Will I Have Tummy Tuck Scars After 5 Years?
Tummy tucks are ideal for any individual with loose bothersome skin around their abdomen. The procedure is highly effective, commonly performed, and can do outstanding things for your figure. Needless to say, it can also boost your confidence by a large margin.
Still, many patients are hesitant about moving forward with abdominoplasty because they are concerned about the potential for visible scars after tummy tuck procedures. They want to know:
- What do tummy tuck scars look like?
- Where are they located?
- When will a tummy tuck scar heal?
- What about tummy tuck scars after 5 years?
Below, we’ll discuss and answer each of these questions, focusing on what you can expect from your abdominoplasty scars down the line and in the future — as many as five or ten years after surgery.
Scarring After Tummy Tucks
Scarring is an inevitable outcome after any type of surgery that requires incisions. In this way, because abdominoplasty does require incisions, you’re going to have scarring.
Here, however, we like to emphasize the good news. And that is that your scars after tummy tuck surgery won’t be noticeable in most cases.
This is because your surgeon is going to do their best to create your incisions in inconspicuous places. Additionally, some of your incisions will be hidden naturally within your anatomy. For example, a belly button incision can be hidden within the belly button, so that you don’t notice it after it’s healed.
Finally, many treatments now exist to help diminish the appearance of scars during recovery.
Where Are Abdominoplasty Scars Typically Located?
The location of tummy tuck incisions varies from patient to patient. That is, some patients will only require two incisions: one around the belly button and one stretched laterally from hip to hip (below the bikini line). And other patients will require additional incisions on top of these. In rare cases, a mini tummy tuck only requires a lower lateral incision.
When a large amount of skin and tissue must be removed, a fleur-de-lis tummy tuck may be performed. This variation requires another incision to be may vertically from the lower lateral incision to the belly button.
Extended Tummy Tuck Scars
Alternatively, when excess loose skin must be removed from the sides and back of the abdomen, an extended tummy tuck may be performed. This procedure requires the lateral incision on the lower abdomen to be extended around to the sides and back of the trunk.
Furthermore, if you opt for liposuction on top of your tummy tuck, which is common, this may require additional small incisions, depending on where you’d like fat removed.
What Do Tummy Tuck Scars Look Like Right After Surgery?
Naturally, tummy tuck patients will have bandages and dressings over their incision sites directly after surgery. Therefore, you may have little opportunity to examine your scar.
At this time, you can expect the area to be swollen, red, and covered with steri-strips. You will be tired and sore from surgery, so it’s important not to strain to examine the area. Allow your surgeon to perform their own followup examinations to ensure the area is healing well.
After approximately ten days to two weeks, your incisions should be healed together, and the scar will appear pink or red and slightly raised. Already by this time, the area should feel and look much better. As your recovery progresses, the scar will flatten and fade in color.
What Do Abdominoplasty or Mommy Makeover Tummy Tuck Scars After 5 Years Look Like?
Whether you choose to undergo abdominoplasty as a standalone procedure or as part of a mommy makeover, you’ll naturally want to know what your scar is going to look like in a few years’ time.
Let’s look at five years down the line from surgery.
In five years, you can expect your tummy tuck scar to be at its best (as long as it’s been well taken care of and you are in good physical health). In fact, after one year or at the most, two years, your scar should maximally fade and flatten out.
After ten years, your scars should also look well-faded and flat. Most patients report that their scars become increasingly unobtrusive with each passing year.
How to Ensure Your Tummy Tuck Scars Heal Well
Follow these tips to achieve hardly noticeable surgical scars after your tummy tuck.
Get adequate rest as your recovery progresses.
Your incision site must properly heal in order for it to fade as time goes on. The first few days and weeks of your recovery are crucial.
Be sure to give your body time to heal, and get adequate rest. Do not strain the areas where you’ve had surgery (your entire trunk and upper body). Properly clean and care for your incisions according to your surgeon’s instructions.
Additionally, do not smoke, avoid alcohol and high-sodium foods (to reduce swelling), get plenty of fluids, and eat a healthy diet. When you get the “okay”, start walking and moving to promote circulation.
Take advantage of scar therapy treatments.
Your surgeon will provide you with scar therapy options after surgery. Depending on the way you typically develop scars and how your incisions are healing, they may recommend scar creams, silicone patches, or even laser treatments.
Avoid sun exposure.
Exposure to ultraviolet rays (like those from the sun) can worsen the appearance of scars. In some cases, it can actually create darker scars, especially during the first few months after surgery.
If your treatment area will be exposed to sunlight (at the beach, for example), be sure to use adequate sunscreen and/or cover the area with a UV protective bathing suit or clothing.
Avoid gaining significant weight.
Not only can gaining significant weight after abdominoplasty diminish your overall results, but it may also distort the appearance of your tummy tuck scars. For this reason, try to stay within five pounds of your post-surgery weight.
Tummy Tucks Are Worth the Scars for Most Patients
The idea of a lower abdominal scar is concerning for most patients. However, it’s also worth noting that tummy tuck surgery offers immense benefits for patients with sagging skin on their abdomens.
In fact, there is no other solution to sagging, drooping skin on the stomach. Surgery is the only option if you want to permanently get rid of this chronic problem.
It is for this reason that we like to emphasize the fact that patients who undergo abdominoplasty are overwhelmingly satisfied with their results. These patients know going into surgery that scars are going to be part of the equation, and they decide to go through with it anyway. After they’ve healed, they can move easier, it’s more fun to wear the clothes they like, and they feel more confident overall.
Book Your Consultation Appointment Today
Whether you have recently lost a significant amount of weight or you’re done having children and have excess skin from pregnancies, a tummy tuck is the plastic surgery that can help.
To learn more about tummy tuck surgery and scars after abdominoplasty, contact Sieber Plastic Surgery today and schedule a consultation with double board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. David Sieber.