Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Tummy Tuck Scar Revision Surgery

Tummy Tuck Scar Revision Surgery is a procedure that is performed to reduce the visibility of abdominal scars and improve the appearance of the abdomen. It is most commonly performed in patients who have had previous abdominal surgery. The scarring from previous surgeries may have resulted in a visible scar or stretch marks (striae distensae) that can be improved with this procedure.

The goal of Tummy Tuck Scar Revision Surgery is to reduce the visibility of the old scars, which may include:

Stretch marks (striae distensae)

Scars from previous surgeries

Abdominal hernias (hernias are caused by weakened abdominal muscles)

Surgical incisions for cesarean delivery or episiotomy (a surgical incision made during childbirth to enlarge an opening in the perineum and vagina)

Tummy Tuck Scar Revision Surgery

Tummy tuck revision surgery, also known as abdominoplasty revision or tummy tuck revision, is a surgical procedure to improve the appearance of scars from a previous abdominoplasty (tummy tuck).

Why would I need tummy tuck scar revision?

There are many reasons why someone may choose to get a tummy tuck scar revision. Some people have a preference for a certain type of scar, or they may not like the way their current incision looks or feels. Other reasons include:

To fix complications from the original tummy tuck – Some complications that may require a tummy tuck scar revision include seroma and excessive swelling.

To correct skin laxity – Skin laxity can occur after pregnancy and weight loss, which can cause sagging skin that needs to be tightened up.

To improve overall results – Even if your surgeon did an excellent job on your first tummy tuck, there may always be room for improvement due to aging or changes in body shape.

You saved and planned for your tummy tuck surgery, thinking your investment would produce years of positive results. Unfortunately, the operation didn’t go as planned, and the results you achieved were not at all what you hoped. Some patients may find their tummy tuck did deliver on its promises, only to experience unforeseen changes in the body contour later due to circumstances like pregnancy or weight gain. No matter why you aren’t satisfied with your initial procedure, a revision tummy tuck, also known as a secondary tummy tuck, can address your concerns and give you the result you wanted in the first place.

Botched tummy tuck surgery alters normal tissue planes and laxity, the ability of the abdominal skin to heal properly, and leaves scar tissue that dramatically affects the level of difficulty of the corrective surgery. We see a variety of men and women who require Dr. Barrett’s expertise in correcting complications that arose from previous tummy tuck surgeries. His background in reconstructive surgery and revision makes such difficult operations possible.

What is Tummy Tuck Revision?

Tummy tuck revision surgery is a procedure designed to produce the results you were hoping for from your original tummy tuck. Patients seeking revision surgery either didn’t get their desired outcome from the first surgery, or they have seen changes in their body since that operation that have altered their new contour. This procedure can be more complicated than the original tuck, since scar tissue and other factors may play a role this time around. It is critical that you choose a plastic surgeon like Dr. Barrett with extensive experience in all types of body contouring surgery to ensure the best possible outcome.

Is a Tummy Tuck Revision Right for You?

While there is no ideal candidate for tummy tuck revision surgery, most patients that come to Dr. Barrett for this procedure have complaints related to the following:

  • Unsatisfactory cosmetic results
  • Ongoing pain or general discomfort
  • Infection or poor wound healing

To undergo this procedure, you should be in reasonably good health without underlying conditions that could affect the safety or success of your surgery. It is also essential to ensure you have healed sufficiently from your first tummy tuck before undergoing a second operation. Dr. Barrett will evaluate you carefully to ensure this procedure is appropriate and beneficial for you.

Benefits of Tummy Tuck Revision

There are numerous benefits associated with tummy tuck revision when it is performed on the appropriate patient:

  • Remove excess loose skin left behind from previous surgery
  • Tighten abdominal muscles that were not sufficiently addressed
  • Eliminate residual fat that was not removed via liposuction
  • Correct a belly button that is not aesthetically pleasing
  • Enhance a scar that healed poorly to make it less noticeable
  • Address contour irregularities to create a smoother midsection
  • Reverse changes that have occurred since the initial procedure

Dr. Barrett is known for taking plenty of time with each of his patients, to listen to their concerns and discuss their aesthetic goals. This extra time before your procedure ensures you head into your surgery confident that it is the right choice for you.

Procedure Overview

Like your first tummy tuck, your revision surgery will likely be performed under general anesthesia. Dr. Barrett will try to use the same incision entry to avoid additional scarring, although some patients will require a much smaller incision to complete the revision surgery. This approach is known as a mini tummy tuck and primarily focuses on the lower portion of the abdomen.

Revision procedures may take as long as the original operation, which may last approximately two or three hours. During the surgery, Dr. Barrett will tighten the abdominal muscles if necessary and use liposuction to remove stubborn fat deposits. Loose skin is also excised to create a smoother contour. Once Dr. Barrett has completed the necessary corrections, he will close the incision using a unique layering technique that reduces tension on the area and creates a smaller scar.

After Your Tummy Tuck Revision

Recovery from tummy tuck revision surgery takes about six weeks. You are apt to experience some swelling and soreness in the first two weeks after your procedure, so this is an excellent time to take it easy and get the rest your body needs to heal. Within two weeks, you should be able to participate in light activities or head back to work if your job is not strenuous. More vigorous activity or workouts will be restricted for six weeks or longer to give the abdomen ample time to heal.

