How Fashion Affects Abdominoplasty Scar Placement

Similar to any surgical procedure, an abdominoplasty operation leaves a scar. Tummy tuck surgery leaves a horizontal incision scar across the abdomen, which might be visible when wearing your bikini. This is why most patients prefer having the cut very low, just above the pubic area, making it possible to conceal the scar, even in bathing suits.

For those who wish to trim their waistline, an abdominoplasty is one effective procedure to consider. The procedures remove excess skin and correct the laxity of abdominal muscles. This requires a FRACS surgeon to make a long incision on the lower abdomen to access and remove the excess tissues. After surgery, the long incision site leads to a scar. But how does fashion affect abdominoplasty scar placement? Let’s jump right to it. 

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Types of Tummy Tuck Scars

Abdominoplasty incisions result in mini, full, or extended tummy tuck scars. Each option has a unique pattern, as we will discuss below.

Mini Scars

A mini tummy tuck scar is what’s left after partial abdominoplasty. Dr. Bernard recommends partial abdominoplasty to patients requiring less excess skin and fat removal. The resulting scar from a tummy tuck surgery is positioned just above the mons pubis, similar to the location of a C-section incision. If you have a C-section cut, the incision will be just under it. This makes removing the old C-section scar possible, leaving only the tummy tuck scar.  The resulting scar tissue is shorter than others (between three to six inches). 

Full Tummy Tuck Scars

A full abdominoplasty is an ideal option for patients with lots of excessive loose skin and excess fat. The procedure requires the specialist surgeon to make an incision running from one hip bone to another through the pubic mound. Standard abdominoplasty procedures leave scars from one hipbone to another and around the patient’s navel region.

Extended Abdominoplasty Scars

Extended tummy tuck procedures target the loose skin between the waist and hips. It is preferred for those who have lost significant weight and want their abdomen to look slimmer. Therefore, an extended tummy tuck scar tissue tends to be longer and higher than prior options.

Fashion and Abdominoplasty Scar Placement

Abdominoplasty scar placements are around the belly and hip regions, usually concealed by garments. Most tummy tuck surgery patients’ main challenge is deciding which bikini or undergarment to wear. What if I told you there are several good options for you?

Going for an abdominoplasty surgery doesn’t mean you will never be able to wear a bikini to the beach or pool. However, you will have to pick the right undergarment if you wish to conceal your horizontal scar. Here are some fashionable options to consider to help you decide your tummy tuck scar placement.

One-Piece Swimsuits

One-Piece swimsuits abdominoplasty incision | BCSC | Infographic

If you love wearing your one-piece swimsuits to the pool, Dr. Bernard Beldholm advises avoiding going for a too-low scar placement. This prevents the cut ends from peeking above the thigh or hip area. One-piece swimsuits with high-cut legs expose hips and thighs, and you do not want incisions done too close to these areas.

French-Cut Bikinis and Underwear

French-Cut Bikinis and Underwear

You can wear your favourite French-cut bikinis to the beach after a tummy tuck procedure. For you to rock the style, the specialist surgeon has to make the incision upwards in a way that mimics the French-cut bottom’s shape. This technique places the scar higher on the abdomen. The French-cut bikinis effortlessly conceal the scar with less hustle.  

Retro High-Rise Bikinis and Underwear

Retro High-Rise Bikinis and Underwear

Most women wear retro high-rise bikinis to conceal belly poach. These undergarments are also a favourite for new mums as they help hide C-section scars. Retro high-rise undergarments tend to cover the lower abdomen region and can conceal hypertrophic scars from full tummy tuck surgery.

This fashion style gives you more leeway when it comes to scar placement. The only limiting factor is the high-cut legs, which reveal low-placed tummy tuck scars. However, it is still an ideal choice for women looking for a better way to hide belly poach.

Monokinis, Tankinis, And One-Piece Swimsuits with Cutouts

Monokinis, Tankinis, And One-Piece Swimsuits with Cutouts

A one-piece cutout swimsuit could be the solution if none of the prior options fit. These garments offer patients enough scar coverage while allowing them to expose some abdominal skin. This is made possible by strategic cutouts.

One advantage of this category is the cutouts can be done anywhere. This means more customisable options depending on your style preference and versatility. You should, however, avoid placing the scar too low to prevent the cut edges from being visible on the outer hip area.

