How Soon Will My Tummy Tuck Scars Heal After Surgery?
For patients considering tummy tuck surgery, it is important to understand what to expect during the healing and recovery period and to prepare accordingly. In addition to having questions about how their new figures will look and when they can return to work and exercise, many patients wonder how long it will take their scars to heal and fade – and how visible they may be after that time. At Omar Ahmed, M.D. in Pasadena, CA, board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgical specialist Dr. Omar Ahmed is committed to helping patients achieve the most pleasing and discreet level of scarring possible with specialized surgical techniques and comprehensive aftercare instructions. Read on for a closer look at the timeline for tummy tuck recovery, and find out when your incisions should be fully healed.
Where are tummy tuck incisions located?
During tummy tuck surgery, formally known as abdominoplasty, Dr. Ahmed places the incision strategically within the natural lines and contours of the body so that it can be concealed beneath clothing and swimsuits as fully as possible. Generally speaking, most tummy tuck incisions are placed very low on the abdomen – just above the pubic region – and run horizontally between the hips. Patients who have a great deal of extra skin that needs to be removed may require incisions extending all the way from hip to hip, while patients with more moderate concerns will have a shorter incision. In either case, the tummy tuck incision allows Dr. Ahmed to trim away excess skin, repair a diastasis recti if needed, remove stubborn fat using liposuction, and create a smoother, slimmer, more attractive midsection.
How long does it take a tummy tuck incision to close?
On average, it takes about 1 – 2 weeks for a tummy tuck incision to close. During this time, it is critical that patients avoid pulling or placing excess tension on their incision, meaning patients may need to walk with a slight bend at the waist and sleep with their upper and lower bodies slightly elevated. Additionally, patients should keep the incision clean and dry as instructed.
When will my tummy tuck scars be completely faded?
Once a tummy tuck incision has closed, the scar will begin to fade from red to pink. After this stage, some patients may notice their scar fading to a skin-colored hue, while other patients’ scars may turn more of a whitish color. This process can take up to 18 – 24 months. In certain cases, scars remain red, pink, or even purple. The level of scar fading you can expect will depend on several factors, including your body’s natural healing process, genetics, your aftercare routine, and others. To give yourself the best possible chance of having smooth, flat, faded tummy tuck scars, use these helpful tips:
- Do not stretch or pull your incision as it heals
- Do not submerge your incision as it heals
- Keep your incision clean, dry, and dressed as directed
- Avoid direct sun exposure
- Keep the skin/scar protected from the sun
- Keep the skin/scar moisturized
- Use topical scar products, oral supplements, and other products as directed
- Do not smoke
- Practice healthy habits, including eating a balanced diet and staying hydrated
While most patients who follow these guidelines are satisfied with the appearance of their scars, some patients may desire scar revision in the future. Don’t hesitate to discuss your concerns with Dr. Ahmed during your follow-up appointment. Once your scars have healed, he can recommend specialized treatments to encourage further fading of your scars.
Transform your physique with tummy tuck surgery in Pasadena, CA
If you are frustrated by loose skin, stubborn fat, or a lower belly “pooch” that won’t seem to budge, you may be a candidate for tummy tuck surgery. Despite some level of scarring, the vast majority of patients agree that their slim and sexy new look is well worth it. To learn more about how you can achieve your ideal figure with minimal scarring, call Omar Ahmed, M.D. to schedule your tummy tuck consultation with top Pasadena, CA board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgical specialist Dr. Omar Ahmed today.