Mini tummy tuck scars at one year, five years, do they get better?

The scars I've seen on mini tummy tucks are severe. Even more severe are the scars on full TTs. I understand the "after" shots occur after surgery. Usually they're hidden, which is frustrating when I am trying to assess the full effect of these surgeries. Do these scars heal over time? To what extent? If I knew the severe scar would only be for a few years, that would change things.

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Doctor Answers 5

Mini tummy tuck scar

Hello, you are correct that the scars after mini tummy tucks can be severe permanently (like keloids), or they can become quite faint over time.  Everyone heals differently.  Scars will usually mature over 12-18 months, but in a few patients I have seen continued improvement in the scars for years after surgery.  

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Scar Maturation

Thank you for your question.  Yes, scars do tend to fade over time with a much improved appearance (typically at 1 year, but even then the scar continues to improve with time).  If for some reason the scar doesn't look good with time, there are things that can be done to improve its appearance (lasers, steroids, revisions).

While patients understandably don't like scars, the much improved contour is considered a very good trade for the vast majority of patients.

I recommend you consult with several plastic surgeons in your area to discuss your options, and to see examples of long-term results.


Dr. Dan Krochmal

MAE Plastic Surgery

Northbrook, IL

Daniel Krochmal, MD
Chicago General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Tummy tuck scars

This is always a tough question.  The reason people typically undergo tummy tucks is to remove excess fat, tighten the muscles, and/or remove excess loose skin.  While the first two can be done through small incisions, the last cannot.  If the skin is excessive, there is no way to remove this without leaving a scar. 

Most sites show "after" photos taken a few weeks or months after the operation when the scars are still fresh.  These almost always improve over time.  Many patients fade their scars very well over time, although this can be unpredictable.  Some patients just scar better than others.  

For most people undergoing an abdominoplasty a properly placed scar can be well hidden and they find the improved contour and tightened skin a worthwhile trade off.

Scott Thellman, MD
Lawrence Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Tummy tuck scars improve over time

Scars in general mature and fade over a period of months to a year or two, and this is true for tummy tucks and most other surgical procedures. I agree that post op photos should show the scar, but it is not practical to expect to see photos of scars several years later. 

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews


Hello and thank you for your question. Photos would definitely help with answering this question. It is unclear what exactly it is you do not like about the scar. Is it raised, is it dark is it widened etc...Scars do take time to completely heal and mature. Many times this can take a year or longer. At 5 years the scar probably wont show much improvement at this point. If the scar is raised there are many options to help improve the scar like lasers, steroid injections, silicone, pressure, scar massage etc... Sometimes, after tummy tuck, the scar can look pretty unsightly whether it be raised or widened but that can happen because there can be a lot of tension on the incision after this surgery. The goal of a tummy tuck is to be as flat as possible and to have as much of the skin and fat removed as possible so sometimes its a trade off. However, either way, a scar revision can always be attempted and can be done under local. But just remember, if you do under go a scar revision procedure, your scar still may go back to looking like it did before the revision. I think you should revisit with you plastic surgeon and express your concerns and see what their recommendations are. I hope this helps!

Ankur Mehta MD

Ankur Mehta, MD
Sugar Land Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 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.