Why is my Tummy Tuck Scar So Red?

So it has been six weeks since my mommy makover. My tummy tucks scar is so red and I was wondering if this will improve? I am most concerned about the vertical incision as it is more visible.

Doctor Answers 8

Red Scar

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Scars naturally go through a period of maturation as different types of collagen (a Protein) is deposited in the scar. In addition, new blood vessels are growing into the scar often giving it a reddish color. The scar following a tummy tuck typically looks its worst at about 6 weeks following surgery, then starts to fade. The best methods of promoting good healing of the wound are to avoid exposing the scar to the sun, begin a massage program of the scar (I recommend using cocoa butter), and possibly  applying a silicone gel or patch to wound

New York Plastic Surgeon

Scar from tummy tuck is as expected and not concerning

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Full scar maturation such as from a tummy tuck can require up to a year. At around 8 - 12 weeks the redness will start subsiding. The scar that you have (as seen in your helpful photo) is as expected and is not abnormal.

If you are not already doing so, you may want to inquire of your plastic surgeon about using a scar treating agent like silicone gel or even sheeting as these can help you obtain the best possible scar, everything else being equal.

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

Changes in scars after a tummy tuck

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Looking at your photo, your scar looks as it should 6 weeks after surgery.  You appear to be healing well.  Scars go through many stages during the healing process.  Full scar maturation takes 6-12 months, so there is a long way to go!  At around 6 weeks, all scars are at their reddest.  After that time, the scar color starts to slowly fade.  Things you can do to help improve the final appearance of your scar include protecting it from the sun, performing scar massage, and potentially using silicone gel products.  You can discuss all of these options with your plastic surgeon.

Naveen Setty, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Scar Healing after Tummy Tuck / Abdominoplasty

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Thanks for posting the picture - it makes answering the question much more informative for other patients and allows us to give you more specific advice.  As stated by others, scars go through a natural progression.  I always tell patients to expect the scar to change over the first six week - at six to eight weeks, the scar may be the reddest and thickest.  Then, over the next six to 8 weeks the scar will mature and become softer, thinner and less red.  So, you are right at the point where it is expected that the scar is red.  You will be very surprised at how much the scar will improve over the next few months.  Talk to your surgeon about their recommendations, but many easy treatments include massage, placement of paper tape over the scar or silicone sheeting.  


Good Luck with your recovery.

Red tummy tuck scar

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All scars go through maturation and remodeling process over a course of one year.  Normally immature scars are red (hyperpigmented).  During the maturation period, you want to protect the scar, ie. avoid sun.  Being exposed to sun will make the scar more red.  When you wear a bathing suit (even if the scar is under the bathing suit), make sure that you apply sun screen.

Why is my tummy tuck scar so red?

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Hello! Thank you for the question! It is common for scars to fully mature for up to a year. In the meantime, there are a few things that may help to ameliorate your incision/scar. The most proven (as well as cheapest) modality is simple scar massage. Applying pressure and massaging the well-healed scar has been shown to improve the appearance as it breaks up the scar tissue, hopefully producing the finest scar as possible. Other things that have been shown to add some benefit, albeit controversial, are silicone sheets, hydration, and topical steroids. These can usually be started at approximately 3-4 weeks postop and when incisions healed. In addition, avoidance of direct sunlight to the incision will significantly help the appearance as they tend to discolor with UV light during the healing process. Scars will never disappear, but attempt is made to make the finest scar in a concealed location. Incisions may be revised to lower or conceal better if enough laxity exists.

If unsightly scars are still present after approximately a year's time, other things that your surgeon may consider are intralesional steroid injections, laser, or just surgical revision of the scar itself.

Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Why are the tummy tuck scars red?

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Scars will actually get redder and firmer for the first 6-8 weeks.  They will slowly improve over the following 12 months.  This can be helped by sun avoidance and silicone sheeting if you are so inclined.

Neal Goldberg, MD
Westchester Plastic Surgeon

Scar maturation after tummy tuck

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Don't worry. you are only six weeks after surgery.  And based on your photo, it looks like you are healing well.  Talk to your plastic surgeon about scar massage therapy.  Use sun block and sun screen.  Remember, it takes months for scars to mature and fade (6-12 months). Hope this helps.

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.