Is Red Light Therapy OK for Tummy Tuck Incisions? (photo)

My gym offers free red light therapy and I was wondering if it would help or be harmful to my tummy tuck incision. I am 7 weeks post op and a woman of color, so I worry about hyperpigment. And because of hyperpigment I plan to keep my incision covered for at least 12 months even under my swim suits. My incision is great now, I have no complaints. I just want to do all that I can. So if red light therapy would help prevent thick scar tissue from developing later then it would we worth it using to me.

Doctor Answers 8

Scar Management In Darker Skin Types

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Thank you for your question and photos. Your scars appear to be healing well without any thickening.  Silicone sheeting is most helpful for preventing scar thickening. It should be worn every day for 4-6 months. Gelzone wraps work well in tummy tuck patients and can be resused.  It can be quite cumbersome so some patients prefer to use silicone gel.  I usually recommend the Biocorneum brand because it includes a sunscreen.  The hyperpigmentation or darkening of the incision is a natural response to the inflammatory phase of wound healing. It is best treated with 4% hydroquinone for 4-6 months for best results.   Redness of the scar usually resolves on its own with time but resolution can be accelerated with intense pulse light treatments.  Red LED light does have some anti-inflammatory properties in test tubes and in acne patients, but does not have a lot of strong evidence in terms of scar management. Probably safe, but also not likely to be very effective.  Best wishes on your recovery.

Is Red Light Therapy OK for Tummy Tuck Incisions?

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It will not hurt the healing but it could be a waste of timer and $'s for you. Best to ask your chosen surgeon. 

Scar red light treatment

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Silicone gel is a good idea. Red light if it heats the tissue could cause hyper pigmentation. Your scar is great so far! Good Luck.

Gregory T. Lynam, MD
Richmond Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Red light therapy doesn't do anything to improve the scar.

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I would advise against red light therapy. This doesn't do anything to help the outcome of the scar.

Is Red Light Therapy OK for Tummy Tuck Incisions

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I would run this by your surgeon. Unless someone has done a study showing benefit from this treatment for healing wounds, I would discourage experimenting on your scars. 

All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Red light therapy for tummy tuck scarring

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If it ain't broke, don't fix it. My father told me this years ago and it applies abundantly to your case. Did you have a tummy tuck at the gym? Of course not. Your treatment, including postop scar management, should remain in the hands of a board certified plastic surgeon. Red light therapy is not benign and can produce hyper pigmentation, which would make your scar unsightly.

LED Red Light Therapy

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Yes, red light therapy can be helpful for your incisions, but it really depends on the type of light they are using - type, power and intensity.  Also, don't expect miracles, it is not a magic eraser.  Incisions take months to heal.  It looks like you are healing nicely.  We offer LED light therapy in our office in addition to V Beam Perfect Laser to help patient's incisions heal faster.  Additionally, V Beam laser has been shown to significantly reduce bruising after surgical procedures and injection treatments.


Good Luck.


Good Luck.

Red light therapy for surgical scars - Questionable Results

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I would not expect red light therapy to be of any benefit to your surgical scar.  Continue with your current management, avoid sun exposure and you should get a nice result.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 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.