When contemplating a tummy tuck, patients often wonder what scarring will look like after surgery.
What is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck is a cosmetic surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen and restores weakened or separated muscles in the abdominal wall. This results in a tighter, flatter abdominal profile.
Types of Tummy Tuck Scars
Tummy tuck scars vary depending on the type of surgery, the surgeon’s technique, and the patient’s skin type, body shape, and aftercare instruction follow-through.
Generally, there are a few common types of incisions:
- Horizontal Incision: The most common tummy tuck scar is a horizontal line that runs from hip to hip just above the pubic area. This scar can often be concealed by underwear or a bikini bottom.
- Around the Navel: If the skin removal is extensive, a second scar may circle the belly button due to repositioning the belly button.
- Vertical Incision: In some cases, especially with a significant amount of excess skin, there may also be a vertical scar running from the belly button to the horizontal incision line.
Immediately After Surgery
Directly following surgery, your incision lines will appear red and prominent. This is a normal part of the healing process. Surgical tape, silicone sheets, or gel may be applied to the incision line to support healing.
The Healing Process
As healing progresses, the color of the scars will typically fade to a more natural skin tone. The texture of the scars may change as well:
- First Few Months: Scars may appear raised and more noticeable.
- Six Months to a Year: Over time, scars typically flatten and lighten in color.
Factors Influencing Scar Appearance
Several factors can affect the appearance of tummy tuck scars:
- Genetics: Some people are more prone to keloids or hypertrophic scarring.
- Surgical Technique: The surgeon’s skill level and the type of incision can minimize scar size and visibility.
- Post-surgical Care: Following post-operative care instructions can help to ensure the best healing environment for the incision.
- Lifestyle: Smoking, poor nutrition, and inadequate rest impairs wound healing.
- Sun Exposure: Protecting the scar from the sun is crucial, as UV rays can darken the scar.
Minimizing and Managing Scars
To ensure your scar heals as discreetly as possible, consider the following tips:
- Follow Dr. MacArthur’s Post-operative Care Instructions: This can’t be stressed enough. Adhering to Dr. MacArthur’s post-operative care guidelines is the best way to ensure your scar heals well.
- Scar Massage: Once the wounds have fully healed, massaging your scars can help to break down the scar tissue, improving its appearance.
- Hydration & Nutrition: Keep well-hydrated and eat a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals that support skin healing.
- Avoid Harsh Sunlight: Cover the scar or use a high-SPF sunscreen to prevent hyperpigmentation.
- Laser Therapy: For some, laser treatments can help to reduce the appearance of scars.
It’s essential for anyone considering a tummy tuck to have realistic expectations regarding scarring. A scar is a natural part of the healing process, and while it can be minimized, it will not disappear completely.
If you have a preferred surgery date, do not wait until it’s too late
New Age Medical Aesthetics & Plastic Surgery is a very active aesthetic practice. If you have a preferred surgery date, do not wait until it’s too late. Call (613) 595-1880 to reserve your consultation. Our Patient Coordinators are happy to help you.