C-section Scar and Tummy Tuck Scar. Do They Look the Same?

I had a c-section about 9 months ago, and my scar is still really red, raised, and uneven. I remember right after my c-section I could feel my skin above and below the sutures overlapping. My question is will my tummy tuck scar be same way or will the scar be a thin line with no raised areas?

Doctor Answers 8

Tummy tuck scar can look good with proper preparation and technique

Thank you for your question.  Part of how the scar will look depends on your genetics which we cannot control.  However, I believe the majority of factors that determine how a scar looks are under our control.  Most patients are capable of forming an acceptable scar.  That is one that is flat, narrow and faded to white.  There are some patients who are more prone to scars that are raised, hyperpigmented or keloid.  Generally, these are patients with more pigment in their skin.  You and your surgeon can do things that will promote a good scar.  These include:  rubbing Bio-oil or extra virgin olive oil into your skin preop, using hydroquinone on your skin preop if you are prone to hyperpigmentation, the use of Quill sutures, excellent surgical technique that includes closing the skin with minimal tension, taking vitamin C supplements and the use of tape or silicone sheets on the scars post-op.   So, just because your C-section scar is less than optimal, does not mean that your tummy tuck scar will inevitably be the same.  There may be reasons why the C-section scar does not look great and some of these reasons may be able to be controlled or modified.  Your plastic surgeon can discuss your particular situation with you after examining you and your skin.  Hope this helps.

Tracy M. Pfeifer, MD, MS

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Tummy Tuck vs C-Section Scar

Scars mature over 12 months. They can be raised and will have some redness as they mature.  The use of silicone bandages can help with the raised portions and time will take the redness.  The overlapping feature is not a desired result of the skin and in the hands of a skilled board certified PS this should not be the end result.

Dr. ES

Scar appearance from different surgeries

A tummy tuck scar most likely will look different from your c-section scar, in that it will be longer. It is not possible to accurately predict if it will heal as a nice thin line or if it will become raised.  There are many factors that go into a scar's appearance.  In many cases, we excise the c-section scar in conjunction with the tummy tuck, so you won't have to worry about the poor appearance of the c-section scar at least.  Good luck.

Mennen T. Gallas, MD
Katy Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

C-Section vs Tummy Tuck Scars

Tummy tuck scars are almost always longer in horizontal length than c-section scars. They may or may not look better than a c-section depending on what how the c-section scar looks. In 'good-looking' c-section scars, the tummy tuck scar may not look quite as fine and discreet. In 'poor-looking' c-section scars, a tummy tuck scare will almost always appear better by being smooth and having no overlapping skin.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Tummy Tuck Scarring?

Often times patient's scars will heal in similar fashion even when you cut out old scars and revise them. This is probably due mostly to our genetics. That said, there are certain factors that affect wound healing adversely,(like infection, poor surgical technique, bad suture choice, rough edges, radiation, etc..), and once those factors are removed the revised scar should heal much better.

It sounds like your original c-section wound may have been closed with uneven edges. This could lead to inflammation and irritation. Once this heals, having a tummy tuck with a well performed wound closure will likely heal better, but nothing is for sure.  Good luck.

Erez Sternberg, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

C Section and Tummy Tuck Scars

You are raising a valid point: Why is my scar still red 9 months after c section?

There are 3 components:

The patient and what kind of scar they are prone to.

The circumstances of the scar, the hormones of pregnancy and healing and the condition of the skin due to the pregnancy

There the surgical care and the closure of the skin.

All those components play a role in the outcome, and your surgeon has to see how he can modulate all the components to have a good outcome. 

M. Vincent Makhlouf, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Tummy tuck scars compared to c-sections scars

Tummy tuck scars usually heal better than c-section scars.  Having done many tummy tucks on patients with c-sections scars, I have noticed that the c-section scar tends to heal "stuck down" to the muscle that has been repaired with the delivery.  When I perform a tummy tuck, I'm careful to place my incision right below the c-section scar so that I can remove that scar and any other scar tissue that has formed by the abdominal muscles.  I also spend a lot of time closing the tummy tuck incision to get the most inconspicuous scar possible.  This involves dissolvable stitches and skin glue (no staples.)  Even more, I review good scar therapy after several weeks of healing from the tummy tuck to give the best scar possible (fine, white line scar.)

C section and tummy tuck scars

It is impossible to comment effectively without a photo. Plastic surgeons devote time to creating an acceptable scar; I do not know whether your Caesarean scar was sutured or stapled. If your current scar is hypertrophic, then this can be addressed with steroid injections, silicone sheeting and other modalities. See a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 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.