Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Pictures and stages of wound healing after a tummy tuck

The healing process after a tummy tuck can be a little confusing. Here’s what you need to know about how your body is healing and how it will look during each stage of the process.

In this guide, we review the aspects of Pictures and stages of wound healing after a tummy tuck, do tummy tuck scars go away, What can I use to fade a tummy tuck scar, and How can I speed up scar fading?

A stomach tuck, sometimes referred to as an abdominoplasty, is a crucial choice that may mold and contour the abdomen in a whole new way. Understanding the stages of wound healing after the treatment is essential for a quick recovery and the best results. We will examine the many stages of wound healing following a stomach tuck in this blog article, illuminating the body’s amazing procedure for tissue repair.

Initial Stage: Inflammation
The initial phase of wound healing starts as soon as the stomach tuck procedure is over. The surgery traumatizes the body, and the body responds by launching an inflammatory reaction. You could feel soreness, redness, and swelling around the surgery site at this time. It is crucial to adhere to your surgeon’s recommendations for pain management and to refrain from engaging in any actions that can impede the healing process.

Stage 2: Granulation: During the granulation stage, new blood vessels grow to carry nutrients and oxygen to the tissues that are mending. This phase usually starts between a few days to a few weeks of the tummy tuck. As the body produces granulation tissue, which is made up of collagen and other proteins necessary for wound healing, the incisions start to take on a reddish color. It is essential to keep the area around the incision clean and adhere to your surgeon’s recommendations for dressing changes.

The body begins to produce new skin cells to cover the wounds during stage three, known as epithelialization. After the belly tuck, this phase usually starts during the second week. The wounds may initially seem crusted or scabbed, but as new skin cells develop, the scabs will gradually come off. To avoid infection or scarring, it’s crucial to repress the temptation to pick at or itch the incisions.

Stage 4: Maturation: Maturation is the last stage of wound healing and can last for many months or even a year following the stomach tuck. In this phase, the collagen fibers around the incision continue to strengthen and restructure, progressively enhancing the scars’ overall look. To reduce the chance of hyperpigmentation, the incision region must be shielded from the sun and periodically covered with sunscreen.

variables Affecting Wound Healing: After a stomach tuck, a number of variables might affect how quickly a wound heals. These include your general health, lifestyle decisions, adherence to post-operative care guidelines, and the particular surgical methods employed. Regarding wound care, activity limitations, and any drugs provided to encourage optimal healing, it is crucial to adhere to your surgeon’s instructions.

Patience and monitoring are necessary since wound healing is a long, highly-personalized process. During the healing process, it’s crucial to exercise patience and keep a constant eye on the healing results. Your surgeon can monitor your recovery, resolve any issues, and offer further advice on scar maintenance and long-term care during routine follow-up appointments.


For a good recovery and to get desired results after a stomach tuck, it is essential to comprehend the stages of wound healing. Understanding the stages of inflammation, granulation, epithelialization, and maturation can help you set reasonable expectations and take an active role in your healing process. Follow your surgeon’s recommendations, keep yourself in excellent general health, and seek expert advice as needed. After a tummy tuck, you can expect to have an abdomen that is smoother and more aesthetically pleasing with time, patience, and the right care.

do tummy tuck scars go away

No one likes the idea of having a visible scar after surgery, but in some cases, it is unavoidable. When it comes to tummy tuck specifically, the scar is usually able to be concealed underneath clothing and swimsuits almost completely. Furthermore, most patients consider the stunning transformation that can be achieved with tummy tuck surgery to far outweigh the burden of having a scar. However, it is still important to have realistic expectations about what kind of tummy tuck scar you will have and how it may fade over time.

Sought-after plastic surgeon Dr. Samuel Salcedo and the caring team at The Plastics Doc understand the desire to keep visible scarring to a minimum and are committed to helping patients achieve the most stunning outcome possible with the least amount of scarring. Learn more about what to expect with tummy tuck surgery in Corona, CA, including how your scar may look and what you can do to help it heal and fade appropriately.

