Tummy tuck surgery, also known as an abdominoplasty, is highly effective for removing excess skin and fat after pregnancy, weight loss or ageing. Getting the best possible scars after a tummy tuck is dependent on choosing a highly skilled UK plastic surgeon with plenty of experience in performing tummy tuck surgery. This is because the optimum location of tummy tuck scars requires considerable expertise. Our experienced London clinical team will help you to prepare thoroughly for a tummy tuck, and you will be given detailed postoperative instructions, which you must follow in the recovery period to get minimal tummy tuck scarring. You can expect scars after a tummy tuck to fade gradually over time, although it requires considerable effort from both the patient and surgeon to achieve great-looking scars.
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There are several factors which may affect the appearance of abdominoplasty scars, including smoking, vigourous physical exercise and being in a highly stressed state. The result may be excessive scarring. Some patients, particularly those with darker skin, may be more prone to developing hypertrophic or keloid scars, requiring specialised treatment, including steroid injections to reduce their size and prominence. Centre for Surgery is recognised as a UK leader in treatments for postsurgical scarring. We have the full range of treatments, including laser resurfacing, RF microneedling using Morpheus8 and specialised silicone gel and sheets. You can look forward to achieving outstanding tummy tuck results by choosing an expert Plastic Surgeon at Centre for Surgery
What is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is a body contouring procedure designed to achieve a flatter abdomen with tighter skin. This is an invasive surgical procedure involving the removal of excess skin and fat from the abdomen and flanks combined with the tightening of weakened abdominal muscles. Abdominal muscle separation is most often caused by pregnancy or previous substantial weight gain and does not improve in most cases with abdominal crunches alone. Once you have fully healed from a tummy tuck, tummy tuck scars should appear barely noticeable and can be covered up in most forms of clothing, including swimwear and bikinis.
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If you have tried and failed with diet and exercise and have stubborn fat in the abdomen combined with excessive loose skin, you may be suitable for tummy tuck surgery. The best way to determine your suitability is to have an in-person consultation at our state-of-the-art cosmetic surgery clinic in Marylebone.
How to reduce scars after a tummy tuck
A tummy tuck is one of the most effective surgical procedures to achieve a contoured abdomen with tighter skin. However, tummy tuck surgery involves taking time out for recovery after surgery. It is very important to follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions to ensure you get the least noticeable scars. All surgical procedures involving an incision will result in a scar, although there are several effective measures that all patients can take to minimise scarring after a tummy tuck.
Where are tummy tuck scars located?
Choosing an expert consultant plastic surgeon to perform your abdominoplasty procedure will ensure your incisions are located in the best possible positions to make them appear as minimally visible as possible. The main tummy tuck incision is made across the lower abdomen as low as possible so it can be hidden beneath the bikini line. Inexperienced surgeons are more likely to position scars in a higher position on the abdomen. This makes the resulting scars look much more visible, and it is more likely to result in extra skin at the ends of the incision, which are also known as ‘dog ears’. Corrective scar revision surgery may be needed to improve the appearance of the ugly scar.
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Preoperative tips to minimise tummy tuck scarring
- Choose an experienced plastic surgeon – this will help you to get the best possible tummy tucks scars. At your consultation, we recommend asking your surgeon about the potential scarring associated with an abdominoplasty. You can also ask where the Surgeon plants to make the incisions and important advice to follow in the postoperative period.
- Make sure to bring your favourite underwear to your consultation – this will help you to get a good idea of where your tummy tucks cars will be located. Your surgeon will place the incisions as low down on the abdomen as possible.
- Avoid smoking at least four weeks before and after surgery – smoking is associated with an increased risk of delayed wound healing due to a diminished blood supply to the healing tissues. The nicotine contained within cigarettes is known to cause constriction of blood vessels. Smoking is a potent risk factor for excessive tummy tuck scarring.
- Follow a healthy lifestyle before your procedure – eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water to keep you well hydrated, and this will improve your healing after abdominoplasty.
- Review all medications you are currently taking – certain medications containing aspirin may increase the risk of bleeding after surgery, and this can affect your final scar. Other medicines you may be taking for certain medical conditions may affect healing, including steroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, including ibuprofen. Your surgeon can give you customised advice on how to manage your medications before and after surgery.
- Having a preoperative body wash with chlorhexidine – a preoperative chlorhexidine body wash is associated with reduced rates of wound infection. It should be carried out both the night before and on the morning of your surgery.
Postoperative tips to reduce scars after tummy tuck
- Keep mobile after surgery – light walks after surgery will help to promote healthy blood circulation to your legs and reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis and excessive scarring.
- Look after your surgical wounds – avoid directly touching your incisions with your bare hands, and follow your surgeon’s instructions on how to clean your incision sites after surgery.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects for a minimum of six weeks – excessive straining by lifting heavy objects or bending over can place excessive pressure on your tummy tuck incisions which may cause them to open up, leading to excessive scarring.
- Avoid sexual activity for a minimum of four weeks – restarting sexual activity too soon after surgery can place excessive stress on your suture line leading to potential wound breakdown. Untreated wound breakdown may lead to excessive scarring.
- Avoid excessive sun exposure – if you plan to go out in the sun, you should wear protective clothing and keep your incisions covered to prevent hyperpigmentation. You should also apply sunscreen.
- Avoid smoking or vaping, as these are both associated with poor healing and a higher risk of ugly tummy tuