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Will I have Tummy Tuck Scars?

Does Tummy Tuck Leave Scars

The short answer to this question is yes. Any and all surgeries requiring incisions will result in some scarring. Because San Francisco tummy tuck surgery (also known as abdominoplasty) is an invasive procedure that requires at least one significant incision, you will have at least one scar after surgery.

However, there’s also a longer answer to this question: Yes, you will have scars after a tummy tuck … but they should not be tremendously noticeable.

Below, we’ll outline why this is the case and help you understand why tummy tuck scars should not hold you back from this life-changing surgery.

What Do Tummy Tuck Scars Look Like?

Tummy tuck incisions are made on the abdomen. Essentially all tummy tucks will involve a lateral hip-to-hip incision on the lower abdomen and a incision within the belly button.

In addition, some tummy tucks will involve a vertical incision from the belly button to the lower abdomen. Sometimes, the scar on the lower abdomen will extend around to the patient’s back (as in an extended tummy tuck).

Tummy tuck scars are typically thin and will appear raised and pink or red at first. Over time, they will fade and flatten out.

6 Things to Know About a Tummy Tuck Scar

#1 – Your surgeon will make your incisions in discreet locations on your abdomen.

Right off the bat, we can help put your fear of a tummy tuck scar aside by letting you know that your tummy tuck incision likely won’t be made in ultra-noticeable locations.

Only in the case of the fleur-de-lis tuck is a vertical scar necessary on the lower abdomen. Otherwise, the belly button incision and lower abdominal incisions are both well-hidden — even in a bathing suit.

#2 – A Tummy tuck scar will fade with time.

Most tummy tuck scars end up barely noticeable after two or more years because they fade. If you’ve ever had a scar from a cut, for example, you know that with time, the wound simply turns into a lightly colored spot on your skin. The same thing happens with a tummy tuck scar.

#3 – If you are attentive during your recovery, you can reduce the appearance of your scars even further.

Tummy tuck patients need to know how important it is to pay attention to their plastic surgeon’s tummy tuck recovery instructions. By following their guidelines (keeping their incisions clean and dry, staying out of the sun, avoiding physical activity, etc.), you can reduce the appearance of your tummy tuck scar by a large margin.

#4 – Tummy tuck scars will be more noticeable if you spend time in the sun.

Sunlight and light from tanning beds will make your scars look darker and more noticeable. Use sunscreen and protective clothing when outside, and do not tan after a tummy tuck.

#5 – Your belly button scar won’t be noticeable.

Most tummy tucks require an incision made within the belly button. Fortunately, because of the way the navel looks, your belly button incision won’t be noticeable. Rather, it will blend in with the skin creases in this area.

#6 – Tummy tuck Surgery scars are almost always worth it.

Plastic surgeons know how impactful this surgery is for their patients. Nearly all patients report complete satisfaction with their results and are entirely pleased they got this surgery. Even though scars are inevitable with the procedure, it’s also important to look at the wonderful benefits you’ll be getting.

Tummy tuck scarHow to Help A Tummy Tuck Scar Fade

If you already have a tummy tuck scar that you would like to lessen the appearance of, here are some tummy tuck scar treatment steps you can take to do this.

Protect your tummy tuck incision from the sun.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure in this case. If you want your tummy tuck scar to be less noticeable, don’t exacerbate its appearance by exposing it to UV rays by putting scar cream on it.

Try silicone scar sheets.

Silicone scar sheets have been proven effective as a tummy tuck scar treatment in reducing the appearance of visible scars over time. Use them regularly when allowed to do so by your plastic surgery. Scar creams with silicone can also be helpful.

Don’t stress your incisions while they’re healing.

Your plastic surgeon will tell you not to stretch your abdomen while in recovery (to reach for something, for example). Heed this instruction closely. An unfortunately common reason for tummy tuck scar healing issues is stress or strain on the incision site.

When this happens, it’s far more likely that the sutures or sterile strips will break or be stressed so much that they can’t keep your incision together well for optimal healing.

