April 2023

The Bikini Incision:
How Low Can You Go?

The Bikini Incision

A flat, toned tummy is something that many women desire but can be difficult to achieve without a lot of hard work. Tummy tucks are one option that offer a more lasting solution, however they also leave behind a scar line. Women who visit my practice will often ask; Will I be able to wear a bikini after my tummy tuck?"

It's understandable that concealing the fact that you've had surgery is a top concern, so we make every effort to hide the scar within the bikini area, so that it's not visible-- even if there is some skin being exposed while wearing swimwear or other low-rise styles. This ensures that any clothing worn after surgery won’t draw attention away from discreetly hidden scarring and instead will showcase your newly contoured waistline.

Additionally, keeping scar placement low on the abdomen or just around the sides can keep it out of sight even when wearing pants or tight clothes as well as help ensure that it isn’t seen when tucked pieces such as tops are worn throughout daily life.

In my mommy makeover plastic surgery consultations, I'll review that, even a “mini” or “tiny” tummy tuck requires an incision to achieve the desired correction of skin and muscle tightening. But no matter the type of tummy tuck surgery it is critical for your plastic surgeon to place the abdominal incision so that the tummy tuck scar can be hidden in most underwear or swimsuit bottoms. I refer to this as “bikini incision.” Using a bikini incision can prevent a visible scar, but if we're talking thong swimsuits or extended cut bikinis, extra care should be taken during the healing process to ensure your scar line is thin, fine, and treated with scar gel while covered with SPF to prevent adverse effects like unwanted pigmentation.

Bikini Incision Placement

In your mommy makeover surgery, the abdominal wall of muscles is repaired using corset plication from your sternum down to your pubis, contouring to restore tight abdominal muscles and removing excess skin and fat for a slender midsection. Since pregnancy and weight fluctuations can cause larger waists and weakened core strength, we re-create a slim bikini body, starting at the bikini incision itself.

In most cases the apex or center of the incision can be placed about 6 cm. above the vaginal cleft. The incision should be long enough so that all excess skin can be removed. When standing, a woman should slightly flex her waist so that the excess skin is evident. A “pinch test” is then used to mark the upper part of the abdominoplasty for surgical removal.

Dallas Tummy Tuck Results by Dr. John Burns

Avoiding Too Much Tension

Creating too much tension during a tummy tuck is an issue that experienced plastic surgeons avoid. When the incision line is closed with excessive tension, it can impair the healing process and cause strain on the newly tightened skin, leading to lumps, bumps and sagging. This condition can occur even with an expertly performed abdominoplasty procedure if not enough care is taken with regard to suturing technique.

Be sure to review incision placement on your unique figure with your plastic surgeon to avoid miscommunication about surgical expectations. I re-operate on many frustrated women who've had their initial tummy tuck performed elsewhere and now desire revision surgery.

Revision Tummy Tuck

Incision Shape

The shape of the incision is also important. An incision that is created as a straight line does not to follow the natural curve of a woman's body contour. It has the tendency to make the waist look rectangular and less hourglass in shape. Additionally, a straight incision has lower lateral components that are sometimes visible below the panty line. In my abdominoplasty surgeries, I create a curved (curvilinear) incision that is designed to follow the natural curve of an individual's body shape that will accentuate an hourglass contour.

Incision Length

The length of the bikini incision is based on how much extra skin and fatty tissue needs to be removed. A mini abdominoplasty incision will rest just inside the hip bones. A standard tummy tuck incision extends from hip bone to hip bone. The extended tummy tuck extends beyond the hip bones; and a circumferential tummy tuck goes all the way around (360 degrees) and is primarily used in a body lift after massive weight loss. It's important to review expectations and your individual scar placement with your selected plastic surgeon. Depending on what's possible for you.


The Corset Tummy Tuck
3 Vector Plication For A Tighter Waist

Corset Tuck
woman at the beach rocking a low cut bikini bottom + top

Bikini Bodies Loading Now...

Summer is a perfect time to debut your new bikini body. Just keep in mind, the placement of the incision is critical in achieving the best cosmetic result. The bikini incision should be hidden in most underwear or swimsuit bottoms making the abdomen and waist appear flawless without a telltale scar so that you're bikini ready and bikini confident like our patient here!

Complimentary Consults
with Dr. John Burns

Dr. John Burns specializes in plastic surgery procedures of the face, breast, and body and has performed thousands of tummy tuck and mommy makeover surgeries for women in Dallas, the United States and the world. To schedule your complimentary consultation with Dr. Burns, get started here.

Complimentary Consult

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