Abdominoplasty Scarring


Do Tummy Tuck Scars go away?

Abdominoplasty or ‘tummy tuck’ procedures will always result in scarring as the surgery involves incisions. With proper care, the scarring as a result of this procedure can be visibly reduced but won’t ever disappear completely.

The level of scarring post-surgery will depend on the type of abdominoplasty procedure you had, whether it was full or partial. Remember to bring a pair of bikini bottoms or underwear that you like to your initial surgical consultation, this discussion which will give you an idea of where incisions will be made and therefore allow you to imagine where and how visible the resultant scarring will be.

Both abdominoplasty procedures will leave you with a scar that runs horizontally across your lower abdomen from hip to hip, located a few centimeters below your belly button. However, a full abdominoplasty commonly involves at least two incisions, entailing a number of scars.

Types of Abdominoplasty

Full abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) involves two incisions, one just above the pubic area from hip to hip and another is made to free the navel from surrounding tissue. As the layer of skin is stretched down and excess skin is removed, a new hole is cut for the navel, which is then stitched into place,  resulting in a scar around your belly button. The remaining skin is then pulled together and stitched into place.

With time, you may notice that the scar surrounding the naval virtually disappears as it lightens in colour and because it blends in well with your belly button.

With partial abdominoplasty, only the single incision across the lower body is made. This incision between your hips is also often significantly shorter after a partial abdominoplasty, it may be only a few centimeters long. This scar may also be conveniently placed in relatively the same spot where a patient's C-section scar is, minimising the number of abdominoplasty scars on the abdomen for certain patients.

Abdominoplasty Scar Healing Tips

Remember that the purpose of anything you do so far as abdominoplasty scarring will not eliminate the scar but instead, minimise it’s appearance and make it less visible. It is highly unlikely that abdominoplasty scarring will ever fade completely however here are some practical tips that can help minimise scarring.

Follow Post-Surgery Care Instructions

Make sure to follow the care instructions so far as hygiene and wound care given to you by your surgeon following your procedure, this will help heal the incisions heal properly, faster and prevent infection. All these factors will contribute to minimising the appearance of abdominoplasty scars.

Monitor for Infection

Following you procedure, you should regularly look for any signs of infection in the incisions made during abdominoplasty surgery. If you suspect infection act quickly as infected incisions can lead to more prominent abdominoplasty scarring.

Common signs of infection include:
  • Excessive bleeding along the incision line.
  • Increased swelling and redness around the incision coupled with severe pain
  • Yellow or green-coloured drainage from the incision
  • Any discharge that has an unpleasant odour and fever or chills

Sometimes it’s difficult for patients to discern whether the symptoms they are experiencing are part of the usual Abdominoplasty healing process. However if you suspect that the incisions are infected it is worth getting in contact with you plastic surgery clinic for advice. Not only can infection cause further, more severe scarring but it can lead to further medical complications.

Keep Scars Well-Moisturised

Once the incisions have closed, you can start applying moisturiser directly to your scars and this will help boost the healing process of abdominoplasty scarring. Be careful, doing so beforehand can prevent the abdominoplasty incisions from closing properly and increase your risk of infection.

Avoid irritating products and clothing

Any irritation of a scar will slow down the healing process. Make sure to use only products that are gentle to your skin and be wary of fragranced products that will come into contact with your abdominoplasty scarring.  

Don’t Forget to Use Sun cream

It’s important to use sun cream on your abdominoplasty scarring for at least a year after your surgery. If at all possible, it’s best to avoid sunning the area at all. Scars are made of brand new skin and thereby react differently to UV than normal skin. By using sun cream specifically made for scars with SPF 30 or higher, you can prevent abdominoplasty scarring from becoming darker than the surrounding skin.


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