Providing honest, straightforward answers is one of my most important responsibilities as a plastic surgeon. My patients have a lot of questions (and rightfully so), ranging from whether they’re ready for surgery to how best to take care of themselves during the recovery period. When it comes to tummy tuck surgery, questions related to scarring are by far the most common. So let’s take a closer look.
I realize that potential scarring is a big concern for any patient, especially those undergoing abdominoplasty. A tummy tuck requires a long horizontal scar that extends from hip to hip. Although the scar from a tummy tuck is larger than that of other plastic surgery procedures, I do my best to make it as low on the abdomen as possible, typically just above the pubic area. This ensures that it won’t be visible even in underwear or a bikini, as you can see in these before and after photos of some of my patients:
The Aesthetic Society offers additional information about tummy tuck scars and illustrations of tummy tuck incisions so you can get a better idea of what to expect.
Keep in mind that if you combine liposuction with your tummy tuck, your liposuction incisions will be much smaller and well hidden within your body’s natural creases and folds, if possible.
Caring for Your Scar
The refined technique I use during tummy tuck procedures minimizes the risk of excessive, discolored, or raised scars, but there are also steps you can take at home to further improve your surgical scars. This includes keeping your incision protected from sunlight as much as possible. Sun exposure can interfere with the healing process and cause discoloration, which may be permanent. Additionally, following the aftercare instructions I provide you with before surgery will help ensure a discrete result.
After surgery, you’ll also want to familiarize yourself with the warning signs of infection, such as redness, warmth, or weeping. Keep your incision clean and dry, and use a fragrance-free white lotion to keep it hydrated if it begins to feel excessively dry or uncomfortable.
Tummy Tuck Benefits
Scarring is an important consideration, but it’s just one aspect of the overall tummy tuck experience. Since the scar is so easily hidden even in swimwear, it is unlikely to have any negative effect on your appearance. My patients find that the most notable change they experience after the surgery is a boosted sense of confidence. They feel free to show off their tighter, more toned abdomens and celebrate their new silhouettes without worrying about showing signs of surgery.
If you think a tummy tuck may help you feel more confident, it’s important to recognize that the benefits will likely far outweigh any drawbacks associated with scarring.
To see more real patient examples of tummy tuck results for a better idea of the scarring you can expect, please visit our before-and-after photo gallery.