The visibility of the scar after tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty) is a common concern for many people considering to undergo this popular body contouring procedure. While it is impossible to avoid the presence of some sort of scar due to the need for an incision, the good news is that by following the advice outlined below, you may be able to help minimize the final appearance of your abdominoplasty scar.
- Follow your plastic surgeon’s recovery instructions as closely as possible. Based on factors such as the complexity of your surgery as well as your general health, unique lifestyle and more, your plastic surgeon will be able to provide you with customized postoperative directives that can help increase the likelihood that your incision heals as optimally as possible. This includes a projected timeline for when certain activities can be resumed since placing excessive stresses and tension on incisions too early in the recovery process can lead to poorer healing and, consequently, more conspicuous scarring.
- Use scar care products. Throughout the incision healing and scar maturation process, a variety of topical agents can be employed to help diminish the ultimate appearance of the scar. Particularly helpful are medical grade silicone gel and/or silicone gel sheeting with Mederma® being a potential alternative. For those individuals who are more darkly complected, a skin bleaching product should be considered to help reduce the risk or extent of developing darker pigmentation in the area of the scar.
- Limit exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays for several months. Harmful UVA and UVB rays emitted by the sun and tanning beds damage the already delicate tissue of developing scars, often causing the final scar appearance to be more prominent once fully matured. For this reason, it is critical to avoid tanning beds, minimize sun exposure to the area and regularly apply a high SPF broad spectrum sunscreen whenever your incision/scar might be exposed to the sun during the first six to nine postoperative months.
- Stay hydrated and eat a balanced, healthy diet. Making sure you drink plenty of water and consume nutrient-rich foods throughout the recovery process can facilitate incision healing and scar maturation. With the exception of any dietary restrictions you may have, foods that are high in protein, vitamin C and other growth-essential substances are typically recommended.
It is important to note that while these tips can help promote an optimal scar appearance, the end result will also be impacted by factors such as the extent of skin removed during surgery, your natural healing process, predisposition for scarring, the incision closure method utilized and the overall skill of your plastic surgeon—the latter two of which can usually be somewhat controlled by choosing a highly experienced and skilled board-certified plastic surgeon who has verifiable evidence in achieving exceptional abdominoplasty outcomes.
Can Anything Be Done About an Unsightly Tummy Tuck Scar?
In the event you have undergone abdominoplasty in the past and are dissatisfied with the ultimate look of your scar, you may be able to improve its appearance through scar revision. Dr. Turkeltaub offers a number of treatments for wide and large scars at our practice, and although these procedures will not magically erase all signs of scarring, they can often help significantly improve aesthetic and/or functional issues related to a less than ideal tummy tuck scar.
If you would like more information on how to minimize abdominoplasty scarring or if you have a scar from a previous tummy tuck that you wish to improve, please feel free to reach out to our practice today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Turkeltaub.