Your journey to a happier, more confident life starts with a private, in-depth consultation with your surgeon, where we learn about you and your vision and goals. Discover San Antonio’s premier clinic for plastic surgery.
Tummy tuck scars after 5 years: Getting a tummy tuck is an exciting event for those who have lived for years with loose abdominal skin. This excitement is often spoiled, however, by the fact that the majority of patients will have a long lateral scar between the hip bones after surgery.
Fortunately, there’s good news here.
First, not only will your surgeon place your incision(s) as inconspicuously as possible, but there are also many things that you can do at home to minimize the appearance of your tummy tuck scars.
Let’s take a look at what to expect from tummy tuck scars after 5 years and how to minimize their appearance as your recovery progresses.
What to Expect From Tummy Tuck Scars After 5 Years
A tummy tuck is an invasive surgery that requires at least one incision. As such, there will be scarring after surgery. This can’t be avoided.
Still, one important thing to consider about these scars is that the alternative is even less desirable for most people. If you’ve been living with excess skin on your abdomen for any length of time, you know how cumbersome and uncomfortable it can be. And when it comes to excess skin, the only way to get rid of it is with surgery.
Therefore, for most patients, it’s easy to give up the side effects of loose abdominal skin — overall discomfort, excess weight to carry around, difficulty exercising, self-consciousness in bathing suits and intimates — and trade all of that for some barely noticeable scarring.
We’ll discuss how tummy tuck incisions are placed and what options you have for your surgery further on in the post. For now, let’s take a look at some techniques you can use to minimize the appearance of your scars at home.
How to Minimize Tummy Tuck Scars
Use these tips to reduce the appearance of your tummy tuck scars after 6 months and beyond.
1. Follow your post-surgery recovery instructions.
Every patient is different. Your providers at Hill Country Plastic Surgery will give you scar-care instructions catered specifically to you. Follow these instructions closely.
2. Don’t expose your scars to the sun.
Sun (or tanning bed) exposure can cause scars to become discolored, harder, and thicker over time.
3. Use silicone.
Products that contain silicone can help flatten scars and reduce their appearance over time. There are silicone topicals and leave-on silicone sheets available.
4. Try light-based or laser treatments.
Tummy tuck scars after 5 years (or sometimes sooner) can be cared for with procedures such as laser resurfacing or broadband light treatments.
5. Consider permanent makeup or a tattoo.
If the coloring of your scars does not match your skin tone, permanent makeup or a tattoo can help blend the scar so that it is even less noticeable.
Tummy Tuck Incision Placement
If the patient is not undergoing a combination surgery such as a mommy makeover, the majority of tummy tuck procedures require only two incisions to be made.
One incision is made around the belly button, and the other is made below the belly button, way down on the lower abdomen. This incision runs laterally from hip bone to hip bone, and it is naturally more noticeable than the belly button incision. The belly button scar simply fades into the belly button and can hardly be seen, even shortly after surgery.
At the same time, because the lateral hip to hip scar is so low on the tummy, it’s easy to conceal in its own right — with clothing.
This scar is not visible beneath typical clothing, and it can even be easily hidden under most underwear and swimsuit bottoms or trunks.
Fleur-de-Lis Tummy Tuck
In some cases, an additional incision will be made vertically. This incision will run directly down the lower center of the abdomen, from the belly button to the lower lateral incision.
The addition of this incision creates what is called a fleur-de-lis tummy tuck. Surgeons turn to the fleur-de-lis when patients require a maximal removal of excess loose skin. It may also be used in patients who have a long torso.
The vertical incision of the fleur-de-lis tummy tuck is harder to conceal than the belly button incision and the lower horizontal incision.
Naturally, it will be invisible beneath most clothing and one-piece bathing suits. Otherwise, patients can follow scar-reducing techniques to help this scar fade and smooth out as much as possible.
Mini Tummy Tuck
Rarely, a procedure called the mini tummy tuck will be utilized. With a mini tummy tuck, the patient only requires one incision — the lower, lateral incision.
Because the belly button incision is not made with a mini tuck, this allows the surgeon to only correct loose skin below the belly button. The belly button is not repositioned, in other words. Use of the mini tummy tuck is infrequent as it is rare that excess skin above the belly button won’t need to be reduced as well.
Tummy Tuck Scar After 6 Months
Nearly all of the swelling from your tummy tuck will have dissipated about a half-year after surgery. Soreness and bruises should be gone as well. Tummy tuck scars after 6 months, however, may still be apparent.
Your scars at this point will likely be raised slightly and still somewhat red. It will be around this time, however, that the appearance of your scars will begin to fade as the blood supply to this area goes down.
Tummy Tuck Scars After 5 Years
Tummy tuck scars after 5 years will be nearly unnoticeable. Although it will have taken several years for the scars to lighten entirely (in most patients), by this point, they will be at their lightest. Those with darker skin, however, will generally have darker scars.
If you care for your scars properly during recovery, they should also be smooth and mostly even with the rest of your skin. You should not have any tummy tuck pain or swelling in the area at this point.
Book Your Tummy Tuck Consultation Appointment Today
Tummy tucks can give you a brand-new lease on life. With this procedure, you’ll enjoy more comfort, less self-consciousness, and the ability to do more things like exercising and wearing clothes you love.