Minimizing post-operative scarring is another focus after your tummy tuck revision. Dr. Barrett will see you in his office weekly for the first six weeks to monitor your progress. He will remove stitches in careful layers during your first two office visits, replacing the sutures with surgical tape. Once the taping period is over, he will give you a patented silicone scar gel to apply twice daily for three months to enhance the healing process and reduce visible scarring.

It can be frustrating not to get the results you wanted after undergoing an initial tummy tuck. Dr. Barrett understands this frustration and will take time to discuss your concerns and reassure you about the revision process ahead. Once you have recovered from your tummy tuck revision, you should be able to enjoy your positive results for many years so long as you maintain a stable weight and healthy lifestyle. To learn more about tummy tuck revision, contact Dr. Barrett’s office today at 310-598-2648.

The information about tummy tuck revision was reviewed by Dr. Daniel Barrett. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us using our contact form below.


As one of the most requested plastic surgeries year after year, tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, serves a dual purpose. Firstly, it removes excess skin and fat after weight loss or pregnancy, and secondly, it corrects abdominal muscle laxity. Despite its popularity and high patient satisfaction, abdominoplasty does present a drawback for some people in the form of a significant scar.

Because a large amount of skin and tissue is typically removed with the procedure, a long incision is required, resulting in a scar after surgery.

Our board-certified plastic surgeons at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg are experts in performing tummy tucks in Virginia and highly skilled at placing the scar so that it is well hidden, even when the patient wears a skimpy bikini or underwear.

With a tummy tuck, you can expect a scar. However, you can take steps to reduce its visibility both before and after your surgery.

Before Your Surgery

During your consultation with your surgeon, you should share any concerns you may have, especially about the appearance of your scar after your surgery. Depending on your surgery, you may end up with a U- or V-shaped scar, and there could also be a small scar around your belly button. You may also have a scar extending vertically from your belly button down to the horizontal incision in rare cases.

Bring underwear or bikini bottoms to your appointment so you can get a clear understanding of where the scar will be placed. During surgery, your surgeon will make a long, thin incision just above the pubic area, typically located where bathing suits or undergarments will hide it.

After Your Surgery

Apart from diligently following all of the aftercare instructions provided by your surgeon, the five tips outlined in this article should also help you to treat and fade your tummy tuck scar.

One of the reasons your incision results in scar tissue is that your body creates collagen fibers to fill the scar and close it, building up at the wound site and protecting and strengthening the affected area.

Over the 3-6 months following your surgery, the blood supply to the area increases, and with the increase in collagen, the new scar becomes darker, thicker, and more prominent. As a result, you can expect your scars to appear darker, more textured, and generally worse before they get better, making it even more important to follow the tips outlined below.

Apply topical vitamin E

When applied topically, Vitamin E (100 percent pure) is known to improve the appearance of scars. Regular application can also help keep the scar moisturized and be applied at least once a day for the first 2-3 months. Continue using this oil to massage the scar tissue once it has healed, stimulating the blood flow.

If you experience any skin irritation or allergic reaction to the vitamin E oil, discontinue use and consult your doctor.

Don’t forget the sunscreen

Even though your scar may be covered by clothing, it’s essential that you use sunscreen to protect the area for at least a year after your surgery. If you can, avoid exposing the scar to the sun. Since scars are made of new skin, they react differently to the sun than normal skin.

Using an SPF 30 or higher sunscreen explicitly made for scars will prevent your scar from becoming darker than the surrounding skin and more visible.

Watch for signs of infection

It’s vital that you clean your incision daily. Keeping your scar clean and healthy reduces its appearance and will also reduce your risk of infection.

What else can you if you still experience scarring?

While your scar will be mostly healed after about 12 weeks, it can take up to a year for it to fully heal, after which you can decide if you want to undergo any of the additional procedures mentioned below to minimize its appearance. These methods won’t altogether remove the scar, but they can help to improve its color and texture and reduce its size.

Steroid applications and injections

On your doctor’s advice, you may be able to use steroid applications or injections to reduce raised, thick, or red scars. Treatment with these techniques may be used for scar prevention from the time of surgery or four weeks following surgery.

Laser treatment

Vascular lasers selectively target unwanted or abnormal blood vessels in the skin and shrink the tiny blood vessels on the surface of the skin of the scar that causes redness. Laser surfacing is another option to improve the texture and color of scars since it can resurface the skin. In the process, scarred skin is replaced with healthy collagen, which improves the overall texture and color.

Your doctor at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg will advise you how long you should wait before beginning laser treatment, especially since the treatments are expensive and require two or more sessions over the course of a few months.

Surgical scar revision

Scar revision surgery is an option your doctor might use to bring your scar closer in tone and texture to your normal skin by using a combination of topical treatments, minimally invasive procedures, and surgical revision. The scar will still be visible, but it will be less conspicuous.

As with laser treatment, you should check with your doctor to see how long you should wait after your tummy tuck before having scar revision surgery. You may be advised to wait at least a year to first see how your scar is healing.

Need More Help from the Plastic Surgeons in Fredericksburg, Virginia?

Should you need more help with fading that tummy tuck scar, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts at  Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg. Our team is committed to providing each patient with an optimal outcome with natural-looking results, including your tummy tuck scars. Please contact or call us at (540) 371-7730.

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