The Truth Behind Tummy Tuck Scars

One of the hard truths about a tummy tuck is that there will be a scar left behind. What kind of scarring should you expect from a tummy tuck?

Many women correlate tummy tucks and C-sections, but the only similarity is placement of the scar and maybe intensity of the recovery. In fact, many patients feel that there is less pain with a C-section because the surgery is limited to the area in front of the muscles and deep into the abdomen.

“Even though you can cover it up with clothes and it's rarely seen in a bathing suit, it's not a scar that's in a crease like when a breast augmentation or facelift is performed,” says Dallas, TX, plastic surgeon Jeffery M. Kenkel, MD. Whether you have a traditional tummy tuck of a modified version dictates what your scar will look like. But, for the most part, scarring is similar and may get worse before it gets better. “Your scar will fade over time. It can take upwards of one year, if not more, for it to become less visible, although it will always exist,” says Great Neck, NY, plastic surgeon Kevin Tehrani, MD.
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19 comments | Post a comment
liz
HELP!!! I HAVE A TT, LIPO AND BA SCHEDULED FOR NEXT MONTH, WOULD LOVE SOME ADVICE, IS IT WORTH IT????
Posted February 18, 2014 10:58 PM EST
1
Lore
I had a tummy tuck 7 years ago because of extra skin after having babies. I'm still very happy about it, the scar is almost invisible on the sides of my hips, my belly button is perfect. I'm still very happy about my decision, and keeps me away from bad, high calorie foods. Warning, be aware! DO NOT gain weight. It will totally ruin the surgery. I used rose hip oil and onion gel for the scar, it made my scar thin and soft. My question; I do have a an emotional spot on the center of the scar, it is about 3 inches long. The spot gets dark at times, other days it is almost invisible. The skin feels thicker on top then bottom of the incision, and makes a little fold, no to bad. Can this be fix? Can a Dr. remove old scar tissue? If so, is the recuperation good? Is it possible to fix the scar to be invisible ?
Posted February 04, 2014 2:01 PM EST
2
Debbie
I have this awlful scar vertical down the middle of my stomach following surgery when I was 16, I have never been able to wear a bikini and always cover up. I am considering a tummy tuck to get rid of excess fat on my tummy but would like to know whether it would also get rid of the vertical scar?
Posted December 23, 2013 5:19 PM EST
3
Susan
I had a tummy tuck in 6/13. I had an area of necrosis at the bikini line scar that needed debridement and finally healed about 1.5 mos ago. It left a scar that's not too bad just a little indentation that makes the incision line crooked. It healed better than I thought it would. But the strange thing I had happen was they used these foam like pads to apply pressure against my skin on the front and the back. On one side of my abdomen this straight lined looking scar formed that is slightly raised and uneven and approimately 4 in in length. I noticed they didn't remove a plastic covering over these pads and wonder if this is what caused this strange scar from pressure on the fragile skin. I am trying massage, silicone sheets and have noticed a little difference but it's early. Any advice? Has anyone else had this happen?
Posted December 23, 2013 5:07 PM EST
4
WHAT THE EXPERT SAYS:

