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Does Tummy Tuck leave scars?

Many people find it difficult to improve the appearance of their abdomen through diet and exercise. It is one of the parts of the body where achieving the desired results is more uphill. Therefore, within cosmetic surgeries there is one specially designed to achieve a more attractive and rejuvenated appearance: the abdominoplasty. There are many doubts about this procedure, but the most frequent is whether the tummy tuck leaves scars. To answer this and other questions about this procedure, we have prepared the following guide on our blog.

Where does a tummy tuck leave scars?

Regardless of the type of tummy tuck (mini subtraction or full tummy tuck), scarring will be inevitable. When the skin is cut, an incision is made and a scar is produced. The final length, position, and quality of these scars depend on several factors. Here we will talk about the location of the scars. Most of the time, abdominoplasty leaves scars that run horizontally across the lower abdomen, usually lower than "normal" modern waistlines. The goal is for the scar to be located at the junction of the abdomen and lower pubic area with hair. The shape of the scar depends on the type of tummy tuck (straight line, bicycle handle, or French bikini). When it comes to a full abdominoplasty, a scar is usually located around the navel.  His native navel remains in place, and the skin of the abdomen "moves around." Although the scar may be visible at first, for most patients it will blend into the abdomen and become less noticeable over time. Although most tummy tuck scars are only horizontal, a vertical scar may also be necessary. Located between the navel and the lower scar from side to side, a short vertical scar can be found.  They occur when patients do not have much excess skin, but have more loose skin than liposuction alone can handle. In other cases, the vertical scar may be longer and be located between the lower incision and up to the level of the breasts.  This long vertical scar with a long lower scar running from side to side is known as a fleur-de-lis or FDL tummy tuck. It occurs in patients who have undergone massive weight loss or obesity surgery and have excess skin both from top to bottom and from side to side.

Healing process when a tummy tuck leaves scars

Many factors that influence healing are specific to each patient. These include age, nutrition, genetics, adherence (or failure) to follow postoperative care instructions, smoking, infection, blood pressure, size, activities, and general body composition. Your general health and well-being clearly influence the speed and quality of healing. Although abdominoplasty leaves scars, the process will not be the same in all cases. Right after surgery, the incision often appears red and thin. There may be ridges or folds in the skin.  Swelling, inflammation, and some oozing are the norm at this stage. Today, most incisions are reinforced with tape or glue, and the incision may not be visible. At the microscopic level, your cells are trying to hold the wound together, and will produce a more disorganized network of collagen to help close the wound. Although produced quickly, this collagen is not as strong as the final mature scar. In the first few weeks to months, wound healing is dynamic and actively changes over time. The initial disorganized collagen will break down and be replaced by more organized "braids" of collagen. This collagen is stronger but takes time to produce.  At the same time, during this period of change, your internal stitches will be weakened and will not be able to provide as much support to the incision.  This is where an external support such as duct tape can be helpful and so we recommend patients use it for at least 2 months after surgery. Visually, during this time the tummy tuck in Miami leaves scars that will remain quite dark and may have a reddish color (due to the blood supply in the wound).  The incision is usually flattened and small folds may disappear.  It is possible that still have a slight bulge at the end of the incision during this time.  If it is small, it will usually contract and soften, becoming less noticeable when the scar is "mature", around 8-12 months after surgery. It is perfectly natural to notice that the scars are still visible even six months post-op. At this time, the scars gradually lose their pigmentation. This means that there will be no prominent red color and you will be able to see the scar fade away. Instead, your scar may appear pink or light brown.

Tips to improve your scar

Scars after a tummy tuck are inevitable. Although the scars do not completely disappear, they usually fade over time. However, there are some helpful things you can do to make your scars less visible. It is essential to follow the post-operative instructions of your plastic surgeon. Carlos Spera, renowned and experienced surgeon, will detail a protocol for the care of wounds and scars. Adhering to these recommendations is one of his best bets for getting the best possible scar. Another tip with which abdominoplasty leaves scars much more imperceptible and better developed is to use an external support that helps your scar while it is maturing by providing additional support. A well-balanced diet with protein supplements will help the process, as will a healthy lifestyle such as quitting smoking and trying to keep your weight in a healthy range. Avoid irritating headbands, clothing, and products. Products with harsh formulas and clothing made from uncomfortable and irritating fabrics can cause redness and make scars appear more prominent. Do not tan, as UV exposure can cause your scars to hold more pigment and therefore be a darker color. Make sure they are covered by the bikini bottom, and sunscreen around the belly button. Finally, many people decide to take advantage of the fact that a tummy tuck leaves scars to get tattooed. Probably the easiest way to make scars less visible is to get a tattoo, but you can do it once your skin has fully healed (after 12 months).

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