Can I Have A Tummy Tuck If I Have A Big Gallbladder Scar?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in getting a tummy tuck but have been told that I can’t due to my gall bladder scar. I have attached pictures and have highlighted my scars with a marker so that you can see them better. I am told that my appendix removal scar (30 yrs old) and c- section scar (9 years old) are no issue since they are below the belly button and would be removed. My gall bladder removal scar is 11 years old. I was told by one doctor that the skin below the scar would not survive if a tummy tuck was done. What technique for my tummy tuck would you recommend?

A: A long traditional gall bladder removal scar does place at risk for survival the triangle of skin that will ultimately result between the lower edge of the old gallbladder scar and the new horizontal tummy tuck scar. If done with care and looking out for several factors in the execution of the tummy tuck it can be done safely and without problems. The key factors are not to place the tummy tuck closure under too much tension (not too large of a horizontal excision), a limited central tunnel dissection of the upper abdominal skin flap and avoidance of any lateral abdominal wall liposuction. This will preserve the maximal amount of blood supply to the skin both above and particularly below the old gallbladder scar. This will allow the tummy tuck to heal uneventfully.

Dr. Barry Eppley