Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Are Tummy Tuck Scars a Turn Off

According to the Plastic Surgery Statistics Report, more than 123,000 Americans decided to trim and smooth their waistlines with Tummy Tuck Surgery (abdominoplasty) in 2019. Tummy Tucks are consistently one of the most requested plastic surgeries from year to year. Despite its popularity and high patient satisfaction, abdominoplasty does present a drawback for some people in the form of a significant scar.

“A Tummy Tuck has a dual focus. It removes excess skin and fat after weight loss or pregnancy, and corrects abdominal muscle laxity,” explains Dr. Robert Wilke, a board-certified plastic surgeon with Edina Plastic Surgery. “Because quite a bit of skin is typically removed, a long incision is required that will result in a scar after surgery.”

When your plastic surgeon assesses your abdominal area for Tummy Tuck Surgery, he or she is looking at the skin from the bottom of your rib cage to the crease of your groin. Generally, the scar that is left behind after surgery sits very low across the abdomen. This makes it easy to hide beneath the waistline of clothing or a bathing suit.

“How your skin scars after surgery is very dependent upon the skill of your surgeon, your genetics, and how you care for your scar after your procedure,” says Dr. Wilke. “A few weeks after surgery, after your skin has healed, patients can begin to use products at home that help lighten and fade their Tummy Tuck scar. After a few months, you can begin exploring in-office treatments that can make your scar even less noticeable. At Edina Plastic Surgery, we’re lucky that we have our Skin Artisans medical spa right next store to provide many of these treatment options.”

The Most Effective Treatments to Fade Tummy Tuck Scars

Abdominoplasty scars can be quite noticeable for up to a year following your procedure. Scars on lighter skin types generally turn pink first and then fade to a thin, white line. Darker skin types may heal dark and pigmented at first and then lighten over time. Although this scar will never entirely go away, here are some of the most popular and effective treatment options to minimize its appearance.

#1 – Taping

“We typically close abdominoplasty incisions with dissolvable sutures placed under the skin,” explains Dr. Wilke. “We then cover the incision with steri-strips/paper tape, which protects the incision and minimizes tension. The light pressure from the tape against the incision has been shown to help minimize scarring as well. We often have patients continue to tape the incision for about 6 weeks; changing the tape every 5-7 days.”

#2 – Scar Fading Creams & Topicals

“There are many scar creams on the market,” says Dr. Wilke. “None of them are a miracle cure for scarring, but, nonetheless, they can be helpful to minimize a scar. The simplest and least expensive option is using moisturizing cream with vitamin E. Some of the more advanced creams contain silicone, and some have hydroquinone or other skin lightening agents to suppress pigment cell activity. We usually don’t recommend using these creams until about 6 weeks after surgery.” #3 – Laser and Light-Based Treatments   How your Tummy Tuck scar appears a year after surgery is, most likely, how it will remain without the aid of additional treatments. This is when you can begin exploring options like resurfacing lasers or intense light-based treatments to pull any pigment from the scar or fade residual redness. “Laser resurfacing treatments like HALO™ and Profractional can make scars less noticeable by smoothing their texture,” says Dr. Wilke.

“Light-based treatments like BBL (Broadband Light) target darker pigment cells, which can lighten the coloration of a scar and reduce redness. In some cases, both treatments may be beneficial, but it’s important to realize that you will need multiple treatments to see significant improvement. At Edina Plastic Surgery, we believe in an all-inclusive approach to surgery that addresses our patients needs from start to finish. We’ve created a Post-Surgical Scar Treatment package to ensure that our patients have the best opportunity to heal with minimal scarring after any surgery we perform. This package includes a series of 6 BBL and Profractional laser resurfacing treatments performed 4-6 weeks apart as well as Stratamed Scar Recovery Gel.”

#4 – Microneedling Collagen Induction Therapy   Microneedling devices, like SkinPen®, use tiny surgical-grade needles to create thousands of micro-injuries to your skin. In turn, this stimulates your skin’s collagen and elastin production, and it heals firmer and smoother. This treatment can be especially beneficial for scars that have healed unevenly. A series of microneedling treatments can result in a soft, flat Tummy Tuck scar that blends very well into the surrounding skin.

