How To Get Rid Of Tummy Tuck Scars? A Comprehensive Guide

When considering a tummy tuck, a common concern is how to get rid of tummy tuck scars. While effective for contouring the abdomen, this procedure inevitably leaves some scarring. Understanding the methods and treatments to minimise and manage these scars is crucial for patients looking to achieve the best aesthetic results.

Why Does a Tummy Tuck Cause Scars?

A tummy tuck requires surgical incisions in order to:

  • Tighten loose abdominal muscles
  • Remove excess skin and fat
  • Reshape and contour the belly area

The most common tummy tuck techniques create a hip-to-hip incision just above the pubic area. Through this incision, the surgeon can access the abdominal muscles and remove excess tissue.

Once the surgery is complete, the incision is carefully closed with sutures, surgical tape or skin glue. This incision site will result in a permanent scar post-healing.

Book A Consultation With Dr Shehzadi Tasneem

Top-rated Plastic Surgeon For Tummy Tuck in Dubai

  • 15+ Years of Experience 
  • Certified Plastic and reconstructive surgeon 
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  • 24/7 support for patients
  • Free follow-ups after the procedure

Additional scars may occur if the surgeon makes a second incision around the navel to reposition/reshape it.

5 Tips For Fading and Minimising Tummy Tuck Scars

While tummy tuck scars are inevitable, there are many ways to encourage them to fade and blend into the natural skin creases over time.

1. Follow Post-Op Instructions Carefully

Closely following your surgeon’s advice after surgery is crucial for proper healing and minimising scars. This includes:

  • Wearing compression garments: Wearing prescribed compression garments as directed applies gentle pressure to help reduce swelling and encourage new scar tissue to form flat rather than thick or raised.
  • Silicone scar treatments: Silicone adhesive strips, gels or sheets may be recommended. Silicone is clinically proven to soften, flatten and smooth scars as they mature.
  • Gentle activity: Gradually increase gentle movements and activity as your surgeon recommends. Light walking helps improve blood circulation, which aids healing. Too much activity too soon can over-stretch delicate healing tissues.

2. Massage Scars Once Healed

Once incision sites have fully closed and healed (typically 4 to 6 weeks), massaging scars helps break up stiff internal scar tissue. This keeps them smooth and pliable and encourages them to lie flat:

  • Apply a little vitamin E oil or over-the-counter scar cream as a lubricant
  • Use firm but gentle pressure in a circular motion along the length of the scar
  • Massage for 5 to 10 minutes daily

3. Consider Laser Scar Treatments

In-clinic laser treatments like pulsed dye laser resurfacing help reduce the appearance of new, pink or red-looking scars by targeting scar tissue with beams of light. This helps scars blend with natural skin tone. Multiple treatments may be required.

4. Protect Scars From Sun Exposure

It’s crucial to shield healing and new scars from UV rays. The sun stimulates excess pigment production, which can cause scars to darken and stand out. Ways to protect them include:

  • Wear sun-protective clothing like rash guards or kaftans and wide-brimmed hats
  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30+ on exposed scars
  • Avoid direct sun between 10 am to 2 pm

Sun Protection Tips For Scars

TypeProductsPrice Estimate*
Sun protective clothingRash guard/swim shirts, kaftans, wide-brimmed hat100 – 500 AED
Sunscreen for scarsLa-Roche Posay Anthelios UV Aquafluid SPF 50+180 AED (50ml)
After-sun scar productsDermatix Silicone Scar Gel150 AED (15g)

5. Camouflage Scars With Makeup

Speciality scar-minimizing makeup products can help conceal visible scars when they are still pink or red. These products contain pigments that match your natural skin colour and reflect light to help scars blend with the skin:

  • Camouflage creams: Apply these thicker creams like Dermacolor over scars to mask colour differences with the surrounding skin
  • silicone-based primers: Wear these smoothing primers under the foundation to help it glide over scars seamlessly
  • Full coverage foundations and concealers: Formulas that advertise “24-hour” wear or “tattoo” coverage provide heavier pigments to obscure scars

When applying scar camouflage makeup:

  • Go one shade closest to your natural skin tone
  • Use a synthetic duo-fibre brush to stipple products evenly onto scars
  • Set with translucent powder to increase durability
  • Blend well into the neck area so there’s no visible demarcation line

Makeup Tips For Concealing Scars

ProductPrice Estimate*
Dermacolor Camouflage Cream D31350 AED
Revlon Colorstay Full Coverage Foundation120 AED
LA Girl Pro Concealer HD Concealer Natural45 AED
Ben Nye Luxury Banana Powder155 AED

Are My Scars Likely To Fade Completely?

It’s important to have realistic expectations about your scars. While many patients can achieve significant improvement, pre-existing scar conditions and genetic factors affect final outcomes.

In general, with consistent scar care over 12 to 18 months, tummy tuck patients may see scars fade by up to 80 to 90%. However, some visible indentations may remain long-term.

  • Scars tend to be dark pink/red immediately after stitches are removed
  • Over the next 6 months, the colour will continue to fade gradually
  • Thickness and height reduce significantly between 6 to 12 months
  • Continued tightening of scar tissue can occur for up to 18 months.

Should I Consider Scar Revision Surgery?

If your scars remain pronounced, wide or uneven in texture despite following scar minimisation methods for over 12 months, surgical scar revision may be an option.

This secondary procedure trims and re-sutures the scar into a thinner and flatter line using various skin closure methods like:

  • Z-plasty: Creating angled incisions to break up straight scar lines
  • W-plasty: Making small, wave-like incisions along the scar’s length
  • Geometric broken line closure: Interlocking square and triangular flaps for less tension
  • Adjacent tissue transfer: Relocating nearby healthy skin to the scar site

However, scar revision carries risks of additional scarring. Be sure to consult with both your original surgeon and a board-certified plastic surgeon specialising in scar treatments to assess if it’s suitable for your scar type and goals.

Conclusion

In summary, addressing ‘How to get rid of tummy tuck scars’ involves a combination of proactive and postoperative care. Techniques ranging from silicone sheets and gels to laser therapy can significantly reduce scar visibility. It’s essential for patients to follow their surgeon’s advice and maintain a healthy skincare routine to ensure the most discreet scarring possible post-tummy tuck.

Scar maturation and minimisation is a long-term process requiring dedication, but the rewards of a slimmer and more toned midsection make it worthwhile for most patients.

Book a consultation with Dr Tasneem to receive a thorough assessment regarding your individual needs, health status, and expected outcomes, as well as personalised advice on optimum treatment plans.

FAQs About Tummy Tuck Scars

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about tummy tuck scarring:

If done properly in an area with good elasticity and healing capacity, a tummy tuck scar should not drastically increase in size long-term. However, changes with age, weight fluctuations, or pregnancy can impact scar appearance.

Patients typically need 1 or 2 surgical drains for the first 1 to 2 weeks after a tummy tuck. Drainage tubes remove excess fluid and reduce inflammation that can negatively impact scarring.

Getting pregnant after a tummy tuck may affect results somewhat, but it is still possible in many cases. Discuss plans for future pregnancies with your surgeon so they can advise how this may alter scars.

Around six weeks post operation when scars have had time to gain strength. Before then, compression garments help prevent friction that could widen or damage healing scars.

A full tummy tuck scar sits low across the pubic line, so it may be visible over the top of some underwear and swimsuit bottoms, depending on placement, style and your body shape.