Research indicates that tummy tucks are among the most common types of cosmetic surgeries women undergo. However, one of the most important details they leave out is the healing and the type of scar you will have afterward.
Since it is a surgical process, you should expect scarring after the tummy tuck procedure. However, the type and size of your scar will depend on where the surgeon made the incision and the technique they use. Some of the common areas that you can expect scarring include:
During a traditional tummy tuck, the surgeon brings out the belly button, creates a new opening in the skin flap over the original location of your belly button, and inserts it through that opening. That results in scarring around the belly button.
However, that scarring is usually not very visible since it is normally pulled in or tucked because of the tightened abdominal wall.
If you are getting a mini tummy tuck, where there is less skin and fat, the surgeon makes smaller incisions, which means that you might not have belly button scarring.
This is the area between the pelvic area and the belly button. It is the place many people think about scarring when they hear about tummy tucks.
That is true because no matter the type of tummy tuck you get, either mini or full, you will have a horizontal scar a few inches below your belly button between your hips. The scar can be a few inches long or sometimes be all across the abdomen or even cross over to the back.
Many surgeons prefer making the incisions as low as possible to make the scars less visible, which is why many patients get their scars in the pelvic area. Just like the other two areas, the size of the scar in the pelvic area depends on the technique and the amount of fat and skin you want to remove.
Regardless of where the scar is, the healing process of tummy tuck scars takes almost the same time. It takes around a year for the scar to fully heal and start disappearing from the skin.
However, experts say that their scars may still be red for some patients after a year, and if that happens, you need to give it more time. Some take up to 18 months to fully heal and start becoming invisible.
Immediately after the surgery, the scars are invisible since they have not begun healing. After a few months, they start thickening and discoloring to either brown or red. The discoloration should not alarm you as that is an inflammation process where the scar is knitting together.
The scars will look most discolored or the reddest a few months to about six months after the surgery. How your scar heals depends on your skin and how it heals. If you develop hypertrophic scars or keloids, you will not scar well to the tummy tuck.
If you have darker skin, you are prone to having thick scars, while you are more prone to red scars for light-skinned people.
If you notice that your scar is turning blue, becoming excessively red, developing drainage, or opens up, you should see your doctor immediately.
Make sure that your surgeon is a board-certified plastic surgeon when preparing to get a tummy tuck. Dr. Glasberg and his team are committed to providing you with the best possible results and look forward to scheduling your consultation and answering any questions you may have. To schedule an appointment, please call us at 212-717-8550 or use our easy online form.