Cheeky Bikinis and Underwear

Cheeky bikinis and underwear abdominoplasty incision | BCSC | Infographic

This category covers undergarments that expose a good portion of the patient’s skin. Good examples are a thong swimsuit offering minimal coverage, ‘boy shorts’, and cheeky hipster bikinis. If these are your preferred undergarment styles, it is best to consult your FRACS surgeon before the tummy tuck surgery. This is because the less coverage, the more careful the specialist surgeon must be with scar placement. During the consultation, tip your surgeon about this and get advised accordingly.

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Current Fashion Trends in Australia

This year’s fashion calendar has been so busy, and with the upcoming summer, you want to take advantage of all the trending styles. Fashion options are endless, from high-octane sequins to everyday dressings. But what do you expect this summer?

Retro Print Swimwear

Retro Print Swimwear is ideal for almost all tummy tuck patients. This trending style features vintage-inspired profiles and is an excellent option for those who love floral print. The swimwear is designed to cover most of the abdominal area, from above the navel area to the thighs. This makes it easier to conceal upper and lower tummy tuck incision scars.

Athletic Swimwear

Athletic Swimwear will dominate Summer 2023. This stylish trend features asymmetrical straps designed to offer more coverage to the lower abdominal area. Athletic swimwear offers full-coverage tops and bottoms with stylish and strategic cutouts. This property makes them ideal for hiding a good part of your abdomen.

Long-Sleeve Swimsuits

Long sleeve swimsuits are here to save sun rash-prone tummy tuck patients. These bikinis vary from brightly coloured one-piece suits to sheer sleeves over bikini tops. They offer adequate coverage, however, on the arms. Some options provide limited coverage to the navel region, making them not the best choice for those with highly placed tummy tuck scars.

Ring Bikinis

The main feature, or difference between Ring Bikinis and our regular swimsuits, is the metallic ring straps. They are characterised by a ring of circular hardware instead of the clasps or strings. The rings run from subtle to over the top and from metal to resin. These swimwear suits offer limited coverage and are not an option for anyone looking to conceal their tummy tuck scar.

High-Waisted Bikinis

High-waisted bikinis should be the number one swimsuit option for anyone with a higher-placed tummy tuck scar. These swimwear blend old school and athleticism, making them ideal for anyone who wants to get active this summer. They offer more coverage in the tummy area compared to most bikini options out in the market.

Shimmer Bikinis

Shimmer Bikinis are for anyone who wants to look bold this summer. However, they offer limited abdominal area coverage.

High-Cut Swimsuits

This swimwear option will dominate this summer as it did the previous year. High-cut swimsuits feature a surf placed over a pair of underwear. Most designs are very cheeky forward and expose a lot of abdominal skin. This makes them not a good option for abdominoplasty patients.

Lingerie-Inspired Bikinis

Here is a trending bikini style blending swimwear and lingerie, resulting in well-detailed and fashionable bikinis. This style option features underwire tops and various bra-adjustment styles. They can be good for concealing tummy tuck scars. This, however, depends on the transparency of the lingerie material used.  

Mermaidcore Swimwear

Mermaidcore bikinis is a swimwear option that suits all abdominoplasty patients. It takes on a mermaid’s design, offering full coverage to the tummy area. These swimsuits come in various styles and designs to match your mood this summer. 

There is so much to uncover. So, check out our article on the current fashion trends in Australia.

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Adapting to Changing Fashion Trends After Abdominoplasty

As a fashion enthusiast, predicting future trends and styles might be impossible. The aim is to always look good with the tummy tuck scar. As much as the tummy tuck scar fades after some time (1-2 years after surgery), the scar will always be present. This way, it is ideal for you to adapt fashion to help you during this period.  

Tummy Tuck Scar Stages

You will be pleased to hear there are various tips and techniques one can use to minimise tummy tuck surgical scars. Before examining these remedies, let’s look at the different tummy tuck scar stages. You can determine the ideal alternative based on your tummy tuck scar progress.


After abdominoplasty, the body tries to close the incision wound by releasing collagen. This is the first and the most vulnerable scar stage. Here, the surgeon will have closed the incision with staples or sutures. It takes about three to six weeks, so it is best to stick to the surgeon’s post-operative instructions as the wound heals.


