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Scarring After Tummy Tuck: What Patients Should Know

A woman lost weight around the bellyA few weeks ago on Instagram, Dr. Mark A. Deuber posted a video of a patient who finished undergoing a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty). We received a lot of positive comments about the body contouring work we achieved without using surgical drains. We also got a few questions about scarring after a tummy tuck surgery. Dr. Deuber offered a brief reply to some of these comments about healing times and professional scar revision techniques.

Because we listen to you, the team at our Dallas, TX plastic surgery center would like to offer a more detailed look at scarring after tummy tuck surgery.

The Incision Sites for Tummy Tuck

The incision location for tummy tuck will depend on the type of surgery you undergo.

During a traditional tummy tuck, the following incisions are made:

  • A circular incision around the belly button
  • A lateral incision spanning from hipbone to hipbone
  • A vertical incision connecting the previously listed navel and lateral incisions (though sometimes this is not necessary)

During an extended tummy tuck, the following incisions are made:

  • A circular incision around the belly button
  • A lateral incision spanning from the back of one hipbone along the sides and lower abdomen to the back of the opposite hipbone
  • A vertical incision connecting previously listed incisions

During a mini tummy tuck, the following incisions are made:

  • A lateral incision along the lower abdomen, usually a few inches to several inches long
  • A circular incision around the belly button (though sometimes this is not necessary)

Discussing Scars in the Pre-Op Consultation

During the pre-op consultation, we can discuss any health concerns or issues with scarring you’ve experienced in the past. We can modify the surgery to some extent for patients who have issues with visible and excessive scar tissue.

If anything, knowing the realities for post-surgical scarring will give patients a good understanding of the procedure and aftercare.

Scars Will Fade as Patients Heal

Healing incisions are quite visible for the first several weeks after you have undergone tummy tuck surgery. As time passes, the scars will fade.

After a few months, the scars will no longer seem so prominent. With the coming years, they will gradually become less visible. While the scars may not disappear entirely, they will be easily concealed by many tops and bathing suits.

Tips to Reduce Scar Visibility After Tummy Tuck

If you want to reduce the visibility of scars after tummy tuck, be sure to:

  • Get ample rest after surgery
  • Avoid strenuous activity until you are fully healed
  • Do not scratch or pick at the incision sites during recovery
  • Keep the incision sites covered from the sun to avoid UV skin damage
  • Maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle
  • Stay well hydrated
  • Quit smoking

When Is Professional Scar Revision Needed?

If your tummy tuck scars are prominent or upraised several months after surgery, you can discuss potential scar revision treatment at our practice.

We may recommend over-the-counter therapies for minor scarring issues. For more serious scarring, you may need laser skin treatments or advanced scar therapy. This can be discussed as needed at our practice. We will help you get the right treatment for your needs.

Learn More About Tummy Tuck

To learn more about tummy tuck and what to expect during the recovery process, be sure to contact a skilled cosmetic plastic surgeon. Dr. Deuber is here to answer your questions and address your concerns.

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