether you can live with that, so make sure to consider this before the surgery.