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What Kind of Scars Will I Have After My Tummy Tuck?

/ Dr. Aric Aghayan
Tummy tuck scars

Scarring after a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is invisible under most clothing. Even under bathing suits and undergarments, your scars are not likely to be seen.

With that said, every tummy tuck is different, and you may have a different tummy tuck scar pattern than someone else who had a tummy tuck based on your anatomy and the improvements you sought from surgery.

Below, we’ll look at what the typical tummy tuck scar pattern is for various types of tummy tucks. Chances are, your procedure will result in one of these tummy tuck scar patterns.

We’ll also offer up some tips to help minimize the appearance of your tummy tuck scars with scar fading creams after healing.

What Kind of Tummy Tuck Scar Will I Have?

Knowing what type of tummy tuck minimize scarring you will have depends almost completely on the type of tummy tuck you undergo.

Generally speaking, there are four types of tummy tucks:

  • Full tummy tuck
  • Mini tummy tuck
  • Extended tummy tuck
  • Fleur-de-lis tummy tuck

Each of these has a different scar pattern depending on where the incisions are made. They are all quite similar.

Full tummy tuck and extended tummy tuck both require two standard tummy tuck incision: one around the belly button to detach it from the rest of the tummy tuck incision and the abdominal skin (so it can be repositioned) and one along the lower abdomen (hip to hip).

The key difference is that with an extended tummy tuck, the hip to hip incision extends on either side around to the back of the patient’s abdomen.

Mini tummy tuck also have a lower hip to hip incision, but there is no belly button incision. Fleur-de-lis tummy tuck have a belly button incision as well as a hip to hip incision, and they also require a vertical incision from the belly button down to the lower hip bone and incision.

Keep in mind that if liposuction will be performed alongside your tummy tuck and bbl, this procedure may require additional incisions as well.

5 Tips for Minimizing a Tummy Tuck Scar

Tummy tuck scars after 1 year

1. Follow your surgeon’s directions during recovery.

This is the most important tip we can offer. Your surgeon will give you detailed instructions for taking care of your incisions and yourself overall. Be sure to follow these. Caring carefully for your surgical sites will ensure they remain healthy and heal well. Resting, refraining from lifting heavy things or exerting yourself, not smoking, and following a nutritious diet are all crucial to a good tummy tuck recovery.

2. Avoid tension on your scars.

One of the things patients have the hardest time with after surgery is refraining from exercise after tummy tuck. It’s common to do good with this for the first few days, but understandably, many patients tend to rush moving around, picking up heavy things, and reaching and stretching as their recovery progresses. These things need to be avoided until your surgeon “okays” them.

It’s critical that you do not place strain on your scars during your tummy tuck recovery. Not only can overstraining the area cause your incisions to reopen (which may result in a medical emergency), but it can also compromise the wound healing itself, causing more noticeable, raised, uneven visible scars.

3. Avoid UV rays from the sun and tanning beds.

Sunlight and the light from tanning beds can compromise your scars by darkening their pigmentation and making them more noticeable. Avoid exposing your healing incisions (or your scars after healing) to the sun or tanning beds. If you must be outdoors and your incision heals scars will be exposed, be sure to use sunscreen (after complete healing), protective clothing, or an umbrella or other shade.

4. Apply moisturizer and use massage.

After healing, regular light massage can help to break up scar tissue and flatten your tummy tuck scar. Moisture, too, can improve the tuck scar appearance and speed up fading.

5. Try silicone scar sheets.

Silicone scar sheets have shown some improvement at minimizing the appearance of visible scar. These can be purchased at most pharmacies or online. Follow the directions, being sure not to use them until after your scars have fully healed.

FAQ: Tummy Tuck Scars

Will my tummy tuck scars be visible in a bathing suit?

Tummy tuck scar

This depends on what type of tummy tuck you had and what type of suit you want to wear. For women, nearly all types of standard tummy tuck and scar tissue will be concealable in most two-piece suits. Fleur-de-lis procedures will be concealable in one-piece suits. Men may have a harder time hiding fleur-de-lis scars in swim trunks, though full, mini, and extended tummy tucks can generally be hidden quite well in trunks.

Will scar creams help my tummy tuck scars?

Possibly scar cream. Once your incisions have fully healed over and Dr. Aghayan gives you the okay, you are free to use scar creams if you wish. Not all creams will do what they say they will, though regular massage and hydration have been known to reduce the appearance of surgical scars. Probably the best topical treatments are silicone scar sheets.

How long do tummy tuck scars last?

You’ll always have some sign of scarring after a tummy tuck. However, the appearance of your scars will change over time. Slowly, they will become less and less apparent. In terms of a tummy tuck scar timeline, most of the healing will be complete by the three-month mark. After that, it may take up to a year to see the full results visible scar there from your tummy tuck.

Is a tummy tuck surgery scar worth it?

Most patients will say yes. The majority of tummy tuck patients have a significant amount of excess skin they want to get rid of. This skin can cause pain, the inability to move the way they want, and deep-seated self-consciousness. It’s enough discomfort to merit tummy tuck surgery and the scars that come with it.

Do scars from tummy tuck surgery go away?

Although your tummy tuck scars may never completely disappear, they will significantly diminish with time. It’s important to note that several factors can affect the lasting appearance of your scars. You can also opt for scar revision surgery.

Request a Consultation

Dr. Aric Aghayan of Après Plastic Surgery Portland can help you get the slim, tight abdomen you’ve always dreamed of with a tummy tuck. Dr. Aghayan is board certified plastic surgeon and has years of experience helping patients achieve their aesthetic goals.

Find out more about what a tummy tuck can do for you by scheduling your consultation at Après Plastic Surgery today.




Embrace Your Evolution

Enjoy the pinnacle of cosmetic surgery expertise with board-certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Aric Aghayan at Après Plastic Surgery. With a legacy of over 1600 successful body contouring procedures, Dr. Aghayan stands as the foremost specialist in advanced body contouring technology and treatment options. Take the next big step on your beauty journey by scheduling a comprehensive plastic surgery consultation with Dr. Aghayan today.

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