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Tummy Tuck

Do tummy tuck scars go away?

Sylvia T
10 months ago

I think a tummy tuck would make me feel a little better about getting into a two-piece bathing suit, but I don't know if a flat stomach is worth ugly scars. Do the scars ever fade or go away, or are they permanent?


Daniel Liu, MD Zion, IL
10 months ago

Dear Sylvia,

Thank you for your question! While all surgeries will lead to visible scars, a board-certified plastic surgeon will design a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) scar to reside in a low, inconspicuous location that can often be concealed by undergarments and bathing suits. Scar healing will vary from person to person, and we will use surgical techniques and make postoperative recommendations to minimize their visibility. Over time, scars will usually fade into thin, faint lines.

Jonathan Zelken, MD Newport Beach, CA
10 months ago
SURGEON PROFILE PROFILE

Tummy tuck scars come in many shapes and sizes. A well qualified surgeon will make sure a tension-free closure ensures the best scar possible. Another option may be liposuction with or without radiofrequency tightening. Technologies like BodyTite do wonders for appropriate candidates and may help avoid long scars altogether!

Trent Douglas, MD San Diego, CA
10 months ago
SURGEON PROFILE PROFILE

Thank you for your question and taking the time to educate yourself by asking board-certified plastic surgeons to comment. After a tummy tuck, there will be a permanent scar. The key is to design a tummy tuck incision that is low and to perform the surgery such that there is no tension on the skin closure. If the incision is planned properly and the procedure executed well, it will offer the most optimal outcome for the final scar appearance. Scars take several months to mature and different skin types will heal differently. Using silicone gel after surgery can help optimize the scar and several laser or IPL treatments can help the scar's appearance as well. Although permanent, over time most scars do fade and become much less noticeable. It is always best to see an board-certified plastic surgeon in your area and develop a treatment plan that is individualized to your needs and desired outcome. Best wishes on a speedy recovery and fabulous result!

Frank Agullo, MD El Paso, TX
10 months ago
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All scars are permanent, but we can make tummy tuck scars thin and low enough to hide with a thin bikini or underwear.

Debra Johnson, MD Sacramento, CA
10 months ago
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You can’t get rid of the extra skin and fat without creating a scar. We plastic surgeons use all our tricks to try and get the best scars possible, but genetics plays a big role! Do you have any other scars? They can predict what a tummy tuck scar might look like. If you don’t have any scars, then consider scars on your parents. If they are okay, then yours will likely be okay too. Scars do take a fair amount of time to “mature”. Tummy tuck scars can take a year or more to fade as much as they will, so you have to be patient!

Shashidhar Kusuma, MD Plantation, FL
10 months ago
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Things are always relative to where one starts. If the skin excess, fat excess and the overall appearance causes concerns, relative to that, a thin scar that is placed low enough is a vast improvement in the overall appearance with or without garments in general. Over long term, the incision heal well and are very acceptable to most patients.

Richard Greco, MD Savannah, GA
10 months ago
SURGEON PROFILE PROFILE

Are Tummy Tucks worth the scar? What a great question.

When evaluating an Abdomen - we look to see :

1) Is there extra fat on the Abdomen or flanks?

2) Is there Extra skin?

3) Is there Muscle Weakness

The operation we will recommend is based on which of these are true.

Extra Fat only - Liposuction

Muscle Weakness only - Endoscopic Tummy Tuck

Extra Skin - No weakness, No fat - Skin only Tummy Tuck

Many times we need to do a combination of these to address your problem. We try to limit the length of the scar to the smallest necessary to get you the best result. Then one uses excellent care and techniques to get a well healed scar. Topical massage and silicone helps the scar.

Meet a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to help discuss your options.

Great question. Tummy tuck scars, when well placed and closed without tension, typically fade into a thin line sin 1-3 years. If your scar does not fade we have way to improve the scar appearance with laser treatments. Great candidates for tummy tucks typically have a fold of skin that creates a crease when you sit down. This is typically the best place to place the scar. The crease is replaced by a scar but all your extra skin is gone. I have my patients wear a bathing suit or cute underwear that they want to wear, the day of the surgery, so I can place the scar within that area, so the scar is hidden while it is fading away. Good luck and be sure to consult a Plastic Surgeon that is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, is a member of ASPS and has photos to show you of results that demonstrate typical scars.

Daniel Allan, MD Las Cruces, NM
10 months ago

Scars will fade over time, but never disappear completely. It is a good idea to the operating room a bathing suit that you plan to wear so the surgeon can take this into consideration when planning the incisions.

Michael Kulick, MD San Francisco, CA
10 months ago
SURGEON PROFILE PROFILE

Great questions! The most important component is that you do NOT assume that you will have an ugly scar. Scars are permanent but not always ugly. Most scars improve with time. For sure, some patients scars may benefit from a revision. The upside is that you will receive a flatter tummy area and you can wear your two-piece swim suit.

Steven Wallach, MD New York, NY
10 months ago
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Unfortunately tummy tucks cars are permanent. However for most patients the scar is very thin and after about a years time usually the redness goes away. In addition, the goal is to try to keep the score well hidden within the underwear line as well.

Andre Levesque, MD Austin, TX
10 months ago

Hello Sylvia,

While it is true that tummy tuck scars are permanent, over time well performed tummy tuck scars can fade to a fine line. Remember this will also be a low inconspicuous location that will be lower than any undergarments or swimsuits.

Despite the scarring the improvement in body contours, removal of excess skin, and tightening of the abdominal muscles is well worth the scar burden for the vast majority of patients that are an appropriate candidate for tummy tuck. Make sure to consult with any of the board certified plastic surgeons you find here on the site for an in person exam and discussion of your goals.

