Tummy Tuck Scars

One of the main concerns of tummy tuck patients is the scarring involved. And indeed, there is no such thing as a minimally scarring abdominoplasty operation when one is talking about the length of the scar, however strategies can be employed to minimize the visibility of the scar.

Is a scar necessary?

Can I get a mini tummy tuck or laser lipo instead to minimize scarring?

Opting for a mini-tuck will often get you “mini” results, and therefore this is rarely a feasible option if your abdomen needs a regular tummy tuck. You can read more on the mini-abdominoplasty section. Laser Lipo is a great option for many people, but beyond a certain point of skin stretching, or if muscle stretching is present, this won’t be a good option.

In short, a consultation with Dr. Khalifeh will help you explore options other than a tummy tuck, however, once you are deemed a better candidate for a tummy tuck, it is best to accept the length of the scar for the results that a tummy tuck can give you and the other options cannot give you.

Minimizing abdominoplasty
scar part I: Surgeon strategies

  • Planning the incision to keep it low, avoid large step-off due to different skin thickness, using the patient’s folds where possible.
  • Proper tension by the planning of the resection to create pleasing results, maximizing flap blood flow, creating as even of transition of fat thickness between upper flap and lower skin incison.
  • The incision is closed in layers to minimize the tension, which minimizes the final scarring. Recently, I have favored using knotless-barbed sutures such as quill or stratafix during the layered closure. These knotless sutures can provide a more even spread of tention and they minimize the need for knots, which at the most superficial levels can sometimes contribute to foreign body reaction and be a detriment to the scar.

Example of a knotless suture, which helps tummy tuck scars

Tummy Tuck Scars

Minimizing abdominoplasty
scar part II: Patient factors

Some factors depend on patient compliance. For example, smoking or beeing around second hand smoke can be a detriment to healing during a tummy tuck scar. Proper nutrition is also required for optimal healing. It is recommended that one eats plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables during the healing period. Take your prescribed antibiotics. Follow the instructions on incison line care.

Incision line care: the initial period

My recommended incision line care:

  • Day one—Day three: leave initial surgical dressing on.
  • Day three—Day seven: you may change dressings on the long incison site, but redress with Neosporin or triple antibiotic ointment and a thin layer of unfolded gauze. Minimize the use of tape/adhesive, especially on the abdomen. Try to hold the dressings on with either compression garment, undergarment, or tape, but tape to the thigh rather than the abdomen and use as little as possible.
  • Day seven—day 14: use dry gauze only, unless instructed differently at your follow up visit.

Incision line care for optimal scarring: the intermediate period

Ethnicity and scarring

Scarring will also differ based on ethnicity.

  • Caucasian scars may stay initially red for a period of one year.
  • African american scars heal with a darker surrounding color, and, although rare, have a higher risk of hypertrophic scar or keloid formation.

M.R. Khalifeh is keenly aware of the importance of the scar and keeps the incision as low in the bikini line as possible while employing the latest surgical techniques to maximize the chance of a perfect scar.