#5 – Permanent Cosmetics or Tattoo   “This is thinking outside of the box, but I have had patients who eventually choose to cover their Tummy Tuck scar with a tattoo,” says Dr. Wilke. “This is obviously not for everyone, but because the scar sits so low on the abdomen, it AND the tattoo can be easily covered. Patients will need to wait until their scar is fully healed, about a year, before they can have a tattoo.” In recent years, the Permanent Cosmetics industry has begun to provide options to disguise surgical scarring. This technique involves your provider using a flesh-colored ink that is closely matched to the skin surrounding your scar and essentially “filling in” your scar. It is crucial to not only go to a reputable provider for this treatment but also to avoid tanning the skin near your scar, as the scar will not achieve the tan of the surrounding skin. “As surgeons, we do everything we can during your surgery to minimize the appearance of your future Tummy Tuck scar,” says Dr. Wilke. “An experienced surgeon will avoid making your incision too high, and strive to make it as small and symmetrical as possible without sacrificing your results. To date, I have never had a patient who didn’t think that the rewards of their Tummy Tuck far outweighed the scar!” Have you been considering Tummy Tuck Surgery and would like to learn more? Schedule a complimentary consultation with an Edina Plastic Surgery Surgeon by calling (612) 688-3177 or CLICKING HERE!

“There are many scar creams on the market,” says Dr. Wilke. “None of them are a miracle cure for scarring, but, nonetheless, they can be helpful to minimize a scar. The simplest and least expensive option is using moisturizing cream with vitamin E. Some of the more advanced creams contain silicone, and some have hydroquinone or other skin lightening agents to suppress pigment cell activity. We usually don’t recommend using these creams until about 6 weeks after surgery.”

#3 – Laser and Light-Based Treatments

How your Tummy Tuck scar appears a year after surgery is, most likely, how it will remain without the aid of additional treatments. This is when you can begin exploring options like resurfacing lasers or intense light-based treatments to pull any pigment from the scar or fade residual redness.

“Laser resurfacing treatments like HALO™ and Profractional can make scars less noticeable by smoothing their texture,” says Dr. Wilke. “Light-based treatments like BBL (Broadband Light) target darker pigment cells, which can lighten the coloration of a scar and reduce redness. In some cases, both treatments may be beneficial, but it’s important to realize that you will need multiple treatments to see significant improvement. At Edina Plastic Surgery, we believe in an all-inclusive approach to surgery that addresses our patients needs from start to finish. We’ve created a Post-Surgical Scar Treatment package to ensure that our patients have the best opportunity to heal with minimal scarring after any surgery we perform. This package includes a series of 6 BBL and Profractional laser resurfacing treatments performed 4-6 weeks apart as well as Stratamed Scar Recovery Gel.”

#4 – Microneedling Collagen Induction Therapy

Microneedling devices, like SkinPen®, use tiny surgical-grade needles to create thousands of micro-injuries to your skin. In turn, this stimulates your skin’s collagen and elastin production, and it heals firmer and smoother. This treatment can be especially beneficial for scars that have healed unevenly. A series of microneedling treatments can result in a soft, flat Tummy Tuck scar that blends very well into the surrounding skin.

#5 – Permanent Cosmetics or Tattoo

“This is thinking outside of the box, but I have had patients who eventually choose to cover their Tummy Tuck scar with a tattoo,” says Dr. Wilke. “This is obviously not for everyone, but because the scar sits so low on the abdomen, it AND the tattoo can be easily covered. Patients will need to wait until their scar is fully healed, about a year, before they can have a tattoo.”

In recent years, the Permanent Cosmetics industry has begun to provide options to disguise surgical scarring. This technique involves your provider using a flesh-colored ink that is closely matched to the skin surrounding your scar and essentially “filling in” your scar. It is crucial to not only go to a reputable provider for this treatment but also to avoid tanning the skin near your scar, as the scar will not achieve the tan of the surrounding skin.

“As surgeons, we do everything we can during your surgery to minimize the appearance of your future Tummy Tuck scar,” says Dr. Wilke. “An experienced surgeon will avoid making your incision too high, and strive to make it as small and symmetrical as possible without sacrificing your results. To date, I have never had a patient who didn’t think that the rewards of their Tummy Tuck far outweighed the scar!”

