As with any surgical procedure, a scar is inevitable after undergoing a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) in our Fort Lauderdale office, and it’s an important factor to consider when deciding whether the surgery is right for you.
While scars can’t be avoided, I do everything I can to diminish their appearance for my patients. Here are some of the things you should know about scar care and tummy tuck surgery.
THE EXTENT OF INCISIONS VARIES
Generally speaking, every tummy tuck procedure involves an incision above the pubic area to remove the excess skin in the abdomen. The same incision is also often used to smooth out the resulting contour of the midsection through liposuction.
In a full tummy tuck, that incision usually runs from hip to hip, and I make a second, smaller incision to reposition the belly button. In a mini tummy tuck, the main incision can be shorter, and there is no belly button incision. I tailor these incisions to each person’s needs, however, so one person’s scars may be longer or shorter than another depending on how much correction is needed.
After the procedure, the scar fades for up to 1 year or more as it heals.
THE LOCATION MATTERS MOST
When you come in for your consultation, I examine your abdomen and determine the degree of incisions that will be necessary to achieve the results you are looking for. The size of the incision corresponds with the amount of excess skin that will be removed.
As you can see from my tummy tuck before-and-after photos of my previous Fort Lauderdale patients, I am careful to place the incision below the bikini line, so it’s not visible during normal social interactions at the beach or elsewhere. To aid with placement, I ask patients to bring in their most revealing swimwear or undergarments, so I can be sure the incision falls underneath the waistline.
SOME POSTOPERATIVE STEPS YOU CAN TAKE
The best thing you can do at home to minimize a scar as it heals is to follow my postoperative instructions closely. It’s important to walk around a bit the same evening as the surgery — even if it’s just back and forth to the restroom. Resuming a normal diet as soon as possible is also a good idea.
I send my tummy tuck patients home wearing a pressure binder for a few days, followed by a compression garment that should be worn for a minimum of 2 to 3 weeks. After that period, the scar will be healed enough that patients can apply topical scar-reducing creams and massage the scar to promote healing. My team and I are happy to provide recommendations for products that can help you.
Do you have any other tips for scar care? Leave them in a comment.