Do I Need Scar Treatment at 5 Weeks Post Full Tummy Tuck (photo)

Well Yesterday I 5 week Mark of my full TT i went back to see my doctor she couldnt believe her eyes.She was very impressed with my scar & belly button@ just 5 weeks.Although i do have a muffin top she said she will extend my scar for me to give me a better & smaller waist line although alot on here say i need Lipo i will trust my doctor :) I have 2 say i do feel better everyday.She wants to make me the poster child for her office.Now she saids i dont need scar treatment cause im healing well? Is this true?

Doctor Answers 11

Scar Management

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Your scar is healing well but I would have to do a proper examination to determine that for sure. For scar management, here is some more advice that I recommend to my patients in these circumstances:

Best Scar Management is important to minimize or completely hide from view, the tell tale signs of surgery – namely, scars. Both you and your surgeon want you to have the most minimal scarring possible from your surgery. Patients with scars that are enlarged or not healing well after surgery can be from many causes. Unsightly scars are most commonly due to genetics, underlying medical conditions or improper scar/wound care. The last part is very important and patients can make a noticeable difference in their scars’ appearance by following best scar management practices. Here are some simple tips.

Scar Management tips:
1- Minimize tension on the scar – Steri Strips and/or surgical tape are often placed in non-hair bearing areas to minimize tension and keep pressure over the scar. This minimizes the stress that can pull the scar apart (dehiscence) creating a wound and delaying healing time, and can make the scar wider, or more “ropy”.

2– Keep your incision site/scar clean to prevent infection. Follow your surgeon’s wound care instructions to the letter with out modification. NEVER apply different products then recommended without first discussing them with your surgeon. This is especially important during the first few weeks. If there are any signs of infection contact your surgeon’s office immediately and/or see your doctor or his nurse immediately. Typical signs of infection may include redness outside the immediate incision site, asymmetric swelling, and drainage, of pus, fever, chills, and “feeling sick”
3. –Protect your scars from the sun - staying out of the sun is the best advice. Minimal exposure to sunlight is prevents hyperpigmentation (permanently turning brown) and other problems that can make the scar more noticeable. Sunscreen, at least 30 SPF and an overlying make camouflage make up additionally protects the scar from the suns harmful rays. This advice is especially important the first year following your surgery.

4. – Use specific scar maturation products recommended by your surgeon. Patients seem to have their own opinions on this touting everything from Pure Vit E, Coco butter, to Aloe Vera, etc but most have minimal benefit other than keeping the scar hydrated. Although hydration is important there are better, scientifically studied products with greater efficacy. Most of the scientific articles written about this subject indicate that topical silicone gel or silicone sheets work the best. There are a lot of products to choose from, but silicone should be one of the key ingredients. Although Mederma, an onion extract derivative active ingredient rather than mainly silicone based may help, primarily silicone based products are better and many also contain other ingredients that may be synergistic (hydrocortisone or other steroid, Vitamin E, Sunscreen,etc). At the present time I prefer BioCorneum or Kelo-Cote products and if the reader has problems obtaining these they can call my office. Patient compliance is also critical – use often and according to directions or it will not work optimally. NEVER apply products without first discussing them with your surgeon.

5. – Monitor to make sure your scar is progressing optimally. Keep your scheduled follow-up appointments with your surgeon to verify that your scars are maturing as expected. Occasionally if indicated you may need a topical steroid preparation or even a series of injections (5-FU and/or Steroids) or laser treatments to treat or prevent scar hypertrophy or keloid formation (red raised scars), or other topical medicines to treat post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (brown scars) with prescription creams and possible laser treatments.


Silicone sheeting

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Ask your surgeon if she would be amenable to Scarguard or silicone sheeting, I find it helps with scars.

Scar care after tummy tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
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

Scars take months not weeks to properly fade, especially on the tummy

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Yes, your scars are coming along nicely. It takes months not weeks for the scars to slowly and gradually fade.  Massage moisturizing lotion into them 3 times a day and avoid tanning or exposure to the sun.  At the 6-8 week mark is usually when normal scars look their worst and then start to gradually get better.  You appear to be on a normal track.  I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Patience and silicone gel helpful for scar healing

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Scars can take a long time to fade after abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), and yours looks like it is doing fine one month after surgery.  It will probably be at least six months before you start to see reduction in the pink color, and more likely a year or two before the scar really looks it's best.  I recommend that my patients use a topical silicone gel or silicone gel sheets daily (24/7) to speed the scar tissue maturation and prevent excess scar (keloid) formation.  Brands such as Kelocote, or NewGel or Cimeosil, and others can be purchased at your plastic surgeon's office or  via the internet.  

Pamela B. Rosen, MD
Coral Springs Plastic Surgeon

Scars follow a predictable course.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

From your photos, you certainly appear to be healing well. Most people it seems don't realize that scarring is a normal and fairly predictable process. Immediately after surgery, the incisions appear just like that - incisions. As time goes on and you build the scar tissue that holds the skin and tissue together, they will begin to appear elevated and pink or purple. This is all normal. The elevation is due to the amount of early scar tissue (collagen) and the color is due to the increased vascularity required by the body to build and remodel this scar. At about 6-8 weeks, you've built all the scar you need and the body switches gears to remodel the scar. Vascularity begins to dissipate and you notice the color begin to fade, usually at 3-6 months. The scar will flatten as it remodels and matures (which can take up to 2 years). Scar "treatments" are typically modalities used to hasten this process. These vary from simple lotions and massage to silicone sheeting, lasers, bleaching creams, etc. When scars are healing well, I usually advise nothing more than sunscreen, moisturizing lotion, and massage. It sounds as though you are in good hands with your surgeon and I would follow her instructions on scar therapy.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Scar treatment post abdominoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

You are healing very nicely. as the cost of scar gel is quite small, I would suggest using it, as the saying goes,

it couldn't hurt. I think that your "muffin tops" would do well with liposuction.

Rick Rosen, MD
Norwalk Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Scar Treatment after Tummy Tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Looks like you are healing well. You may consider using a silicone gel product if OK with your surgeon. Google: GelZone Abdominal Wrap.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Scar Treatment

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I doubt you "need" scar treatment since you sound like you are doing quite well. But the creams created for scars will probably get you to the finish line a little faster. I find the patients that use these creams are doing very well.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Silicone gel reasonable to use to help maximize aesthetic outcome

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Scar creams such as those containing silicone can help maximize the positive aesthetic appearance of your scar. With almost no downside risk and relatively low cost, it makes sense to use a medical grade one.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 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.