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I have a large scar from a gallbladder operation. Can I still get a full tummy tuck?

Q:

I had surgery for my gallbladder in 1985, I was left with a 6 inch scar and I want a tummy tuck but was told that the skin could die and I shouldn't have it done. Should I get another consultation?

A:

There would be significant risk to the standard tummy tuck with the old style gallbladder removal scars because the scar crosses the area where the blood vessels supply the abdominal skin. It can't be definitively ruled out however, so it might be worth getting a second opinion from another board certified plastic surgeon.

Richard A. Baxter, M.D.
Mountlake Terrace, WA

A:

 To answer your question most likely would require an examination. In general the answer is yes, it can be done but, precautions must be taken to prevent skin loss from what are called watershed areas. These watershed areas are areas well the blood supply to your skin can be compromised from your previous surgery during a Tummy Tuck. Please look at LipoAbdominoplasty #5 at the following link to see a Tummy Tuck in a patient with an old Gallbladder incision ( http://garyculbertson.com/body-plastic-surgery-before-and-after/ ). Best,

 

Gary R Culbertson, MD, FACS

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