Tummy Tuck Scarring – What You Should Know

Posted on July 16, 2016 by: Dr. Ronald DeMars

One of the common concerns among patients getting a tummy tuck is the scarring from the surgery and it is an important consideration. Surgery cannot happen without a scar since it is the only way skin has to heal.  Therefore, it is a trade off for patients; is the scar a worthwhile trade for removing excess skin, stretch marks and fatty tissue as well as tightening damaged muscles? For most patients considering the surgery the answer is a resounding “yes.” After all, there are no non-surgical alternatives that can accomplish this set of goals. But, how can you minimize tummy tuck scars?

Tummy Tuck Incision Placement

Plastic Surgeons are artists and as such are interested in obtaining the best possible outcome for their patients, and this includes scarring. We try and keep the tummy tuck scar as low on the abdomen as we can so it can be hidden by reasonable beach attire or underwear. In addition, we are gentle with the tissues and use specialized techniques to give the scars the best chance to heal well. But surgeons make the incision and put in the sutures, they do not make the scar. Scar formation is a process over several months and only starts after the surgeon has finished the operation.  To a large extent, the scar that patients make is determined by their genetics. Some patients make thin soft hairline scars while others develop thick, red stiff scars.

Plastic Surgery Techniques

There are techniques used in plastic surgery that can help result in a better scar. There are also steroid injections for the bad scars which may help soften the scar and get rid of the red color, and certain lasers are also available to reduce red scar color. For the most severe scars, radiation therapy is available but because of other issues with radiation we use this only infrequently for the most intransigent scar formers.

At-Home Scar Treatment

One of the treatments I recommend to all my patients is a scar treatment that is a liquid silicone product called BioCorneum. This can be used for scars from tummy tucks or other procedures.  BioCorneum is put on the new scar twice a day for about three months and has shown good results in softening and fading scars faster than they otherwise would on their own. Patients begin using the product about two to three weeks after their surgery.

If you have other questions about tummy tucks, please feel free to contact Dr. DeMars’ office or by calling 503-253-3458.