Tummy Tuck Scars: All You Need to Know

You’re here because you’ve had a tummy tuck surgery done on you. It could also be maybe you’re considering going for one but aren’t sure what to expect with the scarring.

Well, tummy tuck scars are an unavoidable ‘aftersales’ discount that most women have to put up with.

Most of them appear right across your lower tummy in a line that spans hip to hip. Although, this line may vary depending on the type of surgery you had and other factors I’ll explain below.

To reduce the visibility of tummy tuck scars, you must ensure that you heed your doctor’s aftercare guidelines. You’ll also have to consider your diet, lifestyle habits, and some other things.

Anyway, what is a tummy tuck and how is it done? Which types of tummy tuck incisions are there? How do you reduce the scar’s visibility and who is the right candidate for the surgery?

Let’s find out below…!

What is a tummy tuck scar?

A tummy tuck scar is a physical line that remains after undergoing tummy tuck surgery.

The scar may be very or barely visible depending on the type of work done on you.

In most cases, the scar improves by fading through a course of months or up to a year for some women. How the final result looks will also vary for each person.

In a few cases, a surgeon will have to do a second surgery to give the optimal scarring results.

Also, the severity of your scar will depend on the following things:

  • Your skin type (or whether your skin is more prone to visible scarring)
  • How religiously you follow the doctor’s aftercare guidelines
  • The technique used during your surgery
  • Whether or not you’ll experience any complications after the operation

Despite these, most of the time it all boils down to you and the steps you take to care for the wound and yourself.

What is a tummy tuck?

A tummy tuck procedure is normally done to remove excess fats, tighten abdominal muscles, and remove excess skin. The cut is almost always made around your belly button and abdominal area.

What you get in the end at the end of this cosmetic surgery is a flatter, firmer, and leaner stomach.

This procedure is pretty popular here in the United States and also works when rectifying separated abdominal muscles. This separation normally comes about after you undergo weight loss or several pregnancies.

You should consult with your plastic surgeon beforehand to determine if you’re the right candidate for the process. You should also ask for the full scoop around the surgery and scarring to have an idea of what to expect.

How is a tummy tuck done?

When you go for a tummy tuck procedure, you should expect the following steps:

1. Anesthesia

This is a very important first part that makes you comfortable as your plastic surgeon carries along.

You can be either given general anesthesia or intravenous sedation. This, of course, will depend on what your doctor sees fit.

2. Incision

Most incisions are mainly done on the area between your belly button and your pubic hairline.

How much excess skin you have will determine the size and shape of the incision the doctor will make.

Once the skin gets lifted, your surgeon will then repair the weakened underlying abdominal muscles.

If need be, your doctor may have to make another incision around your navel. This helps to remove the excess skin (if any) on your upper abdomen.

Once that’s done, the doctor will pull down the skin and cut off the excess bit before suturing back again.

Afterward, you will have your belly button propped to the surface to create a new belly button opening. The new opening will again have to get sutured to secure its new position on your tummy.

3. Closing up

After the above gets accomplished, your surgeon will have to close you up.

For that, he/she may use sutures, tapes, clips, or skin adhesives to close the incisions.

4. Outcome

At this point, you will notice that you have a flatter, leaner, and firmer tummy after the process.

There will also be some scarring that you can manage through proper aftercare guidelines.

Types of scars for tummy tucks

The type of tummy scar you’ll get depends on the location that the incision’s made.

The most common are:

a. Pelvic scars

This type of scar is the most common and crosses from one hip to the other across your pelvic region.

It mainly occurs just above your pubic area and below your belly button.

Size and shape will vary depending on the type of surgery you have.

b. Belly button scars

You’ll only get this scar with a full tummy tuck but it rarely goes around the belly button.

It’s mostly visible at first but fades a great deal and blends in with your abdomen. It becomes almost invincible by the time it fully heals.

c. Vertical scars

Sometimes your doctor might have to make a second incision from your breastbone, down to your tummy. This happens when you have more belly fat plus demanding damage on your abdominal muscle.

This vertical scar is also referred to as a fleur-de-lis tummy tuck.

d. Irregular scars

Irregular scars happen in very rare cases and are mainly due to excess collagen in your body.

They include:

  1. Hypertrophic scars. They’re more elevated and look redder than other affected tissue.
  2. Keloid scars. This type develops way beyond the initial site of the wound.

How to reduce a tummy tuck scar visibility

There are two main stages to reducing the visibility of a tummy tuck scar. The success you get in either of them will determine how much your stomach scaring will appear.

What to do before the procedure

Before going in:

  1. Check the surgeon’s portfolio to have an idea of their skill and possible outcome. This will help you thin out your option when searching amongst the numerous plastic surgeons.
  2. Talk to your surgeon about the scarring before the procedure. Doing this will help you raise any concerns you may have and get an idea of what to expect.
  3. Carry your bikini or underwear so that your doctor knows where best to place the incisions. The idea is to make the cut somewhere discreet that won’t get noticed immediately.
  4. Stop smoking 6 weeks (at least) before the surgery. This goes a long way to reduce your chances of having complications down the line.

What to do after the procedure

After a tummy tuck:

  1. Moisturize regularly after the scar has healed to help the scar blend with your skin naturally. For this, you can either use a cream, moisturizer, or silicone gel.
  2. You may opt for injections. Dermal fillers and steroid injections are a  great way of treating scars after a tummy tuck.
  3. Tattoos also help to cover the scars. Still, you will have to wait until your wound heals fully. Otherwise, you may have an infection or make the scarring worse than it needs to be.
  4. Avoid products and clothes that may irritate the scar. Such clothes or products may cause a reaction to your scar and make it more glaring.
  5. Avoid tanning or sun exposure for up to a year. UV rays make scars look darker and thicker. If you must be in the sun, then ensure that you cover the scar will the appropriate clothing.
  6. Eat a healthy, balanced diet. This includes taking lots of liquids, vegetables, and fresh fruits.
  7. Avoid stressing your abdomen after the surgery. This can bend or cause pressure that can make the scar distort.
  8. Avoid sex for at least 3 weeks after you get a tummy tuck.
  9. Apply creams having Vitamin E on the scar. Research has suggested that Vitamin improves scar appearance and also helps to moisturize the scar.
  10. See a doctor anytime you start seeing signs of infection. These may include excessive bleeding, severe pain, numbness, fever, severe bruising, or swelling.

Who are the right candidates for tummy tucks?

Who qualifies for a tummy tuck surgery?

You may need this procedure done on you if:

  • You have an out-of-control tummy
  • You have strong physical health and stable weight
  • You have tamed expectations
  • You don’t smoke

Cost of tummy tucks

The cost of tummy tucks varies a lot depending on several factors. These include your location, clinic or surgeon, and the amount of work done.

On average, you can expect to part with about $5,200 to $7,000 for a tummy tuck procedure. However, this won’t cover the anesthesia or other room facilities.

Note: Most insurances DON’T cover such kinds of operations, so you may want to plan your finances.

Summary

Tummy tuck scars are a common occurrence after abdominoplasty surgery.

Most cases of scarring are easy to manage if you get the right surgeon and the correct incision made.

You can expect a curve running across your pelvis or a vertical line in case your case is more demanding.

 

Have you done a tummy tuck before? What was your experience with the scarring?

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