When considering a tummy tuck, most patients look forward to a flatter abdomen, improved muscle tone, slimmer mid-section, and smoother skin. However, they may also be concerned about resulting surgical scars.
While these scars cannot be avoided completely, it is possible to take measures to promote proper healing and minimize tummy tuck scars.
Here’s everything you need to know about the types of tummy tuck scars, the healing process, and scar management tips.
The complexity of your abdominoplasty often determines the resulting tummy tuck scar or scars. For patients that undergo a full tummy tuck, the incision and corresponding scar extends from hip to hip, with the possibility of a vertical scar around the belly button.
A mini tummy tuck scar can vary from patient to patient, and the length of scar depends on the amount of excess skin removed. However, this procedure does not require an umbilical scar.
Lastly, a reverse tummy tuck typically produces scars at the top of the abdomen and under the breasts.
Nevertheless, your plastic surgeon will develop a customized surgical plan for you and explain the type of scarring you can expect post-procedure.
It can take one-to-two years for scars to fully heal and fade to a thin, white line.
At three months post-op, you should note that your wounds have healed nicely and are free of any scabbing.
After six months, tummy tuck scars should be visibly lighter and feel less tight.
Once a year has passed since your abdominoplasty, tummy tuck scars should appear significantly faded and flat, to the extent that the blend nicely with your skin.
While tummy tuck scars are inevitable, proper scar management can drastically improve their appearance.
First and foremost, follow all of your plastic surgeon’s post-care instructions and carefully monitor your scars for any signs of infection.
It’s also important to keep tummy tuck scars well moisturized and to avoid picking at scabs as they heal.
Another way to minimize scarring is by avoiding sun exposure, which has the potential to cause hyperpigmentation.
Finally, silicone scar treatments and scar creams are often very effective in expediting the healing and fading of tummy tuck scars.
If you are considering a tummy tuck, please call our office today to schedule a comprehensive consultation with Dr. Sheilah Lynch.