Dr. L

Moneer Jaibaji, MD Coronado, CA
10 months ago
SURGEON PROFILE PROFILE

Thank you for the question. The scar is permanent after tummy tuck but it tends to get better overtime. It may take up to two years to settle. Anything after that is likely to be permanent. Using scar treatments will help in improving the color and thickness of the scar. Your plastic surgeon should discuss scarring before a tummy tuck.

Younghoon Cho, MD Spring, TX
10 months ago

Thank you for your question. Scars never go away, but they do fade with time. There are also several things that can help them fade even more. The challenge with any scar is to limit tension during the healing period (usually the first 6-8 weeks). This is the reason we often ask to limit heavy lifting/strenuous activity. However, there are things that can help blend scars into the background such as lasers, microneedling, slilcone dressings, scar creams, etc... I would visit with your plastic surgeon and see what post-care regimens can help with you incision. Separately, most tummy tuck scars can be concealed below the bikini/underwear line, so even though the scar is still there, it can be hidden beneath the clothing line.

Most of our patients worry about the scars from a tummy tuck before surgery. However, when we plan the surgery, we place the scars within skin creases and below the bikini line. We also have you use scar treatments to decrease scarring long term. A tummy tuck makes such a dramatic improvement in the contour and appearance of the abdomen, that most women are comfortable wearing a bikini and are happy with how they look! Thank you for your question!

You ask a great question. In short, no, a scar from a tummy tuck will never go away. Whenever a scalpel cuts skin, it leaves a scar. Now as Plastic Surgeons, we make the best looking scars, but again, a tummy tuck will leave a scar. The good news is that scars mature and fade over time (it takes a full year for a scar to be fully mature). Over the course of a few years the goal is to have the scar fade into a thin, pale line. It is also important to realize that when we perform tummy tucks, we make the incision very low on the belly. This ensures that the scar will lie below your jeans, bathing suit, and underwear so no one will see them. It may also be helpful to purchase some silicone scar sheets or silicone ointment to apply to the scar while healing.

Jon Ver Halen, MD Colleyville, TX
10 months ago
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Hello and thank you for your excellent question. There are a number of things to consider when answering your question. First, you may not need a full tummy tuck, but rather may be a candidate for liposuction alone, liposuction plus an alternative skin tightening technology (e.g., BodyTite), or you may need a short-scar tummy tuck (e.g., Mini-Tummy-Tuck). Second, we regularly place tummy tuck incisions within the area of your underwear or bathing suit, so the incisions are hidden. I recommend that you find a board-certified, or board-eligible plastic surgeon with whom you are comfortable. Be sure to have all of your questions answered during a face-to-face meeting with your surgeon, and review before and after pictures of similar patients whom have had this procedure. If you have any questions, call our office for assistance. Good luck!

Best,

Jon Ver Halen, MD FACS

Donald Griffin, MD Nashville, TN
10 months ago

All scars are permanent, but they do fade over time. Tummy tuck scars are hidden low on your abdomen so that they are not visible above most types of bathing suits. I always tell patients that these types of surgeries are a trade-off between how much improvement in your abdominal area that you get vs the presence of a scar.

Sachin Shridharani, MD New York, NY
10 months ago

A well-planned and performed tummy tuck leads to a sculpted abdomen with an inconspicuous scar placed in the bikini line. No scar every "goes away," but the majority of scars fade significantly over time. It takes up to one full year for scars to mature and fade, but they may take beyond a year to fully settle in the final appearance. In our practice, we constantly assess the patient's progress and use microneedling and lasers when appropriate to help the maturing scar continue to fade. Many factors play into scarring like surgical technique/trauma, tension on the wound and patient skin color (to name a few).

Javier Jesus Vera Cucchiaro, MD Salta - Argentina
10 months ago

Hello Silvia and thanks for the question. The scar are permanent but they are placed in the lower portion of the pubis and they are hidden by an intimate clothing. After six months they are take the color of your skin and exceptionally in 1 to 3% of patients it is necessary check those scar

Katerina Gallus, MD San Diego, CA
10 months ago
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Hello and thank you for your question. The scar is permanent but designed to be hidden by your clothing. Your scar will remodel over 6-18 months and the final result depends on the nature of your healing and the scar management by the plastic surgeon. If you have had previous surgery or stitches elsewhere on your body, that can give you an indication of what the scar may look like. Most plastic surgeons employ a scar management system postoperatively to ensure you have the best healing and scar remodeling. In my practice we use a post-operative scar cream and fractionated laser treatments.

Hope this helps answer your question!

Rick Rosen, MD Norwalk, CT
10 months ago

The scars are permanent, but usually are hidden beneath a bikini bottom. Lasers and other treatments can be added as needed to improve the scars.

Steve Vu, MD, FACS Huntington Beach, CA
10 months ago
SURGEON PROFILE PROFILE

So technically all skin scars are permanent. But practically speaking, if you are light skinned and your scar is a thin, soft, flat and light colored, your scar will most likely fade and become less visible. (There are numerous cases where I can barely see or feel the scar after several years). There are many and various techniques that your plastic surgeon can use to ensure a well healed scar.

Michael Law, MD Raleigh, NC
7 months ago
SURGEON PROFILE PROFILE

The scar from a tummy tuck will vary from surgeon to surgeon. Look at many, many before and after images to get a sense of what kind of scars you can expect from any plastic surgeon you are considering.

The surgery is performed through a 'bikini-line incision' which, for a full tummy tuck, may extend from hipbone to hipbone. For patients that need only a 'mini-tummy tuck', the incision is usually somewhat smaller, extending just beyond the limits of the average C-section scar. Ideally, over time, and with treatments, sometimes including a V-Beam laser, scars will fade to a fine line.

Be aware of scars around the navel, as these scars may be more noticeable. The technique most surgeons use today will leave no scar around the belly button




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