What You Need to Know About Tummy Tuck Recovery & Scars
June 20, 2014
There’s no question that one of the most popular procedures today is abdominoplasty. More commonly known as a tummy tuck, it’s a surgery we perform very frequently – between 200 and 300 times every year, in fact. When I meet with prospective patients during consultations, they of course have a lot of questions, but there is one topic that comes up every time without fail. Tummy tuck recovery (and more specifically the scars associated with it) is a factor that needs to be seriously considered if you’re thinking about abdominoplasty. So what are the facts you should know about tummy tuck scars?
A tummy tuck is a really great way to achieve a flat tummy under many different circumstances, whether pregnancy, dramatic weight loss, or aging are the underlying cause of excess skin and fat around the middle and lower abdomen. A tummy tuck will not only address these concerns, but can also tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall, which is often an objective for women who have had children. And while a tummy tuck is very effective for these goals, it’s important to note that one of the incisions required to achieve a natural result can be rather significant and sometimes extends from hip to hip.
I say one of the incisions because a tummy tuck actually requires two, although I find many people are not so familiar with this aspect of the procedure. The larger incision across the abdomen is accompanied by a small incision around the belly button. To minimize the appearance of scars, I position them out of sight: within the depression of the belly button and below the public bone. This means that the belly button scar will always be hidden from view and when you wear underwear or bikini bottoms, the longer abdominal scar will not be visible.
The positioning of the incision, post-operative tummy tuck recovery, and ability of your surgeon are all factors that contribute to the appearance of scarring. It will also take a significant amount of time for your scar to settle into its final result. Most patients find that the appearance of their tummy tuck scar continues to improve throughout the year that follows the operation. One way to help improve this process is to apply silicone bandages to the incision site. They look basically like a strip of plastic and you can find them at most drugstores or medical supply companies. By wearing them for 6-12 months, you can help your scar become flatter and it should fade well. Avoiding sun exposure is another good way to improve the look of your tummy tuck scars.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to tummy tuck scar placement. A good surgeon will hear out your objectives and concerns and will contribute their expertise to work with you and customize a result that suits you perfectly. If you come in for a consultation with us, we’ll show you a wide range of our patients’ before and after tummy tuck photos so you can have a better idea of what this looks like in real life. The most important thing is that you feel well informed to make the right decision for your life and your body.