How Should I Massage Mini Tummy Tuck Scar?

How Should I Massage Mini Tummy Tuck Scar?

Doctor Answers 6

Massage with lotion

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I often ask my patients to begin scar massage after their wounds are about three to four weeks old. This speeds up the softening of the scar and can help to prevent contractures. Any lotion can be used for this purpose that reduces friction between your fingers and the scar. Then, you should consider application of a silicone based scar cream like Scarguard or Kelocote once or twice a day. And remember to keep scars out of the sun for a year!

Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 168 reviews

Scar care after tummy tuck

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Thank you for your post. In tummy tuck and other lift/tightening surgeries, tension is the enemy. The scar is healing gradually over 12 weeks or so, and until it is strong, it is the weakest link. As there is a great deal of tension in tummy tucks, body lifts, breast lifts, etc., the scar is at high risk of 'stretching' or widening. Silicone sheeting, although having the ability to make a scar flat, does nothing to prevent stretching of the scar. Creams or steroids or lasers also do not have the ability to prevent stretching of the scar. Those are used if scar is thick or dark, but not to reduce the wideness of the scar, which is the main problem. Massage also does not help keep the scar thin, and can actually worsen the scar in the first 12 weeks because you are actually adding tension to the scar. Massage is for softening a hard or thick scar, but if used early, will hasten the scar widening. Only tension reduction has the ability to keep the scar as thin as possible. You may notice in a lot of tummy tuck scars that the center portion of the scar is the widest with the sides toward the hips being the thinnest. This is because the maximum tension is at the center, and least amount on the sides. Embrace removes a lot of the tension by putting more tension on the skin on either side of the incision and drawing the incision together. It is expensive though at about $100 per week for 12 weeks. When patients do not want to spend the money for embrace, I tape the incision trying to remove as much tension as possible for 12 weeks and recommend no stretching back and to sit most of the time, keeping tension off the scar.
Best wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Mini tummy tuck scar

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How do you care for you tummy tuck scar?  I usual keep patients taped over their incison for 3-6 weeks if not longer.  They then can use moisturizers on theie incisions. If they have problems with the scar they can use topical silicone sheets or creams.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

There is manual lympahtic drainage massage and scar massage

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There are two different methods of massage.

One is manual lymphatic drainage. This encourages resolution of swelling which theoretically promotes oxygenation and optimal healing.

The second is the firm massage used to promote reorganization of the collagen fibrils to produce a thinner and flatter scar. Scars are approximately 80% strong at the 3-4 week point and therefore this is the most common time to intiate this technique. Any hypoallergenic mosturizing lotion or oil will do. Massage therapists vary widely in their recommendations but physicians tend to recommend silicone based gels.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Scar care

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I suggest you ask your surgeon to find out what they recommend, because not all surgeons recommend massaging scars. Other scar care techniques, such as creams and silicone sheeting may be recommended instead.
Generally, massage or any other scar care treatment should be performed once the incisions have closed and strengthened enough. This could take a few weeks.

Massage of a mini tummy tuck scar

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After a mini tummy tuck, patients should expect a significant recovery process. During the first month, you will have significant swelling to the area that was treated and to any areas that also received liposuction. You should expect to see your ultimate result in a proximally 6 to 8 months after the surgery. Your scar however is not done healing. Scars take approximately 10 to 12 months to finally mature. During the healing process, you can help optimize the healing of your scar by massaging the scarred deeply in a round, circular motion. Many of our patients use scar creams such as Mederma or Kelocote onto the scars as well.

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.