The appearance of tummy tuck scarring is one of the major concerns of patients who want to eliminate their apron-like abdominal skin and/or improve their barrel-shaped waistline, as explained by Dr. Tarick Smiley on his recent Snapchat video post.
Dr. Smiley said all his patients’ tummy tuck scar is made very low that they have no problem wearing the “lowest cut” two-piece bikini.
Most tummy tuck surgeries involve a hip-to-hip incision to remove a wedge-shaped excess skin in the lower abdomen (between the navel and the pubic region). Then, the upper edge of the incision is pulled down to close the curved wound, which lies very low. Of course, a hole is made through the stretched over skin where the navel is set.
In his recent Snapchat post, Dr. Smiley has shown an image of a patient who had her surgery 11 years ago. The scar has faded significantly into the background, which generally happens when someone has a fair complexion.
Nonetheless, many dark-skinned patients can also expect having a barely visible tummy tuck scarring years after their surgery.
The first and most critical step to promote favorable tummy tuck scarring is to use proper wound closure. The idea is to prevent excessive tension and migration, which can lead to scars becoming thick or riding up higher.
To prevent scar migration, Dr. Smiley said the incision site must be secured and anchored to the lower abdominal fascia (strong connective tissue beneath the skin). Furthermore, it is critical to take as much tension off the final layer of wound closure as possible, which is done with the use of deep sutures.
However, patient cooperation is also critical to promote favorable tummy tuck scarring. Aside from using silicone sheets and other similar scar treatments, Dr. Smiley said the scar should not be exposed to the sun for about a year to prevent hyperpigmentation or permanent darkening.
Moreover, the patient must avoid over-straining (e.g., heavy lifting and strenuous physical activities) in the first few weeks following their surgery to prevent wound breakdown and less than optimal scars, said Dr. Smiley.