How to Minimize or Remove Tummy Tuck Scarring?
You’ve seen plenty of Tummy Tuck surgeries by now, you’ve understood the different surgical approaches, you’ve decided your desired Tummy Tuck, but there’s something that is still lurking in the back of your mind, making you uncertain of whether you should actually go under the knife: the scarring. Well, you’re not the only one, we’ve seen this practice countless times and therefore we’re here to ease the burden off your shoulders and lay down the ground realities to help you make informed decisions regarding your Tummy Tuck surgery.
You’re unhappy with the way your sagging skin protrudes following weight loss or child birth etc., and we understand you’re seeking a more lean and tighter skin tone. However, for some people these life changes leave a permanent mark on their body and simply burning the fat through exercise and diet may never contract the skin back. Despite your reasons for getting a Tummy Tuck surgery, there is no way around getting a scar on your body. After all, the surgery is extensive and literally requires tissue excision from your body unlike liposuction.
While some of you may have seen post-tummy tuck scar pictures by now, we need to be clear in terms of what a scar is. A scar is a mark which is a result of healing, occurring in the skin or tissues. To anticipate and judge the healing of your scar you must be familiar with the condition of your scar and know what to expect at a particular interval after surgery. A scar is formed in stages which are as follows:
- The Closure: When your skin is traumatized, as with surgical incisions during a tummy tuck, this is followed by filling of the open area with collagen fibers. This stage takes place in 3-4 weeks’ time.
- The Establishment: As collagen accumulates in the area, it is followed by the formation of blood vessels which provide nutrients for healing. The scar at this stage may become more prominent. This stage lasts for 3-6 months.
- The Maturity: After significant collagen formation, the blood supply decreases and the area becomes lighter and flatter. This is when the scar is said to be mature. This phase takes 1-2 years.
In general, before the scars can become lighter, you should expect it to be darker and textured or worse. After a surgery, you may be discouraged by the scar but you should allow your body to heal giving it adequate time to improve. It is also good to be able to identify your scars. Irregular scars may be as a result of hypertrophy or keloid formation. Hypertrophic scars remain inside the margins whereas keloids extend beyond the original wound.
Regardless, the fear of a scar shouldn’t hold you back to get the body of your dreams. With proper planning and simple steps, you can ensure that your scar is minimum and stays under your control. The steps to minimize the scar are as follows:
- Choosing the right surgeon: When it comes to scar placement, it requires experience and knowledge to assess the area where to place the incision. The skin is composed of natural lines also known as the “Langerhans Lines”. By placing incisions along these anatomical lines your surgeon can minimize the scar, on the other hand an inexperienced surgeon does not undertake this into account and this may result in a worse scar. A certified Plastic Surgeon like Dr. Arif Hussain will cut where needed and use multiple layers of suture to release the tension off from the incision site since a tense wound gets worse overtime due to pressure.
- Discuss the placement of your scar: A good approach pre-surgery would be to bring along your bikini so that it may be used as a reference to ensure that the scar remains tucked in your swimsuit. For women who wear a low-cut bikini a lower flatter scar would be more ideal whereas a one-piece or higher bottoms will require rounded incisions.
- Follow your surgeon’s instructions: These instructions will include how to take care of your hygiene and day to day wound management.
- Keep on a lookout for infections: If you feel persistent pain days after the procedure that won’t go away despite taking analgesics, or experience a yellow-green discharge which may be foul smelling or bleeding. These are the red flags for an infection and you should quickly refer back to your surgeon since an infected wound impairs healing.
- Avoid Sun Exposure: The sun can have a negative impact on the healing site. UV exposure may cause hyperpigmentation making the scar darker and more visible. Therefore, when you plan on going outdoors, ensure a proper coverage with clothes and a thorough application of sunscreen. Remember that your sunscreen or sun block should always be higher than SPF 15.
- Application of a scar cream/ Silicone Scar Treatment: Topical treatments are indicated when the incision site has totally been closed. In this stage scabs will form and therefore you are advised not to pick on them as they are healing grounds. A silicone gel, cream or sheet is the easiest replication of the outer layer of skin, as with natural skin it has hydration properties and keeps collagen production in check.
- Vitamin E and Cocoa Butter: Studies have shown the topical application of Cocoa Butter Cream and Vitamin E have expedited healing.
- Avoid irritating clothes and products: Tight irritating clothes may not only cause discomfort but may also impair healing and exacerbate inflammation. Therefore, it is best to avoid it.
It is inaccurate to say each person scars the same way, in fact scar healing is a multifactorial process that depends on your genetics, your skin color and your response to the incision. Your body has been healing from wounds since you were a child, if it wasn’t for scars we would all be walking with open wounds all our life. Remember, knowledge is empowering. Hence if you are considering undergoing a tummy tuck we advise you to get a personal consultation with Dr. Arif Hussain. Your Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) can be at our state-of-the art facility. We ensure infection control at all times and Dr. Arif Hussain never compromises on equipment quality.
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