Scarring is an understandable concern for patients considering a tummy tuck. Some individuals are unsure about what to expect and worry about what they will look like afterward. All surgical procedures, including a tummy tuck, require incisions. A scar is a blemish or mark that is caused by the skin healing over the incision area. When considering plastic surgery, patients need to discuss the benefits of the procedure and the expected recovery process with their plastic surgeon. It also includes understanding what incision scars will be left behind.
To make patients more comfortable, Dr. Jeffrey LaGrasso, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Miami, will explain what kind of incisions to expect with a tummy tuck procedure. Read on to learn more also about additional steps patients can take before and after the surgery to help minimize tummy tuck scars.
Can I reshape my midsection with a tummy tuck?
All tummy tuck surgeries performed by Dr. LaGrasso have one main goal, which is to remove excess skin (and fat with liposuction), leaving patients with a flatter, smoother midsection. Cosmetically, a mini, standard, and extended tummy tuck handles the lower abdominal area. Weight loss, pregnancy, and the natural process of aging are all factors that can cause changes to a person's midsection. A healthy diet and exercise, at times, is all a person may need to have a flat, toned stomach area. Yet in some cases, Miami men and women need more body contouring help. A tummy tuck procedure can be an excellent solution.
Will I have a tummy tuck scar?
A tummy tuck is one of the most effective and more popular cosmetic procedures performed today. A flatter stomach, better muscle tone, and smoother appearance are all perks of a tummy tuck procedure. Most patients are excited to have a leaner, more fit-looking appearance, but usually are concerned about possible scarring. Even though a tummy tuck will leave a permanent scar along the abdomen, with proper care before and after, it can be less noticeable. Before undergoing a tummy tuck procedure, individuals should consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss the surgical plan and any expectations before surgery.
What steps to take before a tummy tuck procedure?
It is essential to find a qualified, experienced plastic surgeon, like Dr. LaGrasso. A surgeon's patient portfolio is an excellent reference for their skill set and results when performing tummy tuck procedures. During the consultation, ask to see before-and-after photos of actual patients. Ask about scarring and what type of incision they will use. Depending on what kind of tummy tuck procedure is needed, patients will either have a V- or U-shaped scar across their lower abdomen. Patients can bring in their bikini bottoms or a pair of underwear to give a surgeon a better understanding of an ideal placement for the main incision. With proper planning and finding the right plastic surgeon, patients can get optimal results with tummy tuck scarring.
What type of scar will I have from a tummy tuck?
Tummy tuck surgery usually involves one to two incisions in the lower abdomen area. Regardless whether a patient has a full or mini tummy tuck, it will produce a scar that runs horizontally across the lower abdomen, located a few centimeters below the belly button. An extended tummy tuck incision will be longer and go beyond the hips to the lower back. A full and extended tummy tuck will involve an additional incision around the belly button. It will be noticeable at first, but with time, it will virtually disappear and blend in with a patient's natural contours of their belly button. In rare cases, an additional incision may be needed, leaving a small vertical scar from the belly button down to the main horizontal incision.
How do I take care of my incisions after a tummy tuck?
No matter why type of incision a patient has with their tummy tuck procedure, it is essential to follow the plastic surgeon's aftercare instructions. It will take several weeks for tummy tuck incisions to heal. It will take 9 – 12 months for the scars to fade. To help incisions heal properly, patients can do the following:
- Apply daily a topical vitamin E oil to the incision area for the first couple of months
- Apply sunscreen of SPF 30 to the incision area for at least a year
- Keep incisions clean to reduce the appearance and any risk of infection
A patient's scarring from a tummy tuck can take up to 12 months to be fully healed. A tummy tuck will leave a permanent scar. If the intended results outweigh the aspect of having an incision scar, then a tummy tuck is probably worth it. Taking the proper steps before and after the procedure will help with proper healing and minimize any visible scarring. These additional methods won't altogether remove tummy tuck scars, but they can help improve the color, size, and texture.
If considering a tummy tuck, consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Jeffrey LaGrasso is the first step. Dr. LaGrasso has a premier, state-of-the-art plastic surgery facility in Miami, FL. We invite you to schedule your tummy tuck consultation with Dr. LaGrasso today.