A tummy tuck procedure eliminates excess soft tissue and skin from the lower abdomen. It may also tighten the core abdominal wall muscles, which commonly weaken in the midline following pregnancies or significant weight fluctuation. Unfortunately, although the procedure is extremely effective, it also comes with permanent scarring.
Below are some common tummy tuck scarring questions, which may help those of you who are considering a tummy tuck procedure.
Where are tummy tuck scars?
The scars from a tummy tuck develop along the lower abdomen and around the belly button. The lower abdominal scar is made so that it is hidden under clothing and within swimwear.
How long do tummy tuck scars last?
Tummy tuck scars will remain forever, but the appearance generally improves over time. It generally takes one year for the scar to mature while collagen remodelling occurs. At first, the scars will appear very pink. The scars will begin to fade to the skin tone as long as the scars are protected from the sun as maturation finalises.
Although scars remain following tummy tuck surgery, they are generally well-concealed when administered by a skilled and experienced plastic surgeon like; Dr Safvat who is an abdominoplasty specialist in Australia.
How can tummy tuck scars be optimised?
Massaging the scar can be helpful in desensitising and softening the tummy tucks scars. Scars are normally quite firm to touch during the first 4-6 weeks and then they will gradually soften over time. Protection from UV rays is very important in order to lower the risk of pigmentation change.
If scars become elevated during early healing, silicone sheeting may be recommended by your surgeon. Silicone sheeting are strips of silicone that are placed over the scars. The method is not entirely understood, but its believed that silicone can improve scar appearance by increasing moisture and temperature as maturation progresses.
Surgeon’s normally recommend wearing the silicone sheeting 24/7 for the first few months except when showering. Specific recommendations will be made by your surgeon if silicone sheeting is recommended based on an assessment of early healing.
How long are the scars?
A short scar extends circularly around the belly button. The lower abdomen scar differs in length based on the tummy tuck technique that is administered by the surgeon. A standard tummy tuck has a transverse scar that extends from hip to hip. The scar is shorter for a mini tummy tuck, which may be an option for patients with less loose skin. Patients that have significant excessive loose skin and soft tissue often have a circumferential tummy tuck procedure which creates a scar all around the body to achieve a robust tightening effect.
What are potential complications of tummy tuck scars?
Thickened, or hypertrophic scarring, as well as the risk of delayed wound healing, may result following a tummy tuck procedure. Steroid injections or other treatments may be indicated for these cases. If any risk factors are identified this will be discussed in great detail during a tummy tuck consultation with your surgeon.