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Dr. Elie Levine
Plastic Surgeon - New York, NY
A tummy tuck scar when done well is very thin and low enough to allow for a two piece bathing suit or low cut jeans. The key question to ask your doctor is how they do their belly buttons. The tell-tale sign of a tummy tuck is a noticeable belly button scar or an abnormal belly button. With the right approach and meticulous care, a belly button scar can be made to look more natural and beautiful, and the scar can be hidden inside the belly button allowing for outstanding abdominal shape without anyone knowing you had surgery.
Posted October 23, 2013 5:28 PM EDT
5
Dr. Mark Greene
A tummy tucks is an excellent procedure to remove the loose skin and tighten the lax muscles created by pregnancy or after weight loss. The incisions usually heal to a fine line with the help of massage and the use of silicone based scar treatments. Studies show that other types of scar treatments do not work as well as silicone based products. There will be an incision for your new belly button scar, and this can be treated in the same way as the horizontal incision from the tummy tuck. Be sure to choose a surgeon who is board certified in plastic surgery and is experienced at this type of procedure. Look at numerous photos of their patients before and after. Avoid exposing the incisions to the sun for at least a year, as they may darken. Some patients have had success with gentle exfoliation, such as a damp loofah, of the incision after it has healed to help it flatten and lighten. There are other products containing hydroquinone to help lighten these areas. Be sure and speak to your surgeon about any concerns.
Posted September 24, 2013 6:15 PM EDT
6
Karlaa
Im 18 . And im thinking of getting a tummy tuck . But im scared , I dont want to look worse and plus I already have a c-section . Im skinny but my tummy looks gross cause of my c-section . What should I do ? Help .
Posted September 03, 2013 2:31 AM EDT
7
Anonymous
i am 1 year post op. i have a scar hip to hip that is not bad... In the middle under the bb its a large scar from tissue death, it went down to the muscle and took 7 mos to heal. every once in awhile it still opens and drains. not using silvadene anymore, but will the hardness and indent ever go away?
Posted August 27, 2013 6:25 PM EDT
8
louise
i had mine done at bupa 10 yrs ago and only recently has my belly button scar started to get worse after insect bite my scar tissue keeps opening up and weeping ocasionally bleeding , i have to wear a plaster over it most days , any suggestions on why this is happening
Posted May 13, 2013 7:07 AM EDT
9
minnie
I'm po day 8 and jm not in pain but i didn't look at my tt scar til today because I was in pain b4 and I noticed it went almost all around my PS didn't specify this. I thought it was hip to hip. Would u gals or gents have an idea why? I'm 4"11 and 145pounds.
Posted May 09, 2013 5:45 PM EDT
10
Maria
My Scar is horrible, it is to high to hide under the bikini line and the belly button scar also really ugly, I don't think I'll be able to wear 2 piece swimsuit any more, though surgery was done 4 months ago, I don't see any improvements, still hope It will get better with time. At the beginning I was using silicone strips, but very uncomfortable to wear, they fall off all the time. Now I am using contratubex, a friend recommended it me, smells a little unpleasant but it started looking better, itches sometimes.
Posted April 27, 2013 1:53 PM EDT
11
charlotte
my "tummy tuck" scar is HORRIBLE. MY SURGEON NEVER MENTIONED ONE WORD ABOUT THE BELLY BUTTON SCAR. BIGGEST MISTAKE OF MY LIFE!
Posted February 01, 2013 4:50 PM EST
12
lani
Where did u get it done am so happy they did it low did u wear low underwears to get it that low who did it
Posted January 13, 2013 9:22 AM EST
13
Tia
I wish I was a lucky tt patient. My surgeon left me with a scar that is across my belly that my under-pants can not hide~let alone a bikini. Not only that the center of the scar that goes across dead center of my belly is 1 inch thick and dark (no hiding it). I can't even wear hip-hugger jeans. Went to 7 ps and not one will touch me. Said I was never a full tt candidate & should've never done. Please research and talk~talk~talk to your doctor.
Posted August 30, 2012 2:58 PM EDT
14
Bear
My scar along bikini line isn't bad at all, however my belly button scar is horrible ! It is red and ugly! Iexpected the bikini line scar but not this, I can't even look in the mirror when I am not dressed it has traumatized me. I would have kept the little pouch I had versus this Any day.
Posted July 08, 2012 6:43 AM EDT
15
lani
I use renal A on my scar and it's lessening. I had mine done 4 yrs ago and it's lightening. When I'm in the tanning salon I go nude and make sure to put sunscreen on my scar so it does not darken..It's healing fine, but my scar is soo very low that I can wear a bikini and still model. When I want to go really low on my outfits I put a tribal tatoo that covers it and you can't see at all.. Makeup works great too.. Either or, I'd rather look now than I did with the extra skin I had from my pregnancy's
Posted September 14, 2011 9:44 AM EDT
16
panama
Sometimes after surgery, I form hypertrophic/keloid scars and sometimes I don't. I'm not sure what the difference has been that has caused or prevented the scarring. Is there anything I can do to minimize the chances of this type of scarring after a tummy tuck?
Posted September 02, 2011 3:37 AM EDT
17
Dr. Richard Baxter
Patients almost always report that tummy tuck scars are a good trade-off for correction of all the things that a tummy tuck does (and that you can't do with diet and exercise.) Typically the scar extends from hip to hip but it should be concealable. Recovery is NOT typically as bad as a C-section from what my patients say.
Posted August 29, 2011 10:21 AM EDT
18
Andrea
How long is the scar usually?
Posted August 23, 2011 11:08 AM EDT
19

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