Tummy tuck with no visible scars

In some cases where patients have a minimal pouch in the lower belly, the standard has been the “Mini tummy tuck.” An incision similar to that used for a “C Section” is used to tighten the muscles below the belly button. At the same time a small amount of skin is taken out above the mons pubis. The procedure works well, but does not address the muscles above the belly button.

On the other hand, for the past several years I had been doing the regular Abdominoplasty using the “Lockwood technique”. Using this technique the skin above the belly button is freed up only along a central tunnel 3-4 inches wide instead of doing it all the way to the rib margins. This has the advantage of leaving more of the skin attached to the abdominal wall, which in turn allows the skin to be tighter, have a better blood supply, and it diminishes the rate of postoperative complications such as fluid collections under the skin. Doing the procedure this way one gets used to operating along a narrow tunnel with limited room, and I started using different instruments to facilitate the process.

Then one day a man came requesting a correction of a bulge above his belly button. He had a muscle separation above the belly button which is more common in men. He was recently divorced, did not want scars, and requested Liposuction to get rid of the bulge. I explained to him that Lipo would not solve his problem and demonstrated to him the separation of his muscles. Would he be interested in a procedure to tighten the muscles that was not described anywhere but that I could complete using techniques I was comfortable with? He agreed, and I did the procedure by making an incision around the belly button for access to the deeper tissues. It went so well I immediately felt bad for all those patients on whom I had done a traditional incision to treat this problem. So if I could do this going above the belly button, why not do it for muscle separations below the belly button?

Well, once you know you can do something well, you start recommending it to more and more patients. I recommend it now to anybody who has a separation of the muscles without skin folds or excess skin. If somebody is working out a lot yet when they relax the abdomen it still pouches out, they probably have separation of the muscles (Rectus Diastasis). I like the procedure a lot because it appeals to the Plastic Surgeons dream goals – Get a lot accomplished without any visible trace of your work.

By Dr. Ricardo L. Rodriguez MD Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Cosmeticsurg Baltimore, Maryland Ricardo L. Rodriguez on American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

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6 thoughts on “Tummy tuck with no visible scars”

  • Heather says:

    I read the comments below and got really excited. I've been seriously looking into mini-tummy tuck surgery since I was told my abdominal muscles were separated. I don't have much loose skin or stretch marks to worry about. I'm mainly concerned about the little pooch on my belly (from having 2 babies) and the need for some minor tightening of my stomach area. Is the scarless tummy tuck a procedure that can be done to tighten muscles, remove a little skin around the belly button (didn't know if this could be done to tighten the overall area) and do some lipo with it? Or is it soley for the muscles? I really don't want a scar...even the mini-tummy tuck scar, unless it can be really low and shorter than the pictures I've seen. I've also considered laproscopic abdominal surgery and lipo on the area. I'm not sure what to do to avoid the scar. Thanks for all of your informative blogs!!!
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Heather: The scarless tummy tuck is best for people with good skin tone but separated muscles. It does not apply if you have a lot of loose skin or a lot of stretch marks. If you want to see if you are a candidate, contact Kelly at kelly@cosmeticsurg.net so we can arrange a virtual consultation. Hope to hear from you soon!
  • ife says:

    Hi, my name is Ife I would like to know more about getting a scarless tummy tuck I used to be a swimwear model; then once I had my first son my body was not completely the same; I got some unwanted stretch marks on my belly (not a road map) But, just around my belly button. I just recently had my last child 8 months ago; Thank god I did'nt get more stretch marks the old ones remained the same as before. But, my belly feels too soft where I can fold it together. I'm at a place where I want to be able to get into a 2 piece again with out having a happyface scar across my hip. Is their away where I can tighten up my stomach and get rid of the stretch marks with a mini tuck? Because the stretch marks are about a 5 inch round circle around the belly button only;all of my skin above my belly button has no stretch marks. Ps: Its especially hard for me when you have to sleep next to a husband with a six pack every night; especially when we both was known for having beautiful bodies as a couple. Pleasse help me get my sexy back
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Ife: I think we can do a scarless tummy tuck, but I need to see your pictures and set up a virtual consultation with Kelly. You can contact her at kelly@cosmeticsurg.net. I'm sure your husband loves you just the way you are, don't worry about that. Let me worry about the surgical details. When you are ready to do something about it, we're more than happy to help you!
  • amelia says:

    I am so very interested in these procedures of body lifting and implants. I have been over weight, abused, depressed for 33 years. This last year I finally got closure from my horrible past and took control of my life and weight. I have been asheavy as 236lbs at my worst. I now maintain 130lbs with no trouble at all. The only thing I am not happy with in my life is my loose body now. I look great in clothes but I want to feel confident without them for myself and my husband. Summer is around the corner and even though I lost the horrible weight I will still have to wear a whole piece wih shorts this summer. I deserve to be rid of this saggy skin and run around the beach and pools with my 5 children with a body to match the spirit and confidence I posses inside.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Amelia: Congratulations on your new life! First of all let me tell you that your email related in a few words a world of experience gained at enormous personal effort. I respect you and give you tribute for that. There is nothing stop you now and if you are committed to doing this I would love to be your surgeon. Contact Kelly at kelly@cosmeticsurg.net and she can arrange for a virtual consultation. I'm looking forward to meeting you!