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What is the Best Way to Get Rid of a Tummy Tuck Scar?

I just had surgery four weeks ago and I can now start applying products to my scar. What do you recommend that works the best for fading a scar? Do the OTC products really work? I've used Mederma and Bio Oil on a neck scar from cervical fusion and it didn't make it disappear into a nice faded white line. I can't tell that it worked. Do you recommend laser treatment? If so which kind of Laser and at what week would you start the process?

Doctor Answers 8

Tummy Tuck Scar Treatment Options

The first concept is that there is no such thing as eliminating a tummy tuck scar. You will always have one, it is only how much fading will occur. The use of topical products will have minimal impact on the scar's appearance even though they are more convenient to use. Taping or silicone sheeting the scars up to three months after surgery is the more effective approach along with time.

How to treat surgical scars

That's a great question. There are a lot of different products and opinions regarding scar treatment. In most my patients I recommend taping for 3 months. It's the easiest and cheapest thing to do that really works. Other options are Mederma, and different silicone preparations. Check with your surgeon about what he/she recommends.

What is the Best Way to Get Rid of a #TummyTuck Scar? ANS:

I currently recommend silicone strips, such as Biodermis, as a pack of five, with each one being applied for almost 2 weeks...Then I have patients go to Scar Guard, which is a silicone gel and have them massage with that....Sun protection for sure and then give it close to a year...But scars are never invisible, just less visible!

John J. Corey, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Resolving scars after tummy tuck

Laser has not been helpful though we do use products such as Mederma, and some will benefit from silicone sheeting to help the scar resolve. The quality of the scar is often determined by heredity, skin type, and tension, so one solution will not fit all. Sun avoidance is a must.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Tummy tuck scar

I hope your plastic surgeon explained that scars never go away, but can only fade with time. Once the skin is cut full thickess, there will always be a scar and it takes a year for a scar to reach its full healing point. I can't comment on a cervical fusion scar without knowing how it was closed and also note that the back of the neck does not scar as well as other areas because of the tension in that area. I would not recommend laser and think you need a dose of patience and followup with your plastic surgeon. Healing takes time and prophylaxis with OTC products will not speed the process.

Robert L. Kraft, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Scars fade with time but never go away

Scars never disappear and can not be taken away with any means.  Tincture of time makes them fade over 12-18 months and any product that you use meanwhile gets credit for what body would have done anyway.

Lasers for scars is simply waste of time and money.

Vasdev Rai, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Scar care after tummy tuck

Thank you for your post. In tummy tuck and other lift/tightening surgeries, tension is the enemy. The scar is healing gradually over 12 weeks or so, and until it is strong, it is the weakest link. As there is a great deal of tension in tummy tucks, body lifts, breast lifts, etc., the scar is at high risk of 'stretching' or widening. Silicone sheeting, although having the ability to make a scar flat, does nothing to prevent stretching of the scar. Creams or steroids or lasers also do not have the ability to prevent stretching of the scar. Those are used if scar is thick or dark, but not to reduce the wideness of the scar, which is the main problem. Massage also does not help keep the scar thin, and can actually worsen the scar in the first 12 weeks because you are actually adding tension to the scar. Massage is for softening a hard or thick scar, but if used early, will hasten the scar widening. Only tension reduction has the ability to keep the scar as thin as possible. You may notice in a lot of tummy tuck scars that the center portion of the scar is the widest with the sides toward the hips being the thinnest. This is because the maximum tension is at the center, and least amount on the sides. Embrace removes a lot of the tension by putting more tension on the skin on either side of the incision and drawing the incision together. It is expensive though at about $100 per week for 12 weeks. When patients do not want to spend the money for embrace, I tape the incision trying to remove as much tension as possible for 12 weeks and recommend no stretching back and to sit most of the time, keeping tension off the scar.
Best wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Silicone Gel

In my experience, I have found that oils and products like Mederma do not help improve the appearance of scars. I recommend a silicone gel sheeting. This is the only product that I have found that is effective. I tell my patients to start using this about a month after surgery. You apply the sheeting in a similar way to a band aide and wear it for a period of at least 6 months.

Leo Lapuerta, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.