What Happens During Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Abdominoplasty is a surgical technique that involves removing excess skin from the abdomen. In addition, your surgeon may tighten your abdominal muscles and use liposuction to remove stubborn unwanted fat.

There are several types of tummy tucks. Below, we’ll go over four of the most common types of this surgery.

Full Tummy Tuck

A full tummy tuck requires a lower waistline incision and a belly button incision. Excess skin is removed, and the ab muscles are tightened.

Mini Tummy Tuck

This type of tummy tuck only requires a lower waistline incision and just removes extra skin from the lower abdomen. A mini tummy tuck is rare.

Extended Tummy Tuck

Extended tummy tuck remove skin from the front of the trunk and around to the sides of the trunk and flanks. The lower waistline incision is, therefore, longer horizontally.

Fleur-de-Lis Tummy Tuck

Lastly, a fleur-de-lis tummy tuck tuck is used when the patient has a lot of loose skin side-to-side. This surgical technique requires a lower waistline incision, a navel incision, and a vertical incision from the navel to the waistline.

Questions and Answers About Tummy Tuck Procedure

How do you know if you have scar tissue after a tummy tuck?

Initially, scar tissue may be red and raised, but it gradually fades and flattens over weeks to years. While some tummy tuck scar may take several years to become nearly invisible, most start fading within months.

Do scars from tummy tuck go away?

Over the course of six months to a year following surgery, a tummy tuck scar will progressively diminish and become flatter. While there are measures to minimize scarring, it’s important to acknowledge that complete disappearance of scars may not be achievable.

What does a tummy tuck incision look like?

A ‘conventional’ or standard tummy tuck entails an incision from one hip to the other, positioned below the navel and above the pubic region. This scar can typically be discreetly concealed along the underwear line. Additionally, a standard tummy tuck incision includes the creation of a new navel, which leaves a small circular scar.

Schedule a Tummy Tuck Consultation

Does Tummy Tuck Leave Scars?While tummy tucks after 5 years do leave scars, keep in mind that the benefits of this procedure far outweigh the drawback of scars for most tummy tuck patients. Overwhelmingly, those who’ve undergone tummy tuck surgery are extremely content with their results. Most report wishing they’d gone for a tummy tuck sooner.

If you are interested in a tummy tuck and would like to learn more about the procedure and your candidacy for surgery, contact Sieber Plastic Surgery today to schedule your consultation with double board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. David Sieber.



Dr. Dave Sieber and his staff are so awesome! Dr. Sieber is personable yet professional, his work is impeccable. He listens to his patient and works with them to achieve what they want. He’s like my hair dresser, a magician, you just want to do a happy dance with the results, only these results are lasting. Ok, but seriously, the procedure was very smooth, the staff and the doctors (Dr Sieber and the anesthesiologist) had great communication and made sure I was comfortable with very clear and concise pre op and post op directions. The healing process was very easy and the results are FABULOUS. Side note, Dr. Sieber has really awesome skin, I feel like this is impressive and important because really, would you trust a dentist with bad teeth? I am so elated and satisfied with the results, the size is perfect and they look and feel very natural. They are exactly what I wanted.*

SF Scientist

Dr. Sieber is a doctor who is not only extremely knowledgeable about the latest in cosmetic procedures, but a doctor who truly cares about his patients. I highly recommend him!*


Dr. Sieber is a doctor who is not only extremely knowledgeable about the latest in cosmetic procedures, but a doctor who truly cares about his patients. I highly recommend him!*


Dr. Sieber is attentive, responsive, and well trained. I had seen him for Botox and filler and he had done both without any pain or bruising and more importantly the results were fabulous. He has met with me on time at each appointment. He communicates what to expect, made sure I was comfortable throughout the procedure, checked on my healing every day post procedure. He couldn’t be more delightful not more talented. I had seen other plastic surgeons for in office treatments over the past decade and Dr. Sieber is at the top of the list in terms of delivering the desired outcome and high quality care.*

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