A tummy tuck is a very common procedure. Its professional name is an abdominoplasty and it is requested by people who have lost drastic amounts of weight in a short time. When people lose weight quickly, they are left with loose skin, tissue and fat around the tummy and abdomen that can be unsightly and uncomfortable. The purpose of the tummy tuck is to remove that excess tissue and return the tight and smooth skin over the stomach. Many people would like to undergo the surgery, but they are concerned about a noticeable scar at the incision point.
What Is the Procedure Specifically?
Men and women who have lost a great deal of weight or women who had a baby often have loose skin around the belly. The skin, when it is stretched, can’t always return to its original form. It needs to be removed for a more attractive look. Often, the surgery is combined with liposuction to smooth the tissue under the skin as well. Most cosmetic surgeons will offer different levels of the abdominoplasty, such as a mini or full version depending on patient need. The procedure itself involves making an incision across the lower area of the abdomen and then removing excess skin and tissue. Of course, any surgery like this will leave a scar of some type. Quality plastic surgeons will make the incision as low as possible so that it will be less noticeable on the patient. They will also provide information that the patient can use to lessen the chance of scarring.
What Kind of Scarring to Expect?
Each person will recover differently, and there is no specific way to guarantee the exact amount of scarring to expect. However, if you follow your surgeon’s orders exactly, then you can definitely minimize the scar in the long run. A few of the things you need to remember include:
- Don’t exercise until your doctor gives you the go ahead. You need to give the incision and muscles time to heal.
- During the first week or two while you have stitches, do not do anything strenuous. You should avoid anything more than short walks down the hall until all stitches and drains are removed. If you pull any of your stitches, scarring will be more extensive.
- You will be given a supportive garment. Wear it as the doctor orders.
There are also things you can do over the next few months and years to minimize the look of scarring in the area.
Things to Do
Always consult with your plastic surgeon before you do anything in an attempt to minimize your scar. A few things you could consider include:
- Avoid too much sunlight. Scarring will discolor if you get a tan in the area and you could end up with a red or darkened line that you feel is unattractive. For at least a year after the surgery, avoid direct sunlight and always use sunscreen.
- Use petroleum jelly on the incision marks as they heal (after stitches have been removed). This will keep the skin soft while it heals to avoid extensive scarring.
- Don’t smoke. Studies show that smoking will actually have a negative impact on the scarring and how skin heals.
If you have a tummy tuck, you need to be prepared for some level of scarring. This is a result of the incision. However, when you choose a high-quality plastic surgeon, then you can expect the scarring to be minimalized. Additionally, you should always follow the doctor’s orders during your recovery; any deviations could result in more scarring. Everyone scars differently, but you can take steps to minimize the results from your tummy tuck.