Types of Tummy Tuck Scars
The tummy tuck scar you end up with can vary depending whether you get a traditional or mini abdominoplasty procedure. However, tummy tuck scars can occur in three main areas, including the belly button, lower abdomen, and pelvic area. Let's take a closer look at what tummy tuck scars may look like in these locations below.
The belly button area may experience quite a bit of scarring when a traditional tummy tuck takes place. This is because the belly button will still be attached to the abdominal wall during the tummy tuck procedure. So, the scar will form a circle around the belly button. Sometimes, the skin will be pulled or tucked enough that scarring won't be that visible. You can also avoid full tummy tuck scars in this area by opting to have a mini tummy tuck instead.
Lower abdomen tummy tuck scars are located in between your belly button and pelvic area. Depending on the type of tummy tuck, this can produce short or longer incisions that run from hip to hip. Scarring in this area will be quite visible, so you may want to consider having the incisions placed lower.
Some plastic surgeons will give patients the chance to determine how low their incision is. This way, patients can easily hide their tummy tuck scars under the bikini line. Discussing scarring with your plastic surgeon before the procedure is one of the easiest ways to reduce the visibility of tummy tuck scars. At your consultation, your plastic surgeon may guide you on where scarring will occur, so you can adequately prepare.
When to be Concerned About Your Tummy Tuck Scar
Not all tummy tuck scars are going to look and feel the same on your body. Some will be flat and others will be raised or lumpy. What it comes down to is your skin type, the direction of the wound, your age, and diet. After your tummy tuck, your skin is expected to scar, and may not look the best the first couple of weeks. Don't worry, tummy tuck scars will fade and eventually get better. That said, here are a few red flags to look out for that could be signs of infection:
- Excessive redness and bleeding
- Increased swelling and bruising
- Yellow or greenish discharge from the incision site
- Unpleasant smelling drainage
If you have any of the symptoms above, along with a fever over 100.4°F (38°C) and chills, contact your doctor or seek medical attention right away. Untreated infections could be life-threatening and can result in permanent scarring, making it more difficult to minimize their appearance.
You can prevent infections and other related issues from making the scar worse by following the tummy tuck surgery aftercare guidelines outlined by your plastic surgeon, such as:
- Not smoking or drinking alcohol
- Avoiding activities, such as heavy lifting and exercising
- Taking antibiotics and anticoagulants as recommended
Abnormal Tummy Tuck Scars
Hypertrophic and Keloid scars are two types of abnormal scars that can develop after a tummy tuck. Hypertrophic scars are raised, thickened scars that are usually no more than 4 millimeters above the skin. These scars are a result of an overproduction of collagen during the incision healing process due to a person's skin type or body or infections. On the other hand, keloid scars are bulky, large, and can get bigger over time. This can occur due to an individual's specific skin type and genetics.
Despite their appearance, there's nothing to be concerned about either of these scars. There are various treatments that can be used to reduce the way these scars look on your skin, including home remedies, laser treatment, and surgery.