An abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, is a great option to reduce loose skin or stubborn fat and repair the abdominal muscles for a flat and athletic look. However, scarring is, unfortunately, a factor in choosing a tummy tuck. While skilled plastic surgeons like Dr. Power can close incisions for minimal scars, all patients will see some degree of scarring after their surgery. Continue reading to learn more about tummy tuck scars and how they can be minimized. 

Tummy Tuck Incision Patterns 

Several incision patterns may be used to complete your abdominoplasty, which will change the shape and length of the resulting scarring. In most cases following pregnancies or significant weight loss, Dr. Power will make a horizontal incision from hip to hip and a small incision around the umbilicus (belly button) to perform a standard tummy tuck. 

In a mini tummy tuck, a horizontal incision is also performed on the lower abdomen, although it is shorter than in a standard abdominoplasty.  No incisions are made around the umbilicus. Mini tummy tucks may be an option for those with loose skin and subcutaneous tissue below the umbilicus only. 

In a circumferential tummy tuck, the horizontal lower abdominal incision is extended around the body onto the lower back. This allows Dr. Power to reshape tissues and remove excess fat or skin from the sides and back as well as the abdominal area. 

Caring for Abdominoplasty Incisions to Minimize Scarring 

Caring for your incisions as they heal immediately after your abdominoplasty is the most important step in minimizing scarring. Follow all aftercare instructions carefully. This will include taking antibiotics to lower the risk of infection, caring for drains as instructed, wearing compression garments, and avoiding strenuous activity or exercise for at least six weeks after your tummy tuck. It is also important to avoid direct sun exposure on your scars over the first year after surgery. 

Scar Reduction After Surgery 

If you wish to improve the appearance of your scars after your tummy tuck, treatment options are available to help reduce them. 

Immature scars, typically those which are less than a year old, may be reduced through several non-surgical scar reduction techniques.  Options may include topical silicone, scar massage, or scar reduction creams. If more problematic scars develop or if you have a history of known keloid scarring, steroid injections may also be recommended to reduce the appearance or to prevent further scar thickening over time. 

Mature scars, or those that are at least a year old and have stopped changing, may be improved through scar reduction surgery. This involves surgically removing the scar tissue and carefully repairing the skin using advanced techniques to potentially create a smaller, less noticeable scar in its place. 

The best scar reduction procedure will vary for each patient. This means that a consultation with Dr. Power is necessary to determine your best options. She will examine your scar and evaluate factors like your health history and skin type to create the best treatment plan for your needs. 

Schedule a Consultation 

To learn more about abdominoplasty and scar reduction, schedule a consultation with Dr. Stephanie Power. Call our Toronto, Ontario office at (416) 962-1010 or contact us online to set up your first appointment.

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