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Woman standingAlso known as abdominoplasty, tummy tucks are fast becoming one of the most popular body contouring procedures. A tummy tuck can tighten and tone the abdominal area for men and women who feel self-conscious about the appearance of their midsection, helping a wide range of patients feel better about their bodies. Like all surgeries, the tummy tuck results in a scar, which may make some candidates feel uncertain about getting the procedure. Here’s the skinny on how to handle your tummy tuck scar.

Choose a Top-Notch Surgeon

When it comes to achieving the best tummy tuck results, your surgeon’s skill is the primary factor. An experienced tummy tuck surgeon can contribute to having a less noticeable scar by using careful incision techniques and expert stitching while ensuring minimal trauma to the surrounding tissue. Take the time to choose a top-notch board certified plastic surgeon for your tummy tuck, and you can be confident you’re in good hands.

Take Care of Your Scar

Caring for your scar by properly moisturizing and protecting the area from sun exposure will help ensure that it doesn’t become unnecessarily irritated. Keep in mind that a scar takes about a year to fully mature, and many will continue to gradually fade for up to three years. With proper skin care, many patients’ scars eventually fade to a point of being barely noticeable.

Although there are a variety of products that claim to improve the appearance of scars, silicone gel sheeting is probably the one approach with the best science supporting its benefits. However, patient compliance is low due to the tedious nature of this modality for 4-6 months. We often advise patients to apply silicone gel ointment with sunblock twice a day. Commercially available preparations such as Scarzone® are relatively inexpensive. We encourage patients to apply paper tape and change it once a week as a low maintenance scar minimizing strategy. In the event that the scar is raised, steroid injections may help. Red scars may also benefit from the use of IPL (intense pulse light) therapy beginning at 3 months but requiring 3-12 treatment sessions.

Remember that the Scar Is Hidden

It’s also important to keep in mind that in almost every tummy tuck, the incision is made below the bikini or underwear line. This means that even if you’re only in a bathing suit, your scar still shouldn’t be visible. The location of the scar combined with excellent surgical technique and proper skin care all help ensure that the scar is well worth your tummy tuck results.

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