Prescription or non-prescription. I want to be sure to do the right thing to ensure my scars heal properly and are less noticeable. What's best in your professional opinion? Thank you.
Best Scar Treatment After Full Tummy Tuck?
Doctor Answers 22
Scar care after tummy tuck
Pablo Prichard, MD
BestTummy Tuck Scar Treatment-1540 Fractional Erbium laser
Thank you for your question. Massage and a topical cream like Scar Guard can help improve the Tummy Tuck Scar.
However if the Full Tummy Tuck scar becomes red, irritated or lumpy, Laser Treatments using the 1540 Fractional Non ablative Laser can be very helpful. See link below.
Proactive scar management after an abdominoplasty
There are several things that can be done in a proactive manner to improve scarring after an abdominoplasty. It starts in the OR and the techniques used to close the scar without placing tension on the skin but on the deeper tissues. Next I Like to keep the scar taped for the first 3 weeks this keeps some of the early tension off of the scar. From the third week to the third month using a silicone product over the scar helps.
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Improving Tummy Tuck Scars
Best tummy tuck scar treatment
Scar is the glue that binds all wounds regardless of how the wounding took place.
Some wounds heal poorly / insufficiently and the wounds either widen or open up - this is seen in people with systemic diseases, malnutrition, radiated areas or when the wound edges were placed under great tension.
Other wounds heal excessively well and the scar rises out from the divide between the wound edges. This is referred to as SCAR HYPERTROPHY. (THIS IS NOT THE SAME AS A KELOID - which is in a separate sub-class of this category). Scar hypertrophy is usually seen in certain ethnic groups, wounds exposed to UV light or sun and in wounds involving areas under movement (such as knees, shoulders, middle of the chest etc).
Although you cannot change your genetic code and your ethnic background, you can LESSEN factors such as tension, UV light and reduce tension on the wound edges. Moreover, it has been shown that using sunblock, mederma and silicone containing dressings or tape can lower the likelihood of raised scars.
Management of the abdominoplasty scar
There are silicone sheeting strips that are custom made for the abdominoplasty scar and can be searched for online.
I, myself, prefer to recommend paper tape on the wound for about 3 months. It is easy, applied once a week, and cost effective.
Avoiding sun exposure and excessive tension is also important as well as tobacco products.
Best Scar Management is important to minimize or completely hide from view, the tell tale signs of surgery – namely, scars. Both you and your surgeon want you to have the most minimal scarring possible from your surgery. Patients with scars that are enlarged or not healing well after surgery can be from many causes. Unsightly scars are most commonly due to genetics, underlying medical conditions or improper scar/wound care. The last part is very important and patients can make a noticeable difference in their scars’ appearance by following best scar management practices. Here are some simple tips.
Scar Management tips:
1- Minimize tension on the scar – Steri Strips and/or surgical tape are often placed in non-hair bearing areas to minimize tension and keep pressure over the scar. This minimizes the stress that can pull the scar apart (dehiscence) creating a wound and delaying healing time, and can make the scar wider, or more “ropy”.
2– Keep your incision site/scar clean to prevent infection. Follow your surgeon’s wound care instructions to the letter with out modification. NEVER apply different products then recommended without first discussing them with your surgeon. This is especially important during the first few weeks. If there are any signs of infection contact your surgeon’s office immediately and/or see your doctor or his nurse immediately. Typical signs of infection may include redness outside the immediate incision site, asymmetric swelling, and drainage, of pus, fever, chills, and “feeling sick”
3. –Protect your scars from the sun - staying out of the sun is the best advice. Minimal exposure to sunlight is prevents hyperpigmentation (permanently turning brown) and other problems that can make the scar more noticeable. Sunscreen, at least 30 SPF and an overlying make camouflage make up additionally protects the scar from the suns harmful rays. This advice is especially important the first year following your surgery.
4. – Use specific scar maturation products recommended by your surgeon. Patients seem to have their own opinions on this touting everything from Pure Vit E, Coco butter, to Aloe Vera, etc but most have minimal benefit other than keeping the scar hydrated. Although hydration is important there are better, scientifically studied products with greater efficacy. Most of the scientific articles written about this subject indicate that topical silicone gel or silicone sheets work the best. There are a lot of products to choose from, but silicone should be one of the key ingredients. Although Mederma, an onion extract derivative active ingredient rather than mainly silicone based may help, primarily silicone based products are better and many also contain other ingredients that may be synergistic (hydrocortisone or other steroid, Vitamin E, Sunscreen,etc). At the present time I prefer BioCorneum or Kelo-Cote products and if the reader has problems obtaining these they can call my office. Patient compliance is also critical – use often and according to directions or it will not work optimally. NEVER apply products without first discussing them with your surgeon.
5. – Monitor to make sure your scar is progressing optimally. Keep your scheduled follow-up appointments with your surgeon to verify that your scars are maturing as expected. Occasionally if indicated you may need a topical steroid preparation or even a series of injections (5-FU and/or Steroids) or laser treatments to treat or prevent scar hypertrophy or keloid formation (red raised scars), or other topical medicines to treat post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (brown scars) with prescription creams and possible laser treatments.
Best scar treatment after full tummy tuck?
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!
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.