Ask a doctor

Is my Tummy Tuck Scar Normal?

I am three weeks post tummy tuck with muscle repair and lipo of the flank area. I've noticed and inconsistensy in the way my scar looks. On the left side there is a bulge of skin and it kind of over hangs. I'm just curious if this is normal and if it will flatten out within the next few months. I've attached pictures as a reference.

Doctor Answers (7)

Tummy tuck 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. You are still early in your recovery and your scar is affected by tension and swelling. Please wait a few months for this to subside before assessing your results.

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.

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 63 reviews

Tummy tuck scar concerns

+1

Thank you for the question and picture.

At this point in time of your recovery, it is normal for your incision to appear puckered, raised, and/or asymmetric. As the internal sutures dissolve, the scar will relax, flatten, and straighten out. During the first 2-4 months, the incision may look dark, pink, or red. It may take several months before you see a significant improvement in the appearance of the scar. However, with tincture of time, the scar will usually fade and flatten out. There are many silicone products available, such as Hybrisil, to aid in the healing process and scarring.

Keep close follow-up with your plastic surgeon.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 757 reviews

Tummy tuck scar

+1

At three weeks it is way too early to see the final results of the scar.  Besides, there is often alot of swelling taht should subside that may contribute to your concerns.

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

You might also like...

Appearance of tummy tuck

+1

It is likely and appears that you still have swelling in the lower abdomen. This may take 3 months to resolve and it is worsened by tight waisted garments worn around the umbilicus

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

Normal Tummy Tuck Scar

+1

I recommend letting it heal awhile to see if it will end up flattening out.  Tummy Tuck procedures can take quite a bit of time until the final result is evident .  Sometimes a revision to these types of procedures is necessary but you need to give it more time to heal properly before deciding on another surgery. 

Robert N. Young, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

the appearance of a tummy tuck scar

+1

A tummy tuck scar can take up to one year or even longer to fully mature.  This means the color will lighten and the scar will flatten as the scar ages.  You can apply special silicone scar gels and tapes to the scar to expedite the healing process.  If by one year, you are unhappy with the appearance of your scar, you can discuss with your surgeon the possibility of revising the scar.  This typically involves cutting out the scar and reclosing it such that the final scar can be made thinner.

Remember that each person heals differently.  Darker skin patients have a tendency to have darker, thicker scars.

Best wishes,

Dr.Bruno

William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 150 reviews

Tummy Tucks take time to "mature"

+1

I often caution my patients about expecting too much too soon. A tummy tuck will look very gruesome for about 6 weeks and will not really be at its final result for about 6-9 months.

There is typically a lot of swelling and redness of the incision. Irregularities will be prominent due to swelling and additional contouring procedures performed in conjunction with tummy tucks.

It is not uncommon for the tummy tuck scar to stretch due to tension on the wound especially in the mid-line, but do not worry about this as scars can be easily revised.

Many of the irregularities will flatten and improve as the swelling goes down over the 6-9 months following the procedure. The key is not to look to closely early on as it will change! Perhaps a good strategy is to look at your before photos to get a sense of the enormity of the change your body has undergone. This will keep things in perspective. And again, be patient as it always takes longer than you think for the final result to show itself.

Best Regards,

KC

Kirk A. Churukian, MD
Los Gatos Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 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.