What Helps a Tummy Tuck Scar Result- Stitches on the Outer Layer or Glue?

I am going to have a tummy tuck and I know their will be a scar I was just wondering...as far as the best results when it comes to the outcome of your scar which is better for the outer layer of skin stitches or glue?

Doctor Answers 12

Tummy Tuck Scar can be improved with stitches under skin, massage, Scar Guard, and 1540 Erbium Laser

The most important factor in the final appearance of a Tummy Tuck scar is the skill and careful technique of your surgeon.

I have found the following helpful in improving the Tummy Tuck Scar:

  • Careful fastidious surgical technique
  • Avoid extreme tension during closure
  • Subcutaneous (under the skin ) everted suture closure
  • Gentle massage of scar starting at 2-3 weeks post op
  • Topical Application of Scar Guard solution
  • Treat redness with IPL-Intense Pulsed Light at 6 weeks
  • If scar lumpy or raised treat with 1540 Non ablative fractional Erbium laser

Remember studies have shown that all surgical scars are pink for an average of 7 months.

Getting THE BEST Tummy Tuck Scar - Stitches or Glue?

The KEY to getting a GREAT Tummy Tuck scar is getting a great Plastic surgeon who is compulsive about getting great results. When removing excess tummy skin, the remaining skin not only must be able to come together and allow for skin closure but the closure must be under no skin tension. Persistent pulling on the skin results in a wide, pulled ugly scar. For this reason, we closure the tummy tuck wound in several layers; with the deeper layers of stitches taking up and resisting any pulling so that there is no pulling on the skin surface. Personally, I like to close the skin with a non-reacting, noninflammation causing, dissolving stitch which brings the skin together under no tension. I then use gle both for added support but to avoid having to use dressings (which would stick to the wound) which seal the wound allowing you to shower the next morning. The result - good looking scars.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

What helps a tummy tuck scar result - stitches on the outer layer or glue?

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. 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.

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.  Closure of incisions is surgeon dependent.  I typically use sutures for all of my closures as it creates the best outcome in my hands.

Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Stitches or glue for tummy tuck scar?

Thank you for your question.  What matters more is a well-approximated tension-free closure. If the deeper layers of suture do an excellent job of approximating the dermis (deep layer of skin), then the surface layer can be either glue or a running, buried intracuticular suture (no stitches on the surface seen).

If there is tension on the surface layer, then there is a chance that you scar will widen or thicken.  I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 183 reviews

Stitches or glue for tummy tuck

There are studies which show in a tension free wound closure glue is as effective as sutures in skin repair. Surgeons most often place the tension of a wound closure on layers deeper than the skin surface to avoid scar spread. The skin can then be sealed with a subcuticular (hidden) suture and covered with a suture tape, or can be glued. Some even use a subcuticular suture and glue instead of suture strips. All can give an excellent result.

Best of luck,

Peter Johnson, MD

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Tummy tuck scar

The best scar results from a type of closure which does no leave suture marks but Glue I feel is inadequate for a Tummy tuck closure. The suturing is very important and then Biocornium is apple=ied for 12 week to improve the scars healing.

Ronald Iverson, MD
Pleasanton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck Scar

The jury is still out on which sutures or stitches versus which absorbable staples or glue are better for scarring.  There is no good evidence in medical science I am aware of that confidently resolves the question. Glue is sometimes useful for the outer layer but does not hold tension, so typically layers of suture are still needed beneath the skin.

Jeff Scott, MD
Everett Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Stitches vs Glue

I do not know of any data that demonstrates dissovable stitches vs glue being better.  We do know that a no tension closure and no outside stitches will aide in the healing of the tummy tuck scar. 

Kari L. Colen, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Best Scars are Achieved by Following Your Surgeons Advice

Hi there-

While I definitely have strong opinions about what gives the very best scars in my own patients, I know that my protocol may not be as effective within the framework of another surgeon's techniques, and vice versa.

It is therefore, not in your best interests to have anyone other than your chosen surgeon give you advice on what to do or not do with your incisions/scars. 

Furthermore, it's probably not fair and would make your surgeon sad to know that your were asking for advice online instead of trusting his advice.

Your best bet is to carefully find a surgeon you like and feel you can trust with your safety and happiness, and then follow all of their instructions for what works well in their practice.


Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

Scars depend alot on the individual

The final results of your scars from tummy tuck operation depends on many factors, including the way the individual heals.  However, there are some things that can be done to improve the appearance of the scars, including using dissolvable stitches along the incision without using external stitches, application of topical silicone pads or gel on the scars afterwards, avoidance of irritation or infection to the incision, avoidance of smoking before and after surgery.

James Tang, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
3.4 out of 5 stars 18 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.