Cover up tummy tuck scars?

How long do you have to wait after getting a tummy tuck to get treatment to cover it I.e. Getting a tattoo to cover scar?

Doctor Answers 19

Tattoo after TT

Thank you for your question. Generally speaking, the incision should be well healed for at least three months. This is somewhat of an arbitrary length of time, I realize, but the point is the incisions should be closed and well healed before the tattoo. Incidentally, I have seen some beautiful artwork to conceal scars from tummy tucks or breast reconstructions after mastectomies.

Best wishes,

Covering scars

You would not want to do anything to the scar for at least 3 months.  After 3 months, as long as there are not open areas or stitches that are poking through, it would be ok to get a tattoo.  If your motivation is to make the scar as invisible as possible, you should be aware that the scar is most visible at 3 months and would be expected to fade over the first year.  By the end of a year, you might not need to cover it.  Be warned about tattoos, however - the pigments are not sterile unless you go to a person who will spend the extra money to purchase individualized sterile pigments.  

Arthur W. Perry, MD, FACS
Franklin Park Plastic Surgeon

Cover up tummy tuck scars?


Thank you for your question. 

After the Tummy Tuck operation the recovery period depends on your physical status, age, general health and condition mainly. The operation itself does not take too long therefore you receive a mild anesthesia. Since the anesthesia that you receive is mild; you will not have problems associated with anesthetic agents after the operation. This is especially important and can be achieved with only a team of plastic surgeons like we have. After the operation you will have stiches and bandages which will be removed after the 10th day. You can start to do your daily activities 3 days after the operation but we do not advise you heavy lifting, running or activities that require excess physical activity. The more you rest, the faster your recovery will be.


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1 Year

Scar maturation takes 9 months to 1 year. At this point the scar should have reached a steady-state and be well healed. A stable scar makes planning and executing a tattoo much more predictable. 

Tattoo over TT scar

Thanks for your question. I would advise you to check with your physician on this issue, as we all have our different preferences. The usual amount of time suggested is 1 1/2- 2 yrs. to be sure the scar is completely healed prior to tattooing. After 2 years and final healing, the scar may have faded sufficiently you may not feel it needs tattooing. Best of luck.

Michael K. Obeng, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Tummy tuck scar and tattoo

I think that it is best to wait until the scar has matured significantly. It is soft and the color has faded, it will make the tattoo process easier.  This might take a year or longer.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Abdominoplasty scars


Thanks for your questions.  You should get the OK from your surgeon before having any tattoos.  Generally speaking, I usually have my patients wait 6-12 months to allow the scar to fully heal.  Some of my clients tattoo the scars after just 3 months and everything was fine.

Use some type of tape or silicone products shortly after the surgical procedure to limit the thickness of your scars.

Best of luck with your procedure.

Dr. T

Douglas Taranow, DO, FACOS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Tattoos after a Tummy Tuck

I recommend to wait a full year before getting a tattoo after a tummy tuck. The incision is pretty much healed at that point. 

Leo Lapuerta, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

3 months at least

Two of my patients came in this week with cover tattoo of tummy tuck scars. One waited 1 year the othe 3 months. Both look great. I like silicone scar gel for first 3 months and then can do IPL or laser as well to fade. Good Luck!

Gregory T. Lynam, MD
Richmond Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Tattooing scars

It's prudent to wait at least six months before tattooing a scar.  This is because the scar maturation process in most people takes at least six months for the scar to stabilize (in some people it takes as long as a year and a half).  Tattooing a scar before it's fully matured could result in changes to the tattoo over time, as the scar beneath it may change in color, thickness, or width. Before making a decision to tattoo a scar always have an in-person consultation with a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Best of luck,
Keith M. Blechman, MD
New York, NY

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.