The collagen fibres released during the closure stage strengthen, and the body increases blood circulation around the wound to protect it further. During this time, the patient can perform less demanding tasks. The establishment stage lasts between 3 to 6 months.


After one to two years, the collagen fibres have entirely formed, and there is a reduction in blood supply around the scar region. This results in the scar becoming thinner and less noticeable.

Tips to Help Minimise Tummy Tuck Scars After Surgery

Here are a few techniques that might help you minimise the abdominoplasty scar appearance.

Silicone Tape

Silicone tape helps flatten a tummy tuck scar while offering an ultra-hydrated protective layer. The tape has many advantages, such as preventing excess inflammatory cytokines and preventing potential infection.

“I recommend silicon strips, usually after 4 weeks when the incisions are healed. The patient should avoid putting on any open areas. Use for 3 months, 8-12 hours per day. The strips can be re-used, Says Dr. Beldholm. 

Laser & Light Based Treatments

Patients can consider this after the wound is completely healed and only want to fade the scar. Laser can usually be used from 1 month after the operation.

If you wish to fade the scar further, consider light-based treatment. The idea is to use laser resurfacing treatments, such as Laser Genesis, Profactional, and HALO, to reduce the visible scar appearance.

Laser Genesis is a cutting-edge solution for skin revitalisation, addressing pigmented lesions and targeting vascular lesions. This innovative laser technology boasts two ultra-precise wavelengths (532/1064 nm) and three distinct operating modes. It is highly versatile in effectively treating various superficial and deep vascular lesions, pigment-related concerns, and skin rejuvenation issues.

Applications of Laser Genesis apply to a wide range of conditions. These include rosacea, diffusing redness, facial and leg veins, periorbital veins, angiomas, port wine stains, poikiloderma, wrinkles, venous malformations, bruising, inflammatory acne, benign pigmented lesions, age spots, small area hair removal, scars, and acne scars.

The Genesis handpiece, equipped with 532 or 1064 nm Nd:YAG laser energy, utilises micro pulses to target microvasculature. This stimulation promotes collagen production, enhancing skin appearance by reducing wrinkles and visible signs of aging. Many patients and practitioners opt for the Laser Genesis procedure for comprehensive aesthetic skin treatment.

These treatments lighten the scar by targeting the formed darker pigment cells. The procedure also helps reduce swelling and any redness around the pubic region.

Microneedling Therapy

If a tummy tuck scar incision heals unevenly, you might consider Microneedling therapy as your scar-fading option. This option involves using microneedling devices, such as Skinpen, to make many micro-injuries on the loose abdominal skin. This triggers the body, which produces elastin and collagen. The result is firmer and tighter skin forming around the scar. Sessions of this treatment allow the scar to blend well with the surrounding skin.


The final and most creative option is to get a tattoo. Various tattoo artists have specialised in the art and can effectively draw and conceal the incision line. 

Patients can consider many art options, from ornate line work to nature-inspired drawings. If you get a tattoo, ensure that the incision wound is completely healed per the surgeon’s instructions.

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How Long Does It Take for A Tummy Tuck Scar to Heal?

Tummy tuck scars take years to heal completely, and this process happens in stages. After surgery, the fresh incision cut takes one to two weeks to close and heal. This is the most vulnerable stage, and patients should maintain proper scar care, such as keeping the incision wound dry and incision clean to prevent wound dehiscence. This will allow optimal wound healing process.

After about two weeks, the wound begins fading from red to pink and, after some time, to the patient’s skin colour tone. This can take up to 12 months. The collagen fibres have formed at this time, and the wound is not as vulnerable as it was in the first weeks after the tummy tuck surgery.

Unsure of Where to Place the Scar?

If you are still determining where you want the scar to go, Dr. Bernard Beldholm is here to guide you. With the help of a series of questions and experience, you might get an idea of the ideal scar placement.


A tummy tuck operation comes with lifestyle changes, including fashion adjustments. Scar placement will dictate what clothes to wear, which is a big decision. If you prefer wearing high-rise jeans and undergarments, a higher-placed scar might be a good option for you. This article outlines how fashion affects abdominoplasty scar placement and some viable options to consider.


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