I am 3 weeks post FTT with MR. I am concerned about sunburn on my abdomen. (Photo)

I cover my scar as well as liberally apply a high spf. After 5 mins in the sun, I get redness right down the line where my MR is! I have been avoiding the sun since I noticed this. Please advise me on what the cause of this is and what I should do.

Doctor Answers 6

Sunburn after a tummy tuck

Thank you for the question and the photo. Following a tummy tuck procedure, you should be careful to avoid any direct contact with UVA and UVB rays. Even a liberal application of sunscreen to your abdomen does not absolutely protect your scar from sunburns that will slow down the healing process. Some specialists recommend avoiding the sun altogether for several months and, considering that your procedure was done fairly recently, I would recommend heeding that advice. As always, an in-person exam with a board-certified plastic surgeon would be the best way to assess your needs and obtain reliable medical advice. Best of luck! Dr. Michael Omidi.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Tanning after surgery

Sunbathing after surgery is generally a risky proposition because the tissues are still recovering from the recent surgery and there are normal alterations of blood flow to the tissues after surgery.  Consequently, the skin and soft tissues are more susceptible to injury.  In addition, the sensation to the skin is not normal after a FTT so you may burn the skin without feeling any warning signs of discomfort.  Caution should be exercised with all activities in the early recovery period.  You should review with your surgeon what activities are safe at your stage of recovery.

Daniel M. Calloway, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

I am 3 weeks post FTT with MR. I am concerned about sunburn on my abdomen. (Photo)

You need to call your operative surgeon immediately to be told NO SUN till 6 weeks!!! Especially a sun burn to a recent flap surgery!!!

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

I am 3 weeks post FTT with MR. I am concerned about sunburn on my abdomen. (Photo)

Thank you for your question and for sharing your photograph.  Due to the nature of a tummy tuck the skin that is lifted requires time to heal to the underlying muscle tissue and during this healing phase the healing cells are susceptible to injury and burn.  I would recommend staying out of direct sunlight for 6 months after your procedure as you are at greater risk of pigmentary changes and irritation.  

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Sun exposure and recent tummy tuck

Congratulations on your procedure and thanks for sharing your question. I can appreciate your concern.

The redness is related to the sensitivity of the cells that are trying to repair the wound. The recommendation is to stay away from the sun or use a SPF 100 one piece swim suite. Next year things should be better.
Finally, make sure that your doctor is aware of your process. He should be able to guide you best in your care.

Wishing you the best in your journey

Sunburn on Abdomen 3 weeks after TT

In a full abdominoplasty, the skin is lifted off the underlying muscle all the way from the incision up to the breastbone. This allows the surgeon access to the muscle to tighten it when needed as well as allowing the skin flap to be brought down to close the incision once the excess lower abdominal skin is removed. Please remember that this skin flap is still healing and making new connections to the tissues underneath and is still very sensitive. Complete coverage with clothing and a high SPF is recommended for our patients exposed to the sun for at least 4 months post TT because of the risk of permanent pigmentation changes and even burns.

Christopher T. Chia, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 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.