Abdominoplasty is a very effective surgery that can help you achieve that flat stomach you so desperately desire, but are you worried about the tummy tuck scar that will be left behind?
Most people are not aware that this surgery can leave you with one or more scars on different parts of your body. However, there are specific methods you can apply that will reduce the visibility of your scars so that you can fully enjoy your fantastic transformation.
Places where Tummy Tuck Incisions could be Made on your Body
If you have chosen to go through a full or traditional tummy tuck, an incision is made around your belly button.
That is an ideal place for a scar. For a few months after surgery, this scar will be very noticeable, but as time passes, it will fade into the creases of your naval, and you will hardly notice it.
Your Pelvic Area
An incision will be made horizontally across your pelvic area a few inches below your belly button when opting for a mini or full abdominoplasty.
For mini tummy tucks, the incision is usually minor, but there is a chance that it could be bigger, extending from hip to hip and sometimes even to the sides of your back. The cut is made in a similar location as a C-section scar.
Your Lower Abdomen
There are sporadic cases where an incision will need to be made from your belly button that will extend vertically to the horizontal one on your pelvic region.
The Different Stages of Scars
Stage One – Closure
Any deep cut or incision can cause a scar, and your body produces collagen fibers that work to fill and close the broken skin.
This process can take around 30 days.
Stage Two – Establishment
In this stage, you might notice your scar getting darker. That is because collagen continually builds up around the incision, aiding in protecting the area and strengthening it. There is an increase in bloody supply to the site, making it appear darker to help the collagen do its job. This stage can take around 3-6 months.
Stage Three – Maturity
When the collagen starts to decrease by breaking down, the blood supply goes back to normal. As a result, your scar will lighten and become thinner and begin to flatten. This stage can take 1-2 years.
Scars will always look worse before healing completely, but you need to be patient as the appearance will get better, leaving you feeling confident and ready to show off that flat tummy!
Types of Scars
Some people may be prone to irregular scarring such as:
- Hypertrophic Scarring
Hypertrophic scarring is caused by excess collagen.
That causes the scar to rise and become more inflamed than the surrounding skin.
- Keloid Scarring
Keloid scarring is also caused by excess collagen but creates scar tissue behind the broken skin.
How to Reduce the Appearance of Tummy Tuck Scars
Everyone knows that scars are permanent. They will always stand out from your natural skin. You can apply methods that will reduce the visibility of the scar, but please note that these methods will never reduce it ultimately.
Ensure to Follow Aftercare Instructions
Follow the instructions carefully that your surgeon will give you to help your scar heal quickly and adequately. In addition, good hygiene and care for your cut will aid in reducing its visibility in the long run.
Keep an eye out for Signs of Infection.
Not only does infection cause a more noticeable scar, but it can also lead to many other complications. Therefore, if you feel like your wound is infected, it is essential to see your surgeon as soon as possible.
Once your scabs have disappeared and your wound has closed completely, you can start to apply topical treatments. Again, the best option would be a product that contains silicone that comes in the form of gel, cream, or sheets.
These creams normalize the hydration of the scar tissue, which brings collagen production to a halt. However, they are very effective and have proven to be beneficial to healing tummy tuck scars.
Other products that will help are:
These treatments provide moisture for the area, which is good for healing but might not work as effectively as silicon.
Moisturize the Affected Area
It is essential to note that you should only start moisturizing once the incision has completely closed. If you start prematurely, it can prevent the wound from healing properly and increase the risk of infection.
Keep your Scar out of the Sun
Sunlight can darken your scars and make them thicker. Therefore, it is vital to cover them up when exposed to UV light. Although you can use sunscreen, it is always better to hide your incision with clothes.
Stay Away from Clingy Clothes or Unknown Products
It is vital that your wound is not irritated while healing. Clothes or products that irritate your scar could make it heal incorrectly, thus making it more visible.
Abdominoplasty scars are permanent, but there are specific methods you can apply to reduce their appearance. Always ensure you are using a reputable surgeon as not to run into any unnecessary complications.
Scars heal in stages, and it is essential to know that they will appear darker and more pronounced in the early stages of healing. However, this will fade over time, leaving you with a thinner, flatter, and lighter scar.
Depending on the type of abdominoplasty you have chosen, you might have more than one incision. Always ask your surgeon about the surgery and all it entails before going through with anything.
You can reduce the visibility of your scar by applying topical treatments once it has closed completely and all the scabs have fallen off. But, again, silicon ointments tend to work the best.
Don’t worry if you are thinking about going under the knife but about the scar, it will leave behind. These scars are usually in hidden places and can be hidden while working on reducing their appearance.