How to Get the Best Tummy Tuck Scar Possible

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Tummy Tuck Scar

If you’re considering a tummy tuck procedure, it’s important to recognize that if you go through with it, you will be left with a scar in the end. Any measures you take will never be sufficient to remove the scarring altogether, but there are considerations that will help to reduce the look of scars or help to prevent a scar from becoming inflamed.

A tummy tuck scar is usually located from across your lower abdomen under your belly button, from hip to hip at its longest or a few centimetres at its shortest. Some procedures feature a scar that goes around your belly button that can be noticeable at first, but will fade with time. Rarely, a horizontal scar will also be accompanied by a smaller vertical one between the horizontal and the belly button.

There are three stages in the scar management process. First is prior to receiving the scar by taking preventative measures, then it’s during the healing stage, and finally, one can take measures to reduce the look of a scar after healing has completed. Each of these stages feature different techniques you can use to help reduce and improve the look of scars over time.

Prior to Your Tummy Tuck

The first and most important consideration when seeking a tummy tuck is to select a surgeon with a solid history of performing this type of procedure. A reputable surgeon should have a portfolio of previous work. Once you have chosen your surgeon, you should then talk to them about what your scar is expected to look like. Your scar may take on either a V-shape or U-shape, depending on the nature of your surgery and how your surgeon would prefer to complete it.

Other tips that may prove helpful involve bringing along underwear or bikini bottoms to the planning appointment, giving you a clearer idea of where your scarring will be relative to these garments. To help reduce complications, it would also be a good idea to completely stop smoking at least six weeks before your surgery.

Healing After Your Tummy Tuck

Your surgeon will give you a list of after-care instructions for you to follow to help reduce the risk of complications. Just like before the surgery, this will include another six weeks of being smoke-free, for a total of twelve weeks, or approximately three months altogether. If the thought of quitting smoking for this long feels like it might be a difficult prospect, consider developing a support system as part of your pre-surgery preparation.

Other common post-surgery recommendations include developing a healthy diet that incorporates plenty of fluids and fresh fruit and vegetables, starting to walk soon after surgery to reduce swelling and reduce the risk of blood clotting, avoiding stretches or bends that affect the operated area, and avoiding lifting heavy items or engaging in excessive sexual or strenuous activity. If you have done the work of building your support system, hopefully you will be able to count on them for some of the activities that require motions that aren’t recommended by your surgeon.

There are other remedies that might be able to help you, and probably wouldn’t hurt to include in your regimen. Some studies suggest that pure vitamin E oil can help in the healing process when applied once a day for the first few months, having the added benefit of keeping the scar moisturized in the meantime.

It’s also generally not a good idea to suntan in the area of your scar for the first year after your surgery, as this new skin will tend to react differently compared to your other skin when exposed to UV radiation. There are some sunscreens that are specially developed for scars, and it is generally recommended to use sunscreen that is 30 SPF or higher.

Finally, keep your incision clean and healthy. If you see signs of infection, notify your surgeon immediately. Infection can present as excessive swelling, bruising or redness, severe pain that medication doesn’t cure, bleeding, discoloured drainage, high fever or temperature, and a loss of feeling or motion.

Post-Healing Scar Maintenance

The post-healing stage usually takes place approximately 12 weeks after your surgery, but can take up to a year to heal properly in some instances. If by this point, you’re unsatisfied with how your scar has healed and you would like to further reduce the look of your scar, there are a number of options on the market.

One of the most common treatments involves the use of steroids, either applied or injected, to reduce raised, thick or red scars. This can be applied up to four weeks after surgery as a correction, or at the time of the surgery in an attempt to prevent significant scarring. Cost depends on the size and severity of the scar. Laser treatments also seek to achieve the same results by collapsing tiny blood vessels to reduce redness while smoothing a scar’s rough texture.

Surgical scar revision and punch grafts are both surgical methods that alter the appearance of the scar. Both of these methods seek to make the scar less noticeable and blend into the surrounding skin. While traditional scar revision seeks to use existing skin to repair the scar, a punch graft will take a small piece of smoother skin from elsewhere to improve the smoothness of the scar.

If a patient would like a non-invasive solution for scar treatment, kinesiology tape has also made great leaps in helping scar tissue heal. It helps by relieving pressure on the scar site while protecting it from brushing against clothing. It is also the only solution that hides the scar under a protective layer.

No matter how much prevention you put in place, you will inevitably have a scar. Potentially the biggest piece of advice would be to consider why you want a tummy tuck before getting one, and consider the ramifications of the procedure. What is your goal? What do you seek to gain, and is it worth the scar at all if you’re concerned about it? Perhaps the best solution for the most unnoticeable scar is to simply not have one at all.

Author’s Bio

Daniel Johnston is a content writer currently working for BreezeMaxWeb. He is a dedicated writer and loves everything about geology, having previously studied with the Gemological Institute of America in New York.