An abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, removes excess skin around the abdomen. This procedure can be beneficial for individuals who have lost a significant amount of weight or as part of a mommy makeover after pregnancy. Like any surgery, an abdominoplasty will leave a scar, although this can be minimized through diligent care and masked with strategic placement. Before your procedure, it’s important set realistic expectations for tummy tuck scarring so you have an idea of what to expect.
What Does a Tummy Tuck Scar Look Like?
The size and shape of an abdominoplasty scar will depend on the type of tummy tuck you get. A mini-tuck is suitable for patients who are mostly concerned about skin below their belly button. For this procedure, the incision is smaller, about the size of a C-section scar. A standard abdominoplasty will require an incision from hip to hip as well as one around the belly button. If you have excess skin on your hips as well as your stomach, you may prefer an extended tummy tuck. The scar for an extended tummy tuck will be a little longer and, like a standard tummy tuck, will require an incision around your belly button. Patients who have lost a significant amount of weight, especially after gastric bypass surgery, may have excess skin that extends horizontally as well as vertically. In these cases, the incision may be shaped like an upside-down T.
How Visible Is Abdominoplasty Scarring?
When possible, your surgeon will work to place your tummy tuck scar strategically. It will often be hidden under a bikini, depending on the style of the swimsuit and the type of procedure you had. You should expect a small amount of scarring to be visible around your belly button as well. During the first few months after your surgery, the scar will be more noticeable since it is just beginning to heal. After a year to two years, you can expect it to fade somewhat, although there will always be some degree of scarring.
What You Can Do to Minimize Scarring
As a patient, there are some steps you can take to minimize the appearance of your tummy tuck scar. It is important to follow all post-operative instructions carefully. This is important not only for cosmetic reasons but also to protect you from infection and other potential complications. You should also try to keep your scar out of sunlight when possible and apply sunscreen if this is unavoidable. Moisturizing the area may also be beneficial. The first year or two after surgery are the most crucial when it comes to scar formation. After this point, the scar will generally maintain a similar appearance over time.
Choose an Experienced Tummy Tuck Surgeon
One way to minimize the visibility of abdominoplasty scars is to carefully choose your surgeon. Our doctors are highly skilled and take the utmost care to place your incision strategically. We will also give you detailed instructions for aftercare. For examples of our results, you can check out our tummy tuck before and after gallery.