So you are planning to have an abdominoplasty. You planned about the cost that this surgery would entail, arranged everything for the work restrictions and daily activity limitations after surgery, and even prepared yourself for the potential risks and complications this surgical procedure may cause. So, were you able to ask your plastic surgeon about tummy tuck scars and what to do with them? Well, we are here to help you out.
Your tummy tuck scars and their location
Pelvic scar. Whether you are having a full or mini tummy tuck surgery, you can expect to have a scar located just under your bikini line that extends from hip to hip. The length of tummy tuck scars may vary depending on the type of surgery. For mothers who underwent a bikini-type caesarean section, your plastic surgeon can use this exact spot for your abdominoplasty.
Belly button scar. Tummy tuck scars around the navel are expected with full tummy tucks since repositioning of the belly button is essential to accommodate the obvious transformation of your belly.
Vertical abdominal scar. Your plastic surgeon may also make an incision from the belly button to the pelvic area. Though this approach is rarely performed, vertical tummy tuck scars can still exist.
How do tummy tuck scars form?
Like any surgical incisions, healing starts as collagen gets produced around the surgical area to seal the wound. Collagen is a skin component necessary for its elasticity and protection from external factors. Within three to four weeks, collagen build-up gets accompanied by an increase in blood supply around the wound, making the area look darker and more visible. As months pass, collagen production decreases and blood supply around the area normalises, allowing the scar to lighten and flatten. Usually, scars begin to fade in three to six months’ time. However, for patients who have a history of developing keloid or irregular scars, tummy tuck scars can retain their appearance and may even become more noticeable.
Can tummy tuck scars disappear?
No, unfortunately. Once you have a scar, it is yours for life. Though it may lighten and decrease in size, its appearance will always be different from the rest of your unscarred skin. For some, due to various reasons, their tummy tuck scars may even look like stretch marks.
How do you care for your tummy tuck scars?
Follow your doctor. The best way to manage your tummy tuck scars is to follow your plastic surgeon’s skincare advice. Allowing your surgical wounds to fully heal is more important than fearing for scars later. Your plastic surgeon will give you tips on wound care and hygiene, so it is wise to strictly follow them.
Infection control. Nobody wants to have infected wounds, right? Not only will it cause discomfort, but this complication also worsens the possibility of your scars to darken as it prolongs wound healing and may affect surrounding tissues.
Scar removal creams. Apply this topical solution as soon as your surgeon gives you the go signal. Most scar creams have silicone that normalises the collagen production and aids in the hydration of the skin, allowing your scar to lighten and become thin.
Apply moisturisers. This is a no-brainer! Even people who don’t have scars moisturise, so once your wounds are healed, moisturise well to get a supple and smooth skin.
Avoid sun exposure. Sunbathing can make your scars look darker, so avoid the sun for the meantime.
Let these tips help you in managing your tummy tuck scars. But always bear in mind that it is more important to recover safely from your abdominoplasty than to start worrying about the appearance of your body after it. Stay safe, follow your doctor’s instructions, and enjoy the full benefits of having a toned, flatter belly through abdominoplasty!