How does a tummy tuck work?

To better understand what kind of scar you may have after tummy tuck surgery, it is important to know a little bit about how the procedure actually works. During tummy tuck in Beverly Hills, which is performed as an outpatient procedure using general anesthesia and typically takes about 2 – 3 hours to complete, Dr. Salcedo will make a precise incision on the lower abdomen, just above the pubic area. The length and position of the incision will vary somewhat, depending on the extent of the procedure, the amount of excess skin that needs to be removed, and other anatomical factors. In a large number of cases, liposuction is combined with tummy tuck to remove stubborn pockets of abdominal fat and create an even smoother, slimmer physique. Once the loose, extra skin has been removed, the remaining skin will be pulled taut and the incisions closed with sutures.

What does a tummy tuck scar look like?

Tummy tuck incision scars can vary in length and position based on the type and extent of the procedure. For example, patients with only a mild amount of extra skin can often benefit from a mini tummy tuck, which involves a shorter incision than traditional abdominoplasty. An extended tummy tuck, on the other hand, can help to remove a large amount of excess skin and typically requires an incision running from hip to hip. In either case, Dr. Salcedo takes great care to place tummy tuck incisions where they can be hidden underneath clothing and within the natural contours of the body as completely as possible.

Do tummy tuck scars go away?

Like all surgical scars, tummy tuck scars will never go away completely. However, with a skillful surgical technique and proper aftercare, tummy tuck scars will heal and fade to dramatically reduce their visibility.

How long do tummy tuck scars take to fade?

The incision after a tummy tuck typically takes about 1 – 2 weeks to close and heal, during which time patients should practice appropriate wound care, keep the incision clean, and avoid submerging the incision. After this, patients will begin to notice their scar fading from red to pink and ultimately to a white or skin-colored tone. This process can take up to 6 –12 months, and the use of topical ointments and other products recommended by Dr. Salcedo can greatly improve the results. To further optimize the tummy tuck scar healing and fading process, patients should:

In addition, it is important to be patient as your scar heals and fades. Once a tummy tuck scar has fully faded, most patients are thrilled with their new body and are not concerned with their scar. If you are unsatisfied with your tummy tuck scar, don’t hesitate to talk to Dr. Salcedo about the possibility of scar revision.

A single scar may be well worth the stunning transformation you can achieve with tummy tuck surgery in Corona, CA

It is completely understandable for patients to have concerns about scarring after cosmetic surgery. While some amount of scarring is unavoidable in most cases, scars can often be covered up or concealed, even while wearing a swimsuit! To learn more about the exciting possibilities of tummy tuck surgery in the Anaheim Hills area, call The Plastics Doc to schedule your one-on-one consultation with acclaimed plastic surgeon Dr. Samuel Salcedo today!

What can I use to fade a tummy tuck scar

A tummy tuck works to sculpt your waistline, tighten your muscles, and flatten your abdomen. If that wasn’t enough, it can also help your clothes fit better and improve issues like urinary incontinence and low back pain. The tradeoff is that you’ll be left with a scar — but there are plenty of ways to make it look better.


Minimizing a tummy tuck scar starts with good preparation. Make sure to follow our pre-operative instructions to the letter. That includes staying away from nicotine, a chemical that can greatly impair your ability to heal, for several weeks.

Aftercare is just as important when it comes to getting the results you want. The key is to avoid putting too much force on the incision. Avoid bending, twisting, and lifting until you are told otherwise.


You have a lot of options when it comes to scar care. You might try applying silicone tape to flatten the area and prevent keloids. Scar therapy creams and gels can also help. These products usually contain antioxidants and other ingredients that reduce scars and support healing.

If you want to fade the scar even further, you can consider getting a round of laser treatments. Note that this option should generally be reserved until a year after your tummy tuck. Microneedling with or without PRP can serve as an additional way to lighten your scars.


