Is It Necessary to Use Wound Care Products on my Tummy Tuck Incision?

I had a full tummy tuck three weeks ago, and I have read several comments/articles about using wound care products for scar improvement. However, I personally believe is best to leave a wound heal on its own but that does not mean I am right. What is your advise on this? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 6

Is It Necessary to Use Wound Care Products

The overwhelming percentage of scars heal uneventfully without intervention. Relatively few surgeons, with the exception of plastic surgeons, bother with any of these products, and their patients do well. 

It is clear that when patients show signs of abnormal healing that various products can be of benefit, but no products have been shown to have significant benefit when used on large numbers of normal healers.

Thanks and best wishes.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Scar products not necessary after tummy tuck

Most will heal quite well without the assistance of and scar products after tummy tuck. Some individuals however will benefit from silicone sheeting or liquid such as scarguard, and some will use Mederma. We also find massage with common skin lotions helpful to make the tissue soften. We suggest you wait another month before starting.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

How to get good tummy tuck scars

Most scars improve over time so it is very difficult to prove that any of the commonly used treatments do much good. I typiccally keep tummy tuck scars taped for 4-6 weeks and that seems to work very well. A product called scar guard from SkinMedica actually has good scientific testing so that would be my recommendation if you want to do something. (Good testing means that it is compared to an untreated half of the same scar, and compared to other treatments on half of the same scar; before and after pictures mean nothing unless you know how the scar would have changed anyway.)

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Scar products after tummy tuck

It is too early to use any products on your scar.  Most scars improve on their own at this time.  Scar guard, Mederma etc may be indicated later, but you would be wasting your money at this early time.

Leonard T. Yu, MD
Maui Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Is It Necessary to Use Wound Care Products on my Tummy Tuck Incision

After the steristrips are removed postoperatively the only substance I would add is Scar Guard which is a liquid silicone that is painted on the wounds after they are exposed to air.

Paul Vitenas, Jr., MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 110 reviews

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

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

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