After any sort of surgical procedure, there will be some scarring. That said, the extent and visibility of the scarring can vary based on a number of factors. While scars may not fade completely, they will generally become less noticeable over time. That is a major relief for Minneapolis, MN patients who undergo a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) to improve body contour, but there are still legitimate concerns about the nature and extent of post-op scarring.
Dr. Brian J. Kobienia and his team would like to consider the nature of tummy tuck scars. We’ll offer some advice on how to minimize the appearance of scars and when to consider professional scar revision treatment.
Incisions and Scars During Tummy Tuck
During a traditional tummy tuck, there are three connected incisions that are made:
- A lateral incision along the lower abdomen spanning from one hipbone to another
- A circular incision around the belly button
- A vertical incision along the lower abdomen that connects the previous two incisions
These incisions can be rather extensive given the nature of the surgery, but the body contouring benefits are significant. These scars can be concealed with one piece bathing suits and most tops that do not expose the midriff.
Pre-Op Consultation Helps Prevent Excessive Scarring
During your pre-op consultation at our Minneapolis plastic surgery center, we will be sure to go over the treatment process in full detail. We will also speak with you and examine your medical history to see if you have any risk of developing major scars, such as keloids.
If you do face risks with keloid scars, we will make sure that the surgical procedure and aftercare process is designed to minimize excessive scarring and properly address these matters.
Follow Post-Op Instructions
Proper surgical aftercare can prevent excessive scars. These instructions help prevent infections and ensure full recovery. Be sure to avoid smoking, get rest, and attend all follow-up visits as scheduled.
Avoid Direct Sun Exposure
The UV rays of the sun can gradually damage the skin over time. That’s why it’s important to wear sunblock and keep your skin covered when you’re outdoors. With tummy tuck scars, avoid sun exposure of these scars in the first months or so after surgery. In the years that follow, continue to avoid prolonged and excessive sun exposure to prevent the scars from becoming visible.
Stay Hydrated and Moisturize
Staying hydrated tends to help dry skin and prevent the kind of damage associated with dry skin. Drink water when you’re thirsty. You should also moisturize your skin after showers and baths to help your skin remain as healthy as possible. Only use lotions on the incision sites when your surgeon gives you the okay.
Over-the-Counter Scar Treatments
There are many silicone gel-based products that claim to reduce the appearance of scars. Many of these products can be effective to a certain degree. If you’re considering an over-the-counter scar treatment, be sure to consult with us. We can offer insight into which products work best.
When to Consider Professional Scar Treatment
If your scars have gotten worse in the months after tummy tuck surgery, you can contact our Minneapolis plastic surgery center to learn about professional scar revision. These treatments may involve surgical scar reduction, laser therapy, or a combination of multiple approaches.
Learn More About Tummy Tuck Surgery
For more information about improving your appearance after undergoing a tummy tuck, be sure to contact a skilled cosmetic plastic surgeon. The team at Kobienia Plastic Surgery is here to help. You can reach us by phone at (612) 930-1111.