Have you been considering Tummy Tuck Surgery and would like to learn more? Schedule a complimentary consultation with an Edina Plastic Surgery Surgeon by calling (612) 688-3177 or CLICKING HERE!

Tummy Tuck Scars Healed

Tummy tucks are extremely popular—and for good reason. They provide instant results that are noticeable and can take years (and pounds) off of a person’s appearance. Inevitably, scarring happens with a tummy tuck, but knowing how long it will take them to heal is an important part of deciding whether a tummy tuck is right for you.

Understanding a Tummy Tuck

Tummy tucks, also called abdominoplasties, tighten up lax abdominal muscles and improve the overall contour of the abdominal area. Tummy tuck surgery surgery can also remove low abdominal stretch marks and get rid of extra fat. Whether your abdominal muscles and sagging skin stretched during pregnancy, or you have always had a “pot belly” even while being in excellent shape, a tummy tuck at Schaffer Plastic Surgery is always personalized based on your unique anatomy and goals.

How a Tummy Tuck Works and Types of Incisions 

Our board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Christopher Schaffer, never performs tummy tucks as a one-size-fits-all procedure. Rather, he will recommend a tummy tuck strategy to best accomplish your goals while minimizing incisions as much as possible. The types of tummy tucks that Dr. Schaffer performs include:

Typical Scarring After a Tummy Tuck 

Immediately after a tummy tuck, incisions are red and thin. Ridges and pleats may also appear on the skin near the incisions, and sometimes the incisions may swell, ooze or become inflamed. For most people, the incision inflammation lessens within a week. Complete healing timelines vary depending on the surgical technique used, the patient’s skin type and how closely aftercare instructions are followed. After the first few months, tummy tuck scars typically flatten, but they will still be dark with a reddish pigment since the body’s natural healing process increases the blood supply to the wound. Six months after a tummy tuck, scars typically start to fade and may be a soft brown or pink shade. You can expect an average of eight to twelve months for tummy tuck scars to fully heal and fade.

How to Reduce the Severity of a Tummy Tuck Scar 

Dr. Schaffer sends every tummy tuck patient home with highly detailed aftercare instructions on how to achieve the best results for the effective healing of incisions. Patients who want healthy incisions that turn into quickly fading scars should:

What to Do If Scars are Slow to Heal 

We completely understand how frustrating it can be to live with slow-healing scars. Patients should watch for symptoms like excessive bleeding from the incision, discharge with unpleasant odors, fever, pain that is not reduced with medication, severe swelling, bruising or redness that does not improve and loss of feeling in the incision area. If these symptoms occur, Dr. Schaffer should be contacted immediately. In the event that a year has passed since your tummy tuck and your scars still have not faded, we offer laser scar removal procedures, including HALO®, BroadBand Light™ therapy and scar fading creams that can speed up results. 

If concerns about scarring are preventing you from achieving the physique you desire and deserve, contact us today to learn more about what you should expect for your unique situation. Schedule an appointment by calling 205-278-7969. 

Do tummy tucks always leave a scar

Yes, tummy tucks always leave a scar, but the appearance and size of the scar can vary depending on the type of tummy tuck procedure and the individual’s healing process.

During a tummy tuck, the surgeon will make an incision along the lower abdomen, typically from hip bone to hip bone. The length and placement of the incision will depend on the extent of the surgery and the amount of excess skin that needs to be removed.

After the surgery, the incision will be closed with sutures or staples, and a dressing or compression garment will be placed over the area to help with healing and reduce swelling.

Over time, the scar will fade and become less noticeable. However, it’s important to note that the scar will never completely disappear.

Your surgeon can give you more information about the placement and size of the incision and the expected appearance of the scar after the surgery. They can also provide advice on how to care for the incision and minimize scarring during the healing process.

What does a tummy tuck scar look like years later

You’ve done your research, and you’re well aware that a tummy tuck is the only way to get rid of the loose, sagging skin in your lower belly and its accompanying stubborn pooch. Financing is not an issue as well because you’ve been saving up for the procedure since last year.

Yet, you’re worried about the possibility of obvious scarring.

