All About Tummy Tuck Scars

Abdominoplasty offers a glorious promise: after just one procedure, patients can have a youthfully slim, firm, and flat abdominal contour. However, while this pledge is genuine, recapturing this figure is not an easy task, nor without sacrifice. In addition to the time required for recovery, patients will have to trade in their abdominal flab, stubborn fat, sagging skin, and stretch marks for a permanent horizontal scar. This tummy tuck scar, while a necessary part of the procedure, is considered a small price to pay for the significant improvements in waist contour and tone.
Tummy Tuck Before and After Photos

Traditional vs. Mini Tummy Tuck Scars

Your surgical technique will determine the length of the scar you should expect after tummy tuck surgery. Patients who undergo a traditional tummy tuck should expect a longer scar than patients who undergo a mini tummy tuck. For a traditional (full) tummy tuck, a primary incision is placed in the lower abdomen, as low as possible, that reaches from hip bone to hip bone. A second incision is made around the navel. For a mini (partial) tummy tuck, there is only one shorter incision between the hip bones.

Tummy Tuck Scars Over Time

Scarring can vary significantly from patient to patient based primarily on individual healing abilities. Here is a generalized guideline of what tummy tuck scars may look like at various points:

  • Tummy tuck scars after surgery: The scar is generally thin and pink. The body immediately triggers a healing response to close the incision over the next few weeks.
  • Tummy tuck scars after one month: With the scar now closed, the increased collagen and blood supply have made the scar darker, thicker, and more noticeable. The appearance of the scar may worsen over the next few months.  
  • Tummy tuck scars after six months: The scar may still be red and raised, but should begin to lighten soon if it has not done so already. Some of the excess collagen will begin to break down, and the increased blood supply will diminish. As a result, the scar will slowly flatten and lighten.
  • Tummy tuck scars after one year: The scar may be fully mature and will be noticeably flatter, thinner, lighter, and less noticeable. It will continue to fade.
  • Tummy tuck scars after five years: The mature scar will have faded noticeably and may continue to fade somewhat over time.

Like all surgical scars, abdominoplasty scars will never go away completely, but most patients feel they are well worth the benefits of achieving the smooth and flat abdominal contour they desire. Dr. Schlechter places the incisions as discreetly as possible to minimize scarring so that you can enjoy the best results. Most tummy tuck scars are easily hidden under panties and swimsuits.

How to Minimize Tummy Tuck Scars

Dr. Schlechter strategically places tummy tuck incisions low between the hips so that most clothing can hide the scars. To help reduce the appearance of your scars, it is important to follow all of Dr. Schlechter’s post-operative instructions carefully. If you notice any signs of problematic scarring, contact Dr. Schlechter right away. Use silicone gel, cream, or sheets to care for your scars. Avoid sun exposure to the scar, keep it moisturized, and avoid irritating clothing or products. Following these tips to minimize your tummy tuck scars can improve their appearance and ensure that you have the greatest possible surgical results. Laser treatments to help suppress the scar are also available if necessary,

Dr. Benjamin Schlechter is a highly experienced plastic surgeon and can help you achieve a slender, contoured waistline with tummy tuck surgery. For more information about this procedure, request your complimentary consultation with Dr. Schlechter. Call (610) 624-2740 or contact us online today.

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