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Improving Tummy Tuck Scar Appearance

I had a Tummy Tuck 3 weeks ago, and cannot wear a bathing suit without my scar showing. Can you tell me if there is anything I can do to lighten my scar? Do you have some advice on scar revision?

Doctor Answers (7)

Too early to expose scar

+1
It can take several months for a patient to recover from a tummy tuck, and this depends on the extent of correction and the patient. Here are some tips to help your scar become less noticeable:

1. In order to avoid pulling the scar (which will be well hidden, located in the lower bikini line and groin), you’ll be instructed to walk with your back bent slightly forward.

2. During the recovery period the support garment and dressings should be removed before showering while the white tape (steri-strips) covering the incision should be left in place.

3. Baths must not be taken until all drains have been removed, the sutures surrounding the belly button have been removed and the incisions have mostly healed. This typically takes two weeks. You should avoid submerging your incisions for at least a month to minimize the risk of infection.

4. When the steri-strips have begun to curl at their edges they can be safely removed. At this point you will no longer need to cover your incisions with dressings and can begin to administer scar reducing products like silicone gel and sheeting.

The body works to naturally reduce scarring. Redness and a raised texture are normal during the three to six months following your tummy tuck, but both traits begin to subside during the healing process. In order to help this process for the best tummy tuck scar, patients are advised to protect their incisions from direct sunlight (especially in the first year after surgery) as this can cause unfavourable pigmentation changes.

Although I have provided this advice, you should listen to what your surgeon says as they may have different advice.


Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Improving tummy tuck scar appearance?

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Hello! Thank you for the question! It is common for scars to fully mature for up to a year. In the meantime, there are a few things that may help to ameliorate your incision/scar. The most proven (as well as cheapest) modality is simple scar massage. Applying pressure and massaging the well-healed scar has been shown to improve the appearance as it breaks up the scar tissue, hopefully producing the finest scar as possible. Other things that have been shown to add some benefit, albeit controversial, are silicone sheets, hydration, and topical steroids. In addition, avoidance of direct sunlight to the incision will significantly help the appearance as they tend to discolor with UV light during the healing process.

If unsightly scars are still present after approximately a year's time, other things that your surgeon may consider are intralesional steroid injections, laser, or just surgical revision of the scar itself.  If your incision is not well-concealed within your panty line, revision of the incision to ensure that it is hidden may be considered.

Hope that this helps!   Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Abdominoplasty scar

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The redness of the abdominoplasty scar may take up to a year or more to improve.  This is normal.  Protect it with sunscreen and moisturizer.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

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Improving tummy tuck scars

+1

Tummy tucks are a popular and effective way to contour the abdomen. In our practice, we work closely with the patient to make sure that the tummy Tuck scar is always hidden underneath their lowest bikini line. This planning has to be done before the surgery.
However, if you have had the surgery and your tummy Tuck scar is visible or in a higher position than you prefer, it is possible to lower the scar. The most important factor is the looseness of your skin. You may have to wait until your swelling resolves any gain more looseness in your lower abdomen. At that time, you may benefit from a revision of the tummy tuck which will help lower your incision into a more attractive position.

To learn more about tummy tucks, see photos, and help you decide which one is best for you, please visit us at the link below:

Pat Pazmino, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Tummy tuck scar visible in bathing suit.

+1

There are 2 scars in a tummy tuck. One around the belly button and one in the lower abdomen. You mentioned the scar is visible but not which one. If it is the scar on the lower abdomen, is it too low or too high? It is too early to consider a revision but sometimes the scar position can be readjusted, although generally this is difficult to do. For now, avoid the sun, and I mean avoid it completely. The sun is very detrimental to scars as they are healing. I also have my patients wear paper tape every day for 3 months on their scars; this helps produce a good quality scar. After 9 months or so, you can discuss with your surgeon if the position of the scar can be changed. I always have my patients put on their preferred panty bottom style and I mark this outline prior to surgery. This way I try to insure that the scar will fall within this outline and will not be visible. It is not always possible.

Tracy Pfeifer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

It is early after Tummy Tuck

+1

Hello,

To minimize your scar the main thing that will help is time. Avoid the sun and consider a silicone sheeting product over the scar. It is way too early to consider scar revision, another surgical procedure. Give it time and let your surgeon offer his or her advice first.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Silcone gel for scars

+1

It's way too early to even be thinking about scar revision.

There are many products out there that claim to improve scars but few have really been shown to be of true benefit.

Silicone gel sheeting is the most well studied intervention but it can be difficult to keep it on and off. These are available from several manufacturers.

Many patient's find this impractical and tend to be non-compliant. The alternative is to use silicone gel ointments.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 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.