I Would Like to Start Preparing to Have a Full Mommy Makeover in About a Year?

I would like to start preparing to have a full mommy makeover in about a year from now, but I am concerned with scarring. I am have a couple of keloid scars from childhood, I am black. Should I seek a plastic surgeon that specializes in scar-prone skin or someone with a propensity, if you will for keloid scarring? If so, where do I begin to look?

Doctor Answers 12

Avoiding Scars With Mommy Makeover

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Thank you for your excellent question. Scars are among the biggest concerns for most plastic surgery patients, particularly with the tummy tuck component of a mommy makeover. If you know you are prone to keloids, that concern is understandably increased. Plastic surgeons can give you detailed advice and recommend products to help with healing and minimizing scars during your recovery, but the techniques that help scars the most occur in the operating room. Good plastic surgeons work to make your scars as undetectable as possible, hiding them in strategic locations and using techniques to reduce tension on the incision. When you search for a surgeon, be sure to look at before-and-after photos of the same procedures you're interested in so you can evaluate their previous work. Choose a surgeon who has achieved good results with these procedures in the past, and be sure to discuss your specific concerns about scars. Good luck!

Keloid and Cosmetic Surgery

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All plastic surgeons are capable of managing unfavorable scarring and should be capable of being straight forward if they feel that you may keloid excessively.  This would not benefit your cosmetic outcome.    You should select your surgeon based on experience.

Dr. ES 

Keloids and Mommy Makeover

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Mommy makeover surgery is commonly done for all skin types.  The scars are placed in inconspicuous locations, along normal creases, or usually covered with clothing.  Keloids form as a very aggressive response out of proportion to minor trauma, and are not common, but some patients are genetically prone to develop them.  Most patients who think they form keloids actually have thick, or hypertrophic, scars that are a result of a traumatic injury such as a dirty infected cut or fall, often with scrapes and bruises or after deep abdominal surgery that required a great deal of tension on the skin.  This type of injury may cause the healing to be over-active, producing a thicker scar.  In contrast, during our elective mommy makeover surgery we carefully and gently handle the skin in order to avoid this over-active healing.  The result is a scar as nice as possible. 

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Preparing to Have a Full Mommy Makeover

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The occasional surgeon who has extensive experience with scars are usually burn surgeons who often have less experience with tummy tucks and breast surgery.

Other than avoiding unnecessary tension on incisions, there is really little one plastic surgeon can do that is differing in technique from another that will make abnormally scarring less likely to occur. I would sooner recommend a surgeon who does good tummy tucks and breast surgery than one not as good in those areas but expert in scars. 

This is a good time to  start planning and beginning the consultation process. All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Your tummy tuck scar should be similar to another scar in the same area (example: C-section).

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Good questions.  You need to have a detailed consultation about this.  First of all, there are  no surgeons who specialize in treating scar-prone skin.  Second, we don't have a good way of treating keloids (we inject them of course, but he cosmetic result is still not great).  Have you had any surgical incisions?  For example if you had a cesarean section and that scar healed well, chances are your tummy tuck scar will heal well too.  Often nonsurgical scars from childhood are worse because they were not fine surgical incision that were carefully repaired.  Did you develop keloids from ear or belly button piercing?  I wonder if liposuction alone might be an option for you if you are indeed a keloid-former.  I've had women who have had keloids after tummy tucks who are still glad they did it.  I keep the scar low, hidden within the panty line.  Might take a few years to settle down but they do tend to gradually improve with time.  You may wish to check this section of my website, attached.  For breast augmentation the incision can be much shorter, of course, particularly if you choose saline implants.  It all comes down to a judgment call between you and your experienced plastic surgeon.

Mommy Makeover

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Consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon regarding your Mommy Makeover.  Your Plastic Surgeon will determine scar management post op.  As long as you follow up with your surgeon as he recommends, you should do fine.  If any scars need to be revised after healing, that will be addressed as needed.  Best wishes!

Keloid risk from mommy make-over

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Thank you for asking about preparing for your mommy make-over.

  1. Most mommy make-over scars are excellent.
  2. Most 'keloids" are just normally thickened scars on the chest and back.
  3. Keloids are a true growth of scar beyond the scar itself, may form without trauma and are often seen as large ear lobe lumps after ear piercing.
  4. To find out if you are a true keloid former, ask the plastic surgeon when you have your mommy make over consultation.

Scarring after mommy makeover.

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Thank you for your question. There are measures that can be taken to minimize the risks of hypertrophic or keloid scarring. These may include decreasing tension on the scar in the operating room, placement of steroids in the scar during surgery or after included in the scar tape. Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon with expertise in this area and a comprehensive scar regimen aftercare for his or her patients.

No secrets to totally avoid keloid scarring in a keloid prone patient

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There are many things that can be done proactively to help you make the best scar possible. There are no guaranties when it comes to scarring as how you scar is as individual to you as your fingerprint.  There are not magic secrets to prevent keloids and you should be prepared for this eventuality if you move forward with the surgery.  

Avoiding keloid scarring

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Having a thickened scar (hypertrophic scar) or keloid is always going to be a possibility. i agree with the other doctors that you should seek a board certified plastic surgeon (American Board of Plastic Surgery) to consult with. They should be able to discuss your individual risk for a bad scar, and things that can be done after surgery if it appears the scar is thickening (silicone sheeting, steroid injection, etc.). After your consultation, you should be in a pretty good position to weigh the pro's and con's and make an informed decision.

Brian D. Kent, MD
Tulsa Plastic Surgeon

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.