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Tummy Tuck Scars-How to Reduce and Conceal the Appearance of a Tummy Tuck Scar

Tummy tuck scars (medically known as abdominoplasty scars) are one of the unfortunate downsides of having abdominoplasty surgery.  However, it is a necessary evil and trade off for that fabulous flat stomach that you've always dreamed of.  Tummy tuck scars are permanent, but can be easily concealed under clothing or a bikini.  The severity of the scars depend on the type surgery performed, how it was performed, and the natural healing ability of the body.  Generally, these scars fade over time with a little patience.  However, those with darker skin tones may notice their scars darken as they heal.  Fortunately, there are some proactive steps you can take to conceal and facilitate the healing of scars.

The Anatomy and Healing Process of an Abdominoplasty Scar

A tummy tuck plastic surgery scar from a full abdominoplasty procedure will usually be longer, extending from hip to hip in the lower abdominal region. Scars may be visible around the navel, where it has been repositioned. These are the areas in which the incisions were made to remove the excess fat and skin from the abdominal region. Tummy tuck scars from a partial abdominoplasty, also known as a "mini tummy tuck". The partial abdominoplasty is often referred as the "scarless tummy tuck", as the scars from this surgery will be considerably less visible, spanning horizontally below the belly button. There is also less scarring since the excess fat and skin was removed in the lower abdominal region, and the area around the navel isn't cut. Full abdominoblasty surgery scars will be more prominent and extensive than partial abdominoblasty scars.

Immediately after a tummy tuck procedure, the abdominal region will be tender and may have bruising and swelling. The swelling and bruises can last anywhere from two weeks to a few months after surgery. If a tummy tuck was performed in conjunction with liposuction, then you may experience inconsistencies or irregularities of the skin. These side effects can be mitigated by following all post-surgery instructions including the use of compression garments and allowing adequate healing time.

Initially, a scar may appear worse before it gets better. You may notice darkening and even raising of the scars for three to six months after surgery. After six months to a year, the scars will begin to fade and start to flatten out.


Reducing the Appearance of a Tummy Tuck Scar

It is important to remain patient during the healing process of a tummy tuck scar.  Below are a few steps you can take to assist with the healing of the scars, and reduce the appearance.

1. Upon being released, make sure you follow the doctor's instructions thoroughly and consistently.  Keep compression on your incisions by wearing a compression wrap and compressive clothes.

2.  Avoid smoking cigarettes.  Smoking can slow down the recovery process and enhance the visibility of scars.

3.  When your doctor gives you the green light, start to apply cortisone and/or scar cream during the day.  Cortisone cream will help prevent inflammation and infection.  Some scar creams have great ingredients, such as aloe vera, vitamin K, and silicone, that can help reduce scar tissue and flatten scars.

4. Do not underestimate the power of nature's ingredients!  Apply aloe vera and cocoa butter to your scars.  Cocoa butter is especially useful for reducing the appearance of scars.  You can also get great results by massaging your scars with coconut or olive oil.  Both oils penetrate the skin and have powerful healing properties. 

5. Get regular massages.  Yes, regular massages can help tremendously with scarring! A massage will help speed up the healing process by increasing blood circulation.  A professional therapist can also use a technique called friction that will help prevent adhesions and break down the scar tissue.

6.  Eat healthy, take a multivitamin and vitamin E.  Eating an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, along with a multivitamin will ensure your body will remain healthy, and be in its optimal healing state.  Vitamin E is especially good for moisturization of the skin.  In fact, you can also apply vitamin E oil directly on the scars if you like.

7.  Avoid taking aspirin products.  Aspirin is known to slow down the healing process.

Concealing Tummy Tuck Scars

During the initial phase of the healing process, there will be very little you can do to conceal the scars.  Your best bet during the first few months is to cover your scars with clothing and a bikini if needed.  If your scar is still too visible for your liking, you can cover it up with a creative tattoo.  If the thought of a permanent tattoo freaks you out, you can always opt to get a temporary or a henna tattoo.

You can also try a concealing cream or makeup to cover up the scars.  You can also apply a thin, flesh-colored concealing tape over the scars.

If your scars are fully healed and are still visible or raised, you can talk to your surgeon about the option of having laser therapy.

Preventing Scars Before Surgery

The severity of your tummy tuck scars will depend on the skill of your surgeon.  So it is imperative to research the work of any potential doctor.  Give the surgeon a full interview and establish your expectations.  You should even request to see pictures of the surgeons prior work, paying attention to the scars.  Ask your doctor about the techniques that he plans to use;you can request that draws the area on you where he plans to cut.  You should even request a partial tummy tuck procedure, if possible.

Prepare for the surgery.  Begin your healthy diet, multivitamins, and vitamin E at least two months prior to the operation.  You can also massage the area everyday with coconut or olive oil.  The better your skin is before surgery, the better it will heal after surgery.

Tummy tuck scars are inevitable, but if you consistently to proactive steps, you can considerably speed up the healing and reduce the appearance as much as possible.  Most of all, remember to be patient!

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Comments about Tummy Tuck Scars

cahrles1188 on November 01, 2020:

A healthy discussion has been observed

very good info shared thank you

Joseph on May 27, 2012:

You should NOT be taking vitamin E before surgery. You should do some research before writing about tummy tucks.

George Preston on October 09, 2009:

I've had 3 knee surgeries, the first of which was in 2002 from a doctor who really didn't know what he was doing. As a result, I got this huge scar on my knee with 13 little raised scars from the stitches, that I call my football laces. I'm Asian, so I get keloid scars and eventually I just stopped caring about it since I didn't think there was anything I could do about it.

I had another surgery in 2006 where the doctor removed my old scar (still had the laces), and I again did nothing. My scar started out as thin and much prettier, but because I didn't take care of it, it eventually spread because of the stretching of the skin while my knee bent.

Third surgery was in January of this year, the doctor removed my scar again and kept the laces, but this time, I've decided to take care of this scar.

I started using the Dr Max Powers Scar Cream (from 4 times a day 5 days ago and I all ready see a HUGE difference! My raised laces have smoothed out and are starting to fade. I'm not kidding. The place where my drain was is healing well and the big scar itself is looking great. It's not too red or scary, and it's totally soft and looks like a "normal" scar. I can't wait to see it in another month or two, the timeframe that Dr. Max Powers recommends.

I really recommend this product to anyone who has a new or an old scar. It WORKS.

Ozzy on October 04, 2009:


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