All about tummy tuck scars
If your abdomen has become saggy, you may consider the tummy tuck surgery. This procedure makes the abdomen flattened by taking out excess skin as well as the excess fat, apart from tightening the abdominal wall muscles.
The tummy tuck is a major procedure that is highly invasive. It involves major incisions, which ultimately develop into scars. The procedure is not possible without incisions, meaning the scars after the procedure are unavoidable. In this article, we will discuss the procedure and the incisions and how the scars develop, besides discussing ways to reduce the scars.
Tummy tuck surgery
Tummy tuck surgery or abdominoplasty is a cosmetic process that makes an incision through the lower part of the abdomen, removing the excess skin and fat while enhancing the look of the belly. Most surgeons make their point of incision possibly lower in a bid to limit the prominence of the scars. Despite this, some scarring is inescapable; however, there are things you can do to reduce the scarring.
The surgery removes the excess skin from the area between the umbilical region (belly button) and pubic hairline. After a tummy tuck procedure, the abdomen usually will not become saggy again, but aging and gravity may affect the results over time. The tummy tuck takes around three to four hours of operating time and is commonly an outpatient method. The procedure is normally performed under general anesthesia due to the severe nature of the procedure.
A full tummy tuck requires two incisions to excise the saggy skin and tighten the loose abdominal muscles. The locations of incisions, with their purposes and features, are:
1. Horizontal incision
It helps in removing stretch marks as well as excessive skin. It must be made well beneath the panty line.
2. Belly button incision
The purpose of this incision is to place the belly button at its proper site. It should keep the umbilicus to its natural shape.
Scarring after the tummy tuck
Any surgery that requires cutting up the skin will leave a scar. The measure of the scar will rely upon the incision size that is essential to be done, depending on the way it is implemented. A tummy tuck leaves an elongated, straight scar over the lower abdomen area.
Abdominoplasty isn’t a scar-less surgery. Keep in mind that your abdominoplasty scars will deteriorate before they show signs of improvement. Your incisions will recuperate. However, scars experience a progression of changes before they are mended, and that can take even months to happen.
The scars will appear the worst at around three months after surgery. They tend to get exceptionally red, thick and raised. At times, if you‚Äôre cold, they can become grayish purple. It might take up to a year for scars resulting from the tummy tuck to become flat and finally fade.
Keep in mind that any marks or discolorations that occur as a consequence of the healing skin from an injury or wound are known as a scar. Whenever the skin is damaged or broken (just like when incisions are done for the tummy tuck surgery), the body makes collagen to fill it out and seal it. This process takes around 3 to 4 weeks.
At the next stage, the collagen continually develops at the site of the wound, ensuring and reinforcing the affected area. The scar then becomes darker, denser, and prominent. This stage takes almost 3 to 6 months.
At the last stage, when enough collagen has been supplied at the site of the wound, the scar becomes lighter, slender, and flatter. This process can take 1 to 2 years, upon which they are reflected as entirely mature.
A few patients stress over abnormal scars. Abnormal scarring could develop in the form of hypertrophic or keloid; both are the result of an overabundance of collagen. Scars that are raised up and reddened comparable to normal skin are hypertrophic scars. Keloids are a severe type of hypertrophic scars, in which scar tissue is made and extends away from the site of origin of the wound.
Since cosmetic surgical procedures are elective, the surgeon may have more freedom in choosing and making incisions. For instance, creating incisions within the normal skin folds or skin creases can minimalize the appearance of scars. As a consequence of the way a tummy tuck is executed, two incisions are placed on the abdomen:
‚Ä¢ One around the belly button
‚Ä¢ The other or horizontal one on the inferior part of abdomen
The subsequent scar around the umbilicus mixes most of the time into the normal contours of the zone, limiting its presence. Horizontal tummy tuck scars will be noticeably visible, yet is sufficiently placed low enough that it can be covered up by swimsuit bottoms or undergarments.
How to improve the scars
Stay away from the sun to decrease the visibility of scars. Scars that are exposed to sunlight will more likely look dark or reddish. Lighter scars are not so markedly visible and in general preferable to pigmented scars. Sun exposure during the first six months after the tummy tuck can make the scars look worse and even trigger abnormal scarring.
Secondly, you can dress the wound site with petroleum jelly to minimize scar formation. However, be sure to consult with your surgeon if you want to do this. Smoking is hazardous and can trigger abnormal scarring. Quitting smoking is particularly important to prevent more prominent scarring. Individuals that don’t stop smoking after a tummy tuck may perhaps develop scars that have a marked, ropey appearance.
You can also consider applying topical vitamin E or medicinal review silicone cream to the scars to improve their appearance. Again, be sure to consult with your surgeon and get his opinion before doing so. These kinds of topical creams may work for a few. Some people may get rashes after using topical vitamin E. It can exacerbate a scar or make it look worse.
Any infection that might occur after the tummy tuck must be treated quickly to reduce the scar‚Äôs appearance. Infections can make scars seem more discernible. Prominent or visible scars may need another surgery for treatment.
All scars heal gradually, regardless of whatever you do to heal them. Scars frequently seem worse following a surgical procedure until after a weeks or months. However, you can expect them to become less visible afterwards.
How to prevent abnormal scarring
During the first two weeks after surgery, try to remain in bed or lounge with your head elevated comfortably and place a couple of cushions under your knees. Doing so will keep your torso slightly elevated and decreases the stresses on the skin of the abdomen.
The skin in the belly area will have been extended toward the end of surgery, so decreasing the pressure on the incision site will assist with the flow of blood and reduce the odds of any complications.
During the first six weeks after surgery, you ought to be extremely watchful while moving around. You may take short and slow walks every few hours, but excessive movements can affect the incisions, and hence the scars. To avoid abnormal scarring, avoid extreme movements and physical activities during the recovery period.
During the recovery period, make sure to drink more liquids, including water, juices or sports drinks, especially for the initial 72 hours. Also, include healthy foods like vegetables, protein, and fruits in your diet. Doing so will help prevent abnormal scarring.
Patients are required to wear compression garments for several weeks after the tummy tuck. The compression garments are meant to speed up the healing process and reduce the swelling. They can also help prevent abnormal scarring.
Surgical scar revision
This procedure removes the scar by reconnecting the normal skin, diminishing the appearance of scars. It works perfect for elongated or widespread scars, as the method can make the scar thin or shortened. Wait six months to a year after surgery before going for a surgical scar revision. This removes the scar by cutting an opening around it.
Laser treatment of the scars
This technique includes the utilization of high-energy laser light to expel or shrink the scars on your skin. The kind of laser and the number of sessions you require will rely on the severity as well as the depth of the scar.
A tummy tuck can sharpen up an individual‚Äôs abdominal contours, making it firmer, youthful, and toned. The procedure involves major incisions, which ultimately turn into scars. In most cases, the scars are normal and will fade and become less visible over time. However, there is a risk abnormal scarring may happen, which can compromise the achieved results. Be sure to discuss the tummy tuck incisions and scars with the surgeon during the pre-operative consultation.