Tummy Tuck Scars: Expectations and Care

By Dr. Suzanne Yee on July 14, 2019


Three-panel illustration depicting tummy tuck scarThe tummy tuck procedure safely and effectively smooths the abdomen by removing excess skin. Patients that undergo the tummy tuck procedure can expect some degree of scarring. When performing the procedure, Dr. Suzanne Yee uses strategic incision placement to minimize post-operative scarring. In addition, there are steps patients can take to reduce the appearance of post-surgical scars.

Here, our Little Rock, AR team explains how to reduce the appearance of tummy tuck scars.

Where Will My Tummy Tuck Scar Be Located?

Because each patient is unique, incision placement will be slightly different for everyone. The technique chosen for you will depend on several factors, including anatomy, the amount of excess skin, and personal preference.

The tummy tuck incision is placed horizontally close to the pubic line. However, some individuals may require higher incision placement. While a standard tummy tuck uses a hip-to-hip incision, a mini tummy tuck may only require a four- to eight-inch incision slightly above the pubic region.

We encourage patients to bring bikini bottoms or a pair of underwear to their initial consultation. This will allow you to visualize scar placement so you know what to expect.

How Should I Care for the Incisions?

Following your tummy tuck, you will be provided with a list of detailed care instructions. Here are some basic guidelines:

  • If any bandages or dressings are covering the incision, leave them in place. In many cases, they are designed to fall off on their own. Otherwise, we will give you instructions for removing them.
  • Surgical drains may be placed around the incision as well. We will tell you how to properly care for them.
  • Keep the incision clean and dry. Wash it daily with warm water and mild soap, then pat dry.
  • If the incision weeps or is rubbing against clothing, cover it with a gauze bandage. Change the bandage every day, or as often as Dr. Yee recommends.

Reducing the Appearance of Tummy Tuck Scars

Following the instructions outlined above can help prevent excess scarring. Here are a few other things you can do to minimize the appearance of your tummy tuck scars:

  • Look for warning signs of infection. Fever, drainage, and persistent redness are all symptoms of an infected incision. If left untreated, this could result in more prominent scarring. If you suspect infection, call our Little Rock office right away.
  • Stay moisturized. Once the incisions have closed, apply daily moisturizer to the area. Do not do this until the area has healed.
  • Use topical ointments. Silicone-containing gels and creams can hydrate the scar tissue and halt excess collagen production. You can also use cocoa butter and Vitamin E creams.
  • Avoid UV exposure. Direct sun exposure actually darkens tummy tuck scars and makes them more prominent. Wear sunscreen, and make sure it has an SPF of at least 30.
  • Choose products wisely. Certain products can be harsh or abrasive. This can make tummy tuck scars more noticeable. Be sure to choose products that are gentle on the skin. Ask our team for recommendations.

Contact Our Practice for More Information

If you are considering tummy tuck surgery, learn how to properly care for your incisions and minimize scarring. To learn more, call us in Little Rock at (501) 224-1044 or contact us online.

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