Tummy tuck scars can be fairly noticeable for up to a year following the procedure. If you have light skin, the scar should become pink and then gradually fade into more of a white line. If you have dark skin, your scar may get more or less pigmented in the months after surgery.

Regardless, you can plan on your tummy tuck scar fading over time. Remember to be patient with yourself and have reasonable expectations. It won’t go away completely.


Most patients find that having a tummy tuck scar is well worth the benefits of surgery. That explains why over 123,000 tummy tuck procedures are performed in the United States every year.

How can I speed up scar fading

Some people think of their scars as battle wounds — and they are nothing to be ashamed of, but caring for fresh wounds can help prevent them from leaving scars. Follow these tips from dermatologists to do just that.

10 Dos and Don’ts for Scar Prevention

Scars are a natural part of the body’s healing process. When skin is damaged from an accident or injury, the body builds new tissue made from collagen to close those gaps, according to the Cleveland Clinic. “Scars form after the healing process because the new collagen made to fill in the wound is not the same texture as the surrounding skin,” explains Jill Salyards, DO, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Refine Dermatology in Knoxville, Tennessee. “Most wounds result in some degree of scarring, except for very superficial wounds on the surface.”

Not all scars are the same. The type of scar and its final appearance are, in part, influenced by how the wound is cared for while it’s healing. The severity of the wound can also determine the degree of scarring. “The deeper the injury, the greater the likelihood of scarring,” says Jeremy Brauer, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Spectrum Skin and Laser in Purchase, New York. Scars are typically flat or raised. Normal wounds should yield flat scars, which are similar in color to your skin tone and flatten over time. These are less visible than raised scars, such as keloid and hypertrophic scars, which form from thick tissue and can appear dark and red compared to the surrounding skin. Stretch marks are also a type of scar.

Scars that stand out can draw unwanted attention and create insecurities, so some people may want to prevent or minimize them while the wound is still healing. Others may want to improve painful or uncomfortable scars. But preventing scars is ultimately a personal decision. If your scars don’t cause any uncomfortable side effects, such as pain or itching, there’s no reason to worry about treatment. Some people may even be proud of their scars, such as women who have undergone C-sections or other people who have been through serious health events and see their scars as battle wounds.

How you care for a wound can minimize or even prevent scarring if you wish to do so, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). With that in mind, here are 10 dos and don’ts to prevent fresh wounds from leaving scars.

1. Do Keep the Wound Clean

Broken skin from a wound increases the risk of infection from germs, per the National Library of Medicine. It will heal in stages, and dermatologists recommend keeping the wound clean throughout the entire process.

“Immediately after a wound occurs, it should be kept clean,” Dr. Salyards says. Your first instinct may be to grab a bottle of hydrogen peroxide or other antiseptic, but she says this could actually make scarring worse. “Hydrogen peroxide can increase inflammation and destruction to the healing skin, increasing scarring,” she explains. Antiseptics like rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide can kill skin tissue and shouldn’t be used to clean wounds, according to a review published in 2019 in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Global Open.

Dr. Brauer suggests continuing to clean the wound until it’s fully healed. Don’t overthink it — the AAD recommends keeping wounds clean with mild soap and water. The Cleveland Clinic also says soap and water are the way to go, adding that you should wash and dry your hands first.

2. Don’t Wait Too Long to Get Stitches

Medical intervention isn’t always necessary for wounds to heal, but depending on the severity of your wound, you might benefit from getting stitches. Scars form after the wound is healed, and getting stitches can help close and heal the wound quicker. They may also help minimize the appearance of scarring, per the AAD.

You might want to wait to see if deep cuts improve on their own before getting stitches, but dermatologists recommend against this. “If stitches are needed, they must be sewn as soon as possible when the injury is new,” says Aanand N. Geria, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Geria Dermatology in Rutherford, New Jersey. “If too much time passes, germs or bacteria can accumulate in the wound and a dermatologist may elect not to stitch because of the risk of infection.”

