Ask a doctor

Tummy Tuck Scar Revision

I have a Tummy Tuck 13 months ago. I have a raised and wide scar hip to hip (the widest part being the bottom portion of the scar). I used surgical tape, silicon gel and had the scar lasered to no avail. I have had steroid injections which have softened the scar and made it look better. A couple of stitches are now pointedly showing just below the skin. My Doctor wants to remove the stitches and do a scar revision to reduce the width of the scar. Has anyone had this type of revision?

Doctor Answers (8)

Scar care after tummy tuck

+1
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


Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Tummy tuck scar revision?

+1
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. These can usually be started at approximately 3-4 weeks postop and when incisions healed. 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. Scars will never disappear, but attempt is made to make the finest scar in a concealed location.

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.

Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

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

Revision of abdominoplasty scars

+1

Problem scars around the umbilicus and positioning of the low transverse scar after an abdominoplasty.  The umbilical scar is really he cherry on the ice cream sundae when it comes to abdominoplasty surgery.  It is the most visible scar and most plastic surgeons are very careful to create a nice, aesthetically pleasing scar.  Everything can be done correctly and a small percentage of patients will make a bad scar.  Your scar and lateral fullness can be improved with a revision.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

You might also like...

Scar revision

+1

Although the scar may not be looking great at 13 months, with less tension now on the closure the scar may look better with revision...but then again it may not.

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

Scar revision 13 months after tummy tuck

+1

Scar revision 13 months after a tummy tuck is reasonable and will likely meet with greater success due to the diminished tension.

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

Tummy tuck Scar

+1

There will always be a scar when someone cuts.In a tummy tuck we try to remove as much skin as we can and hence there is tension on the scar or suture line.I find that simple re excision can help alot in revision.Once the revision is complete I have my patients start scar gels and/or scar creams.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Tummy Tuck Scar Widening: Scar Revision May Help

+1

Scar revision is the standard of care when attempting to improve the appearance of a scar, including a tummy tuck scar. Many patients have undergone and will undergo this.

You personally have experienced the ultimate limitations of some of the other commonly modalities used to improve scars, despite the fact that they do offer some benefit and that they have offered you some improvement..

The central portion (pubic area) of your scar is the widest because this is the location where the scar experiences the most stress/ tension anatomically on it.. It is very important that the tension on the skin in this area has relaxed on its own before undergoing a scar revision and/or the skin tension can be reduced as a component of the scar revision to avoid recurrence of scar widening.

Waiting 12 months or more after surgery before undergoing a scar revision is a good general guideline as by this time "what you see is what you get" despite trying everything else. However, I have seen tummy tuck scars improve dramatically without any scar revision after 18 -24 months after surgery.

Consider having only a portion of your scar surgically revised (as opposed to its entire length) and seeing how that turns out after a few months. If it was successful and you get the intended visual result, then you can do the remainder with a realistic expectation of a similar result.

Good Luck!!

Gregory Bazell, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Tummy Tuck Scars Vary among Patients

+1

Scars from tummy tucks as well as other surgeries vary a good deal from patient to patient.  Some patients simply make better scars than others.  I can perform 10 TTs on 10 different patients and they will make 10 different scars.  The scar revision you describe may or may not be helpful.

John Whitt, MD
Louisville 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.