A tummy tuck can smooth the skin on the stomach after weight loss or pregnancy by eliminating loose, excess skin that won't respond to diet and exercise alone.
Tummy tuck surgery requires an incision to be made across the abdomen. As a result, scarring should be expected. At LIMARP®, in Tijuana, MX, our surgeons place incisions in a way that will make subsequent tummy tuck scars as discreet as possible.
With that said, let's take a closer look at what to expect with tummy tuck scars and what can be done to reduce their appearance.
Scarring Should Be Expected but Is Unique to Each Patient
After undergoing a tummy tuck, patients should expect some amount of scarring across the abdomen. Scarring may be more or less visible depending on personal likelihood of scarring and the type of tummy tuck performed. For example:
- Traditional tummy tuck: When a traditional tummy tuck is performed, an incision is made across the abdomen, stretching from one hip to the other. Patients having a traditional tummy tuck should expect their scar to run along the same path as the incision.
- Extended tummy tuck: Those who undergo an extended tummy tuck should expect more scarring than with a traditional tummy tuck. An extended tummy tuck requires an incision that runs across the abdomen and beyond the hipbone to remove excess skin from the stomach and back flanks.
- Mini tummy tuck: A smaller scar may be expected by those who undergo a mini tummy tuck. Typically, the scar is only three to five inches in length.
Steps to Take Before Surgery
Taking certain steps before surgery can help patients gain a clear understanding of what their post-tummy tuck scar will look like, as well as help with recovery and incision healing.
Patients should stop smoking at least six weeks before surgery. This can help the body heal and reduce the risk of complications, both of which can help reduce the appearance of tummy tuck scarring.
Patients should speak with their surgeon about the size and location of scarring for their particular procedure.
Steps to Take after Surgery
We strongly encourage patients of our Tijuana practice to follow all aftercare instructions for the best results with healing after tummy tuck surgery. Some steps to take after surgery that can help reduce the risk of complications and help with healing and scarring include:
- Not smoking for a minimum of six weeks after surgery
- Avoid heavy lifting or strenuous activity for at least six weeks
- Drink plenty of water
- Eat a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins
Caring for Scars
Even with proper aftercare, scars should be expected. For most people, scars will appear red or pink in color and gradually fade over several months to a year.
Once a tummy tuck incision heals, vitamin E oil may be applied to the scar to help keep the new tissue moisturized. Vitamin E may also help diminish the appearance of scars when used regularly.
After tummy tuck surgery, it's common for our Tijuana patients to want to show off their new body. However, it's important to apply sunscreen to tummy tuck scars anytime the incision may be exposed to the sun. Without sunscreen, scars may darken.
Schedule a Consultation
For more information about tummy tuck surgery or to see if you're a candidate, we welcome you to schedule a consultation by calling our friendly staff at (619) 270-8823.