Tummy Tuck Scarring Can Be Controlled

Thomas P. Sterry, MD

Many men and women come to their tummy tuck consultations at my Manhattan practice worried about tummy tuck scars. The truth is, where there is an incision, there will usually be a scar, and tummy tuck surgery is no different. Choosing the appropriate level of the tummy tuck scar, though, is a matter of proper surgical planning.

As plastic surgeons, we may not be able to control exactly what your scar looks like (that is mostly a genetic thing), but we can control the location of the scars we make.

What kind of scar can you expect after a tummy tuck?

In the end, the patient should end up with a smooth, even scar that is well hidden by a swimsuit.

The markings made right before surgery determine where everything (including the pubis) will end up. In order to give patients the scar location they want, I typically have them put on a bathing suit or panties that they want to be able to wear after the tummy tuck. I outline the border of the garment in red ink and then have them remove it. At that point, I know that as long as my incisions are located within the red lines, they will be able to cover the scars that are made later on.

I am also very aware of the elevation of the pubis during this process because I want the area to be “rejuvenated” but not stretched halfway up to the belly button! To this end, we may sometimes remove a bit of the hair-bearing area in this region so your anatomy looks “normal” and natural after surgery.

There may even be an unexpected benefit to tummy tuck surgery for women who’ve had C-sections. We can sometimes eliminate your C-section scar during tummy tuck surgery. You can learn more about this in our related blog post.

How can I make my surgery scars look better?

Occasionally, patients will ask me how they can help their scars fade more quickly or how they can flatten their scar. Often, the best approach for tummy tuck scars is to use silicone gels or silicone sheets. When worn during the first 6 weeks after surgery, these silicone sheets can help the incisions heal properly, keeping scars as thin and flat as possible.

If you would like to discuss tummy tuck surgery with me at my New York practice, use our online form to request a consultation or call our office at (212) 249-4020 to schedule an appointment.

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