Treatment for Tummy Tuck Scar Revision

I had a tummy tuck scar revision on April 15, 2011. The surgeon placed the scar too high on my stomach and did a revision. Can the scar be brought down lower? Also, what can I do to make the scar lighter? I am hispanic and am prone to hypertrophic scarring and keloids

Doctor Answers 8

Scar care after tummy tuck

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

Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Tummy tuck scar position

You are not correct in saying that your plastic surgeon made a mistake in your scar position.  Just because you wanted it lower doesn't mean that he/she could make it lower.  If you read the numerous posts on RS you will learn that the height of the scar all depends on how much extra skin you have and you clearly didn't have a lot.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Don't think your scar is too high

The placement of a tummy tuck scar varies from patient to patient.  Some scars are placed where yours is and sometimes we are able to place them lower.  Your scar may be higher than you expected but in my opinion it is not out of the norm.  A lower scar would have cut across your tattoo.  Your surgeon may have taken this into account at the time of the markings.  Was this brought up at all prior to your surgery?

Albert Dabbah, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Abdominoplasty scar - too high and how to have it heal in the best possible way

Unfortunately, it is very difficult to lower a "too high" tummy tuck scar. After a year or more and with some relaxation of the skin, there may be a greater probability for this to be performed but again it would be quite low and the amount that it could be lowered would generally not be a whole lot.

With regard to ancillary ways to help obtain the best possible scar, consider one of a variety of scar creams or lotions, silicone gel sheeting and a skin bleaching agent such as a hydroquinone that will help reduce the risk/extent of hyperpigmentation which you will be at an increased risk for.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Scar Improvement After Surgery.

Scars look good for two weeks, then they begin to get red raised and ugly. It takes two months, to get to the firmest healing, about  six months to get to the reddest, and six months to two years to improve.

I would start using silicone cream two weeks after surgery, two times per day. You need to do this for this for ten to twelve weeks.

There is no laser that removes scars, if the scar is red or dark , you can use a laser to help improve the color. Bleaching creams are also sometimes helpful in darker skin types.

Jon M. Grazer, MD, MPH, FACS
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Tummy Tuck Scars

Dear Mon Mon,

Scars usually fade over time, so patience is important. I would speak with your plastic surgeon about ways to reduce the chance of hypertrophic or keloid scarring. There are many options to prevent and/or treat hypertrophic and keloid scars including adhesive tapes, silicone sheets, medicines, lasers, and various creams and ointments.

As far as the location of the scar is concerned, unfortunately, it is very difficult to lower the scar unless the skin significantly stretches or relaxes after surgery.

Best of luck,

Larry Fan, MD

Larry Fan, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Revising tummy tuck scars

You should use silicone gels/sheets right now since your scar is so new.  It is very difficult to "lower" a scar of that length.  I recommend waiting at least nine months to one year to allow the scar to mature and soften before doing any type of revision. The scar will lighten over time, you just have to be patient for now.

Consult with your plastic surgeon if you have any further concerns.

Best wishes,

Dr. Bruno

William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 377 reviews

Tummy tuck scar keloid

You should talk to your board certified plastic surgeon about what treatments including lasers, creams, injections and sheeting might be appropriate for the care of your wound.

See my many other posts on how the location of the tummy tuck scar is determined.  It is not something that you can just put at a low level without several other considerations.


Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 177 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.