This article will primarily focus on tummy tuck scar healing and some advice on how to ensure a light and thin scar.
An abdominoplasty, more commonly known as a tummy tuck, is a plastic surgery procedure that involves reshaping the area of the lower abdomen. This process eliminates loose skin, leading to a tighter and flatter abdominal area and a thinner waist. Obviously, with aesthetic improvements, self-confidence is boosted, and a woman (or man) will feel more like their younger self.
Women who have had multiple pregnancies, C-sections (cesarean sections), or women or men who have lost a significant amount of weight are common candidates for this procedure. Patients who have a little bit of extra skin around their midsection that just won’t respond to diet and exercise may look to an abdominoplasty to remove the fat. Knowing this, a tummy tuck should not be an alternative to weight loss; it should be used in combination with a healthy diet and moderate exercise.
Before Your Tummy Tuck
Before you have the surgery, you’ll want to ensure that you have a few items at home that will aid in your recovery. Ice packs and petroleum jelly will be helpful to have on hand as well as loose and comfy clothing that is easy to put on and take off. Make sure to make arrangements with a family member or friend to drive you home after the procedure as well as help you around the house for a few weeks.
After Your Tummy Tuck
In the days, weeks, and months post-surgery, you will experience pain and inflammation, but Dr. Stephanie Teotia will provide you with pain medication. It’s also possible that you will have bruising, numbness, and fatigue during this time. It is important to strictly follow Dr. Teotia’s recommendations for limited activity after your tummy tuck. Otherwise, you may experience incomplete healing which could lead to more defined scarring or loss of skin. Poor healing can necessitate a second surgery, so be sure to spend plenty of time taking it easy.
Tummy Tuck Scar Care
Any tummy tuck surgery is going to leave scars, though they will fade and most likely continue to become lighter with time. The incision area will be stitched and bandaged with a garment that will promote correct healing. The bandage or compression garment will limit inflammation and support your abdominal area as it is healing. It is vital to follow your surgeon’s instructions on how to care for the area after the procedure is completed. Your surgeon will also offer advice on various sitting or prone positions to decrease pain. You will most likely need to take off of work for up to a month, and strenuous activity is to be limited for six weeks or more.
Tummy tuck scars are known to worsen before they improve, so don’t be alarmed if your scar doesn’t look pretty right away. About 3 months post-surgery, your scar will be at its worst point, contrary to some other surgical scars. It takes approximately a year for the scars to reach their “final stage.” By the final stage, they should be fading and turning in.
At the beginning, during the wound healing stage, keep the tape on for as long as possible. By doing this, tension and pressure on the incision will be minimized. Once the wound has healed, you can use scar therapy treatment techniques. The best technique with the most evidence is silicone dressing. Studies also show that improved scar appearances can be obtained with hydration and occlusion (proper wound dressing).
Finally, the compression garment is a significant part of the healing process, as it provides the exact amount of necessary pressure to the incision area. This pressure that is applied to the surgical area aids in the draining of toxic fluids and the shaping of the skin into its new contours. The wound healing process is stimulated because the compression garment promotes blood circulation. Amplified blood circulation aids in faster wound healing, while also maximizing scar healing.
At your pre-surgery appointment, be sure to find out the exact steps that are necessary for you to take so that your resulting scar is light and thin. Dr. Teotia will advise you on the best ways to improve the appearance of your scar while also minimizing pain.