Is inflammation a good thing for scar reduction after Tummy tuck ?

read somewhere that inflammation was a natural response after surgery...if before, during, and after tummy tuck the patient was taking anti-inflammatory vitamins, would that slow the healing process and therefore make the scar worse ?

Doctor Answers 4

Can anti-inflammatory medication make your tummy tuck scar worse?

You are correct that inflammation is a normal part of the healing process, but it has never been shown that taking anti-inflammatory drugs have any affect on scar formation.   Typically, the more inflammation there is, the worse the scarring will be.   

Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 113 reviews

Inflammation and Healing post Tummy Tuck

This is an interesting question!Inflammation is a good and bad thing. Inflammation is a normal physiologic process that allows wounds to heal properly, and this is why individuals on steroids who have autoimmune disorders, for example, are more prone to wound healing problems. I do like to recommend anti-inflammatory medication like NSAIDS (ibuprofen, motrin, aleve, naproxen) because they reduce symptoms like swelling and pain in order to allow my patients to feel more comfortable and get back to normal more quickly. There is a balance.

Michele A. Shermak, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Inflammation and scar formation

This is an interesting question.  Any injury, including an intentional one such as a cosmetic surgery will induce an inflammatory response.  We need this response in order to establish effective healing.  A surgeon always wants their patients to heal with the least obvious scar possible.  An inflammatory response that runs out of control will likely lead to unacceptable deep and surface scarring.  Maneuvers during surgery such as limiting trauma to tissues with excessive traction, reducing use of cautery especially close to the skin surface, relieving tension on the skin at the time of closure help minimize certain inflammation,  After surgery maintaining appropriate hydration, electrolyte balance, nutrition, proper compression and mobility help reduce  inflammation,  There are numerous nutriceuticals that claim to reduce inflammation.  These substances may have unanticipated side effects, especially after a significant surgery.  Your surgeon should be able to guide you on what to stop and what is acceptable to take before and after surgery.  Your surgery is a partnership between you and your surgeon.  Always seek the opinion and expertise of a board certified plastic surgeon.  Never hesitate to ask any question,  The better prepared a patient is for surgery and the more calm that they are anticipating the recovery, the lower the overall inflammation is as well.

Paul G. Ruff IV, MD, FACS
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Vitamins before surgery

Dear Dars,    It is true that an inflammatory response is part of the healing process after surgery, however, in my practice I disallow taking Vitamins C and E , because they are blood thinners and should be avoided with a whole slue of foods, supplements and medications list that can be harmful during and after surgery.  My patients receive a diet sheet with the above mentioned list, which they have to avoid before and after surgery for a period of time.    Always, consult with experienced board certified plastic surgeons who operate in accredited surgery center for your safety. Most importantly, check the before and after pictures in the photo gallery, to make sure that they are numerous, consistent and attractive with flat stomach, low scar and nice belly button. Also, check the reviews on 'RealSelf' for ratings and positive experience reports.                           All the best,                                                      Dr Widder

Shlomo Widder, MD
McLean Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

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