Scarring is a common consideration in nearly every plastic surgery procedure. Since Dr. Anna Wooten of Beleza Plastic Surgery is often asked about tummy tuck scarring, she thought it would be helpful to address the issue in its own blog post.
Scarring Can Be Concealed Beneath Underwear or a Bathing Suit
All surgical procedures, including tummy tuck, leave a scar. Fortunately for tummy tuck patients, their scars usually fade to a fine white line and can be easily hidden beneath underwear, bathing suits and low-rise jeans.
In fact, Dr. Wooten takes great care when it comes to scar positioning, especially for her tummy tuck patients. As a female plastic surgeon, she understands that women want to feel comfortable in a swimsuit after their surgery. She creates the surgical incision very low on the abdomen, right above the pubic hairline. This is low enough to be covered by even the skimpiest underwear or bikini bottoms. Dr. Wooten may also make an incision inside or around the belly button, but those scars are hidden within the natural folds of skin. Depending on the patient, Dr. Wooten may also create a new belly button – which completely eliminates all visible scarring in that area.
Tummy tuck scars should be most prominent right after surgery and fade over time. Scars are usually very light and well-healed about a year after surgery. In some cases, the scars can take up to two years to lighten.
Factors that Affect Scarring
Certain factors affect the final appearance of the tummy tuck scar, including the following:
- The surgeon’s technique
- The patient’s skin type (patients with darker skin usually have darker scars)
- How well the patient follows all post-operative instructions for incision care
- Whether the patient is prone to keloid or hypertrophic scars
- Whether the patient exposes the scar to the sun as it is healing
- Whether the patient uses a silicone-based cream or sheet (we keep FDA-approved silicone scar gel in stock for our patients)
If you are concerned about noticeable scarring, you might want to bring a bikini or a pair of underwear to your consultation with Dr. Wooten. This can help as you discuss and plan out the incision placement. She can mark up the area where she plans to place the incision, and you can try on your clothing to see where the resulting scars would be. Then you can decide if you would like the scar to be adjusted and Dr. Wooten can advise whether that is technically possible.
It’s also helpful to keep in mind that nearly every patient is happy to trade a flat, firm stomach for a barely noticeable scar. The benefits of a beautiful physique far outweigh the possibility of a scar.
We do advise that patients comply with all post-operative instructions, and that they use a topical silicone scar product to help with scar healing. In the case where a patient may not be completely satisfied with his or her scar, Beleza also offers laser scar therapy. Our fractional laser can be used for a series of treatments which improve the appearance and texture of surgical scars.
Would you like to discuss tummy tuck scarring with Dr. Wooten? Please call Beleza Plastic Surgery at (724) 759-7777 today to schedule a consultation.