Abdominoplasty has consistently been ranked among the top 5 cosmetic surgeries. That is according to data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The majority of patients in Baton Rouge have this type of surgery in order to alleviate aesthetic concerns. However, it may also be possible to undergo a tummy tuck for medical reasons (e.g., to help alleviate stress urinary incontinence, back pain, or hernias). Regardless of your reason for having a tummy tuck, scarring is one of the most important considerations to think about.
Scarring Sites After Abdominoplasty Surgery
Like any other surgical procedure where an incision is made, abdominoplasty results in scarring. The extent of the scarring will depend on the type of abdominoplasty you have, and the surgical technique used. Abdominoplasty scars typically appear in any of the following areas:
- Belly button – the standard tummy tuck is the most common type of abdominoplasty. In this technique, plastic surgeons focus on both the lower and upper abdominal areas. As excess tissue and fat are removed, the belly button will also be repositioned. This scarring is, however ‘tucked in’ and is usually not visible.
- Lower abdomen – patients who have a mini tummy tuck only have one horizontal scar along the lower belly. The length of this scar will depend on the scope of treatment and the entire length of the abdomen. In patients who are having a circumferential tummy tuck, it may extend around to the back. This type of scarring needs proper care to ensure that it fades well over time.
- Pelvic area – in many cases, plastic surgeons allow patients to choose to have their scar placed as low as possible. This is often achieved by creating a horizontal incision in the pelvic region, where it can be hidden underneath bathing suits and underwear. This is usually possible with both mini tummy tucks and standard tummy tucks.
How to Ensure That Your Tummy Tuck Scars Fade Well
Below are some tips that you may use to ensure that scars heal well and fade over time.
- Take care of your treatment area – the first tip to ensure that your scars turn out as best as possible is to care for your incision sites. Make sure that you strictly adhere to your plastic surgeon’s post-operative instructions. Any infections or movement-related damage can result in unsightly scarring.
- Wear silicone strips – silicone strips are an excellent solution to ensure that scars fade well over time. These should only be worn after complete healing of the treatment areas. They are important because they act as a protective layer and promote healing by minimizing inflammation.
- Apply silicone scar gel – this is an easier to use alternative to silicone strips. Silicone gel works by hydrating the outer skin layers, thus promoting healing and reducing adverse aspects of scarring such as thickening and discoloration.
- Try laser therapy – in some cases, laser therapy may help further improve scars that haven’t faded as intended. Plastic surgeons typically use advanced laser machines to achieve this in an outpatient setting.
The first step to ensure that your tummy tuck scars turn out well is to have a discussion with your plastic surgeon. You want to focus on the type of incisions, the surgical techniques used, and how this might influence scarring. This way, you can agree on a plan to minimize scarring right from the word go!