Information on Vertical Abdominoplasty

One type of an abdominoplasty or tummy tuck surgery is a vertical abdominoplasty.

Usually, the incision of an abdominoplasty is made horizontally, low across the abdomen just about where the pubic hair starts. This creates a scar that can be hidden by underwear or by a bathing suit bottom. However, in some situations, a surgeon may feel it is necessary to place the incision vertically down the center of the abdomen instead. It is not a common variation on a tummy tuck, but for some people it may be the right choice.

A vertical abdominal incision may be used in a patient who is obese and needs to have abdominal muscle repair because it is less likely to result in dog-ears, which are lumps of fat or skin that may occur at the end of the usual horizontal abdominoplasty incision.

Another technique for a vertical abdominoplasty combines the use of a horizontal incision over the lower abdomen with a vertical incision on the abdomen, forming a fleur-de-lis pattern or an upside-down T. This technique is typically reserved for patients who have had bariatric surgery and have lost great amounts of weight. They may need to have a substantial amount of skin removed, but may not be a good candidate for a circumferential body lift or may not want such an extensive surgery. The fleur-de-lis pattern of incision will give them the best body contouring for their situation.

The length of the incisions will vary and will depend on the amount of tissue to be removed. The scar from a vertical abdominoplasty will be more apparent than with a horizontal incision, which can usually be hidden by a bathing suit bottom or underwear.

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