If you are unsure whether you need stitches, Dr. Geria suggests seeing a doctor immediately for further evaluation.

3. Do Keep the Wound Moist

After cleaning the wound, keep it moist to prevent scars, Brauer says. “Generally, any emollient like petrolatum will delay scab formation,” he says. According to a previous review, keeping wounds moist results in reduced scar formation, compared with treatment in dry environments. Plenty of research has been done on wet, moist, and dry healing for scar formation, and wet or moist healing has been shown to achieve the fastest healing and least amount of scarring, per a review in the International Journal of Inflammation.

“Moisturize with petroleum jelly and cover with a bandage,” recommends Salyards. “This should be continued until the open wound is completely healed with new skin or until sutures are removed.”

4. Don’t Pick at the Wound

In general, dermatologists recommend against picking at your skin under any circumstances. Whether it’s an active breakout or fresh wound, picking at it seems to make matters worse. It can worsen acne and scarring, per the AAD.

In addition to picking, refrain from scratching or manipulating wounds or newly formed scabs. “Picking at wounds during the healing process leads to increased inflammation and scarring,” Salyards says. It can also increase the risk of infection from bacteria on your hands.

Some people with dermatillomania compulsively pick at their skin, but this can lead to injury, infection, and scarring, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Picking your skin can reopen old wounds, ultimately delaying their healing.

So, let your skin recover naturally. You should only touch wounds with clean hands and only when you need to clean and moisturize them or change their dressings.

5. Do Use a Wound Dressing

A wound dressing comes into direct contact with the wound. It helps protect the wound, keep it moist, and prevent it from exposure to the surrounding environment. Dressings like bandages and gauze help keep the wound clean and should be changed often, per the Mayo Clinic. Some dressings remove wound drainage and dead tissue when changed, according to the National Library of Medicine.

“Keep wounds covered with a dressing that has a nonstick surface,” Brauer recommends. “Don’t expose the wound to air or let it dry out.” Dressings may use a glue or adhesive to stick to the surrounding skin, however.

Wearing a wound dressing also has the benefit of applying pressure to the wound, per the AAD, which recommends pressure therapy for reducing and preventing scars.

6. Don’t Skip Sun Protection

Ideally, everyone should wear sunscreen on a daily basis. It protects against skin cancer and sun damage, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. If you’re dealing with a recent wound and want to reduce the potential scarring, dermatologists say to take sun protection even more seriously.

“Wearing SPF 30 or greater daily and reapplying every two hours while outdoors is the general recommendation,” Salyards says. “Sunscreen use can be effective in preventing scars.” Brauer suggests taking it a step further and keeping the area out of sunlight altogether.

Essentially, shielding your scar from the sun can help it fade faster. If you’ve ever gotten a tan, you’re familiar with the process of sunlight making skin appear darker, and scars are no exception to this phenomenon. According to a previous review, protection from ultraviolet (UV) rays reduced scar hyperpigmentation from a pigment called melanin from being produced.

The AAD recommends choosing a broad-spectrum and water-resistant sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher for daily use. Other ways to protect skin against harmful UV rays include seeking shade, wearing sun-protective clothing, and avoiding indoor tanning beds.

7. Do Use Silicone Scar Sheets

Although petroleum jelly and vitamin E haven’t been proven effective at reducing scars, per the National Library of Medicine, silicone scar gels and gel sheets have. Other options may still be beneficial for keeping an open wound moist, but the dermatologists we spoke to recommend switching to silicone sheets for scar prevention once the wound is healed.

“Silicone scar sheets can help prevent or improve new scars if used right after an injury,” says Geria, adding that it’s important to use them during the first year a scar is present. After that, they may not be as effective. So don’t waste any time.

The effectiveness of silicone gel and gel sheets is nothing new. They remain the preferred, first-line treatment of scar management among healthcare professionals, according to a previous review. A meta-analysis published in 2020 in International Wound Journal suggests silicone gel significantly reduces scar pigmentation and height, with sheets being just as effective.

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