Getting a tummy tuck surgery in New York City is a popular option to address excess fat and sagging skin in the abdominal area which is caused by factors such as excessive weight loss, pregnancy or genetics. The procedure is recommended when diet and exercise cannot address these concerns. It tightens the abdominal muscles and reshapes the lower abdomen to provide a trimmer, streamlined midsection. However, as tummy tuck surgery involves incisions, you should expect to have a scar. With proper care, the scars from this cosmetic surgical procedure can be visibly reduced so they’re barely noticeable.
Usually, typical tummy tuck scars are located in one or more areas such as the pelvic area, belly button, and lower abdomen. According to a Healthline article, the scars can be minimized by taking certain steps before tummy tuck surgery and during recovery.
Precautions to take before tummy tuck surgery:
- Choose a qualified, reputable plastic surgeon to perform your procedure. Make sure the surgeon is an expert in performing the procedure and that you are comfortable discussing your concerns about scarring and other matters with him/her.
- Stop smoking at least six weeks prior the surgery, as smoking might interfere with the body’s healing process and can put you at risk of developing complications or infection after the procedure. It constricts blood vessels and the low oxygen leads to cell death which will compromise wound healing.
- Talk with your surgeon about the scarring, and bring up any specific concerns you may have and know what your scar would look like and where it will be located. Many women are concerned about whether the scar will be visible when they’re in a bikini.
Similarly, it’s also important to follow all of the aftercare instructions provided by your surgeon for proper wound healing and to minimize scarring. Here are some general post-surgical care instructions:
- Following your surgeon’s instructions on hygiene and wound care will help your incisions heal properly and faster.
- Try to walk as soon as possible after your surgery. This will help reduces swelling and the risk of blood clots. Take care not to stress yourself.
- To help wound healing, continue to refrain from smoking for at least six weeks.
- Follow a healthy diet that includes plenty of liquids, fresh fruit, and vegetables.
- Avoid strenuous activity and lifting heavy weights for at least six weeks.
- Avoid stretches, bends, or activities that put pressure on the abdomen.
- Once the incision is healed completely, apply vitamin E topically. Healthline reports on studies which suggest that applying vitamin E topically can improve the appearance of scars and help to keep the scars moisturized. This should be discontinued in the event of any skin irritation or allergic reaction.
- Monitor for infection. If you suspect your incision is infected, report it your surgeon immediately as an infected incision can cause more prominent scarring.
- UV exposure can make your scars darker and thicker. So always wear sunscreen and cover the treated area from the sun if you go outdoors. For better results, patients are advised to avoid exposing the treated area to the sun.
According to the National Institutes of Health, the healing process can take three to six months before the scar flattens or lightens in color. It’s better to wait until this period to decide if you want to undergo any surgical procedures such as steroid applications and injections, laser treatment, surgical scar revision and punch grafts that will minimize scar appearance. These methods cannot completely remove the scar, but they can help to improve its size, color, and texture. Expert surgeons in practices offering tummy tuck in NYC provide patients with specific after-care instructions which will also include tips to minimize scarring.