5 Secrets For Nearly Invisible
Tummy Tuck Scars
The Tummy Tuck Trade-off: Life-Changing Results and A Fine-Lined Scar
Women may choose to undergo tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, for various reasons. Without question, tummy tuck surgery is life-changing for women who have endured the unwelcome body changes that come with pregnancy and weight loss. While individual motivations can vary, and not every mother will have the same reasons for opting for this procedure, some of the most common reasons are:
- to address body changes resulting from pregnancy
- to create sculpted body contours
- improve self-esteem and self-confidence
- weight loss with excess skin removal,
- and restore function to the abdominal wall
In tummy tuck surgery, your plastic surgeon will remove loose skin and fat from the lower abdomen, while liposuction is performed on the abdomen and love handles (lipo 360). The abdominal muscles at the central midline of the abdomen are re-tightened. In most cases, a tummy tuck incision is transverse with a slight curve (curvilinear), extending from hip bone to hip bone but placed very low (bikini incision).
Besides a woman's concerns around downtime and recovery, most women pause to consider trading their cosmetic and functional concerns for a permanent scar line. In my practice, I'll often speak with women who are somewhat troubled by less-than-desirable scars on surgeons' social media accounts and websites.
Unsightly scars and scars that have not fully matured can be easy to spot, but well-hidden and well-healed tummy tuck scars are rarely noticed. In my practice, we have a formula for getting the best results long term.
Understanding The Maturation Cycle Of A Scar
The maturation cycle of a tummy tuck scar involves several stages as it progresses in healing over time. We've outlined some general guidelines around what patients can expect.
- Early Healing (Weeks 1-2): Immediately after the tummy tuck surgery, the incision site is closed with sutures. During the first few weeks, the scar may appear raised, red, and slightly swollen. This is a natural part of the initial healing process.
- Scar Maturation (Months 1-6): Over the next few months, the scar changes. The redness gradually fades, and the scar becomes flatter. It may still be pink or purple during this phase. It's important to follow post-operative care instructions provided by your plastic surgeon to support proper healing.
- Continued Fading (Months 6-12): As time progresses, the scar continues to fade, and the color becomes closer to the natural skin tone. It may become less noticeable, although individual skin types and healing processes can influence the final appearance.
- Mature Scar (1-2 Years): By the end of the first year or two, the scar usually reaches a more mature stage. It becomes lighter in color and smoother in texture. While the scar may still be visible, it often blends better with the surrounding skin.
- Long-Term Appearance (2+ Years): Beyond the initial two years, the scar's appearance tends to stabilize. It may continue to fade, but the changes become less dramatic. Proper scar care, including sun protection, can contribute to optimizing the long-term appearance of the scar.
Tummy Tuck Before and After in Dallas, TX- Dr. John Burns
Secrets For Beautiful Tummy Tuck Scars
Concealed Incision Placement- Bikini Incision
In your tummy tuck, Dr. Burns places the incision as low as possible on the abdomen. This is called a bikini incision and is designed to hide the incision below a typical panty or bikini line. A general rule of thumb is that the lowest part of the incision can be placed 6 cm above the vaginal cleft. Generally, the new tummy tuck incision is lower than a typical C-section scar. Hiding the incision allows it to not show in clothing that exposes the abdomen.
Read More: The Bikini Incision: How Low Can You Go?
Early Scar Care
Early scar care focuses on wound healing and prevention of wound separation. Steri-strips are placed across the incision which decreases tension on the incision. The tummy tuck incisions can widen or separate if placed under too much tension so care is taken to avoid as much tension as possible. This is why it is important to maintain a slightly stooped posture the first week and not stand up completely upright. After the first week, most patients can stand fully erect. Early on, the incision is treated with moist care in the form of a topical antibiotic called Bacitracin. This keeps the incision moist and prevents infection.
Scar Gel and Silicone Sheeting
After a few weeks, the incision has healed well enough to start topical treatment. We use a combination of silicone gel topical and silicone sheets to keep the incision line protected, smooth, and to prevent hypertrophic scars.
Dr. Burns recommends SkinMedica Scar Recovery Gel or BioCorneum. These scar creams stimulate wound healing and speed up the healing process. Dr. Burns also recommends silicone sheeting to be worn for the first 3 months during the healing process. The silicone sheets are placed over the scars and worn as much as possible.
Laser Resurfacing Therapy
About one month after your mommy makeover, a series of laser skin resurfacing treatments can be done to optimize the horizontal scars. The laser is typically done in a series of four treatments spaced 1 – 2 weeks apart. The laser is done in our skincare and laser center called EpiCentre (managed by Dr. Burns).
The post-surgery scar package is available and includes both the gel and series of laser treatments to improve the appearance of scars. Depending on your skin type various lasers can be used. For most patients, we use the ClearSilk laser.
Things To Avoid
- In the first several months you will need to avoid strenuous exercise which places undue tension on the incision.
- Sun exposure to the scar can cause darkening of the new skin. We always advise avoiding direct sun exposure on the area, and making sure to apply SPF (we like EltaMD) to avoid hyperpigmentation, especially when wearing swimsuits or low-cut clothing.
- Discontinue smoking or vaping nicotine products. Smoking will decrease the blood supply to the incision and can cause the incision to heal poorly.
Once healed, scars take up to 24 months to fully mature. While the initial phase is important, caring for your scar takes time. After you are healed, light scar massage helps the scar to soften and reorganize or remodel. Most scars continue to fade up to 2 years after surgery. The final result is hopefully a fine white line that is barely visible and easily hidden.
Never Compromise On Board-Certification & Experience
When you book your tummy tuck rejuvenation, you're saying yes to transforming your confidence and your body silhouette. Please ensure you select a board-certified plastic surgeon for your procedure.
Dr. John Burns in Dallas, TX, employs both artistry and skill in using advanced techniques that go beyond mere surgery – we specialize in creating results that are as subtle as they are stunning.
Your journey to a beautifully contoured abdomen begins with a complimentary consultation with Dr. Burns. Schedule your appointment now and embark on the path to a confident, natural-looking transformation. Your body, your beauty, perfected with expertise.
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