For patients who are considering a tummy tuck, scarring is almost always a pressing concern. At our San Francisco practice, we understand where you’re coming from. You’re not the first person to feel reluctant about a tummy tuck because of the possibility of scarring. The good news is scarring from a tummy tuck can be visibly reduced. As long as you take steps to reduce visible scarring, you don’t have to worry too much about it.

What Do Tummy Tuck Scars Really Look Like?

First off, a good tummy tuck candidate should be comfortable with the idea of scarring after surgery. But what kind of scarring really?

By and large, the degree of scarring depends on the type of tummy tuck surgery you’re considering.

For instance, a full tummy tuck scar will run along the bikini line from hip to hip. The scar often flattens and fades with time, but the extent as to how it flattens and fades is really up to Mother Nature. Some patients heal with very fine scars, while others tend to develop thicker heavy scars. Most of the time, it’s somewhere in between.

On the other hand, a mini tummy tuck scar is noticeably shorter than a full tummy tuck. However, keep in mind that the degree of improvement from a mini tummy tuck will not be as apparent in contrast to a full tummy tuck.

Other noteworthy factors that impact tummy tuck scarring include your skin tone, skin quality, and the tummy tuck surgeon of your choice.

In hindsight, scars vary depending on one’s genetic tendency to scar. Most patients have a scar that is somewhat visible when naked. Others have thicker scars that are very visible, while others have faint scars that are nearly invisible.

Tummy Tuck Scarring – Years Later

A year after surgery, scars are typically well-healed and has lightened in color. Patients with darker skin tone typically end up with darker scars. It’s not uncommon for some scars to take up to two years to lighten. In five years, a tummy tuck scar is almost always unnoticeable. It’s also worth noting that careful evaluation of the location of a tummy tuck incision can help conceal darker colored scars when sporting your two-piece swimwear.

Dr. Fan’s Tips on Healing and Minimizing Tummy Tuck Scarring

While a “scarless” tummy tuck isn’t possible, the following tips can help you towards gaining a flatter, sexier stomach without worrying about the appearance of an unsightly scar.

1. Find an expert tummy tuck surgeon who is adept in minimizing scarring.

The surgeon of your choice should be able to make incisions that will conceal scarring as much as possible when you’re wearing bikinis. Carefully review the surgeon’s before-and-after photographs of previous tummy tuck patients demonstrating wonderful outcomes.

2. Follow hygiene and wound care instructions on how to care for your incisions.

Avoid infection on the incision site at all costs as infected incisions can lead to further scarring.

3. Avoid sun exposure as much as possible because UV radiation can make your scars appear darker and thicker.

Cover up with clothing and apply sunscreen when you have to be outdoors.

4. Use an advanced scar management program after surgery under the supervision of your plastic surgeon.

This program might include treatments such as paper tapes and silicone scar therapies. You might also want to embrace advanced scar therapy and/or laser treatments too.

Ready to Take the Next Step?

To find a tummy tuck surgeon who is not only board-certified but has also spent years mastering the science and art of minimizing tummy tuck scarring, it pays to ask the right questions when evaluating a tummy tuck surgeon.

Most importantly, you should be clear about your specific needs and expectations of the surgery. After all, it’s a decision that you should be equally comfortable and confident about before you commit. A quick, online self-evaluation is a good start towards a flab-free tummy.

why are some tummy tuck scars crooked

Crooked scars after a tummy tuck can occur for several reasons. One common reason is that the surgeon may have made the incision unevenly or placed it in an asymmetrical manner. This can be due to poor surgical technique, inadequate preoperative planning, or unforeseen complications during the surgery.

Another reason for crooked scars can be poor wound healing or scar tissue formation. In some cases, the body’s natural healing process can cause the scar tissue to form unevenly, resulting in a crooked scar.

Additionally, factors such as tension on the incision site, excess movement or stretching of the area, or infection can also affect the appearance of the scar and make it appear crooked.

To minimize the risk of crooked scars, it’s essential to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in performing tummy tuck procedures. Your surgeon should also take the time to thoroughly evaluate your individual needs and goals and develop a customized surgical plan that takes into account your unique anatomy and medical history.

After the surgery, it’s important to follow your surgeon’s postoperative instructions carefully to promote proper healing and minimize the risk of complications. This includes avoiding strenuous activity or heavy lifting for several weeks after the surgery and wearing compression garments as recommended.

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