At my Columbia, MO, practice patients considering plastic surgery often worry about the long-term appearance of their scars. This is especially true for patients getting tummy tucks. That’s why it’s important to look at several before-and-after photos of a plastic surgeon’s actual patients before choosing a doctor.
You’ll see how their belly buttons and incisions look after surgery and get a pretty good sense of how your results may look. I make incisions as low as possible so that the scar can be concealed by a bikini bottom or panties. You should be able to wear a bikini within months of the procedure.
Before undergoing the procedure, learning about what can cause excessive scarring can be helpful. Genetics is important. Did your parents or siblings develop keloid scarring if they have had surgery in the past? (Keloid scars are raised and often reddish). Are you prone to keloid scarring? If so, make sure to tell your surgeon, so he or she can take extra precautions. Also tell your surgeon about any underlying medical conditions, even if you don’t think it could affect your surgery or healing process. Open and honest communication with your surgeon is a key to getting good results. Following your surgeon’s scar care instructions is also important.
Once you have decided to schedule your tummy tuck, make sure to ask a lot of questions about how to prepare for recovery. It is important that you understand all the steps towards recovery. The first 4 to 12 weeks after surgery are the most important to minimizing scarring. Here are 5 helpful tips to remember:
- Reduce tension: As surgeons, we try to minimize tension on the skin closure with every surgery performed. On your end, you should try not to stand or sit straight up after your tummy tuck to prevent pulling on your incision lines. Take it easy to reduce the risk of wound separation.
- Keep the site clean: Wash your hands prior to touching your incision. The germs could cause an infection and slow down your healing process. Use liquid antibiotic soap, dry with a soft towel, and apply triple antibiotic ointment.
- Keep the scar out of the sun: Staying out of the sun is the best way to prevent hyperpigmentation. Often, a scar sunburns more easily than your skin when exposed to the sun’s harsh ultraviolet rays.
- Use scar maturation products recommended by the doctor: Your surgeon will provide you with the names of products that will help prevent noticeable scarring. Use these products diligently.
- Monitor to ensure proper healing: If you feel like your scar looks infected or you are in more pain than normal, contact your surgeon. Do not hesitate to ask questions.
Check our tummy tuck page to get more information about the procedure and to see before and after pictures of some of my patients. If you have any questions or want to meet to talk about your options, request a consultation online or give us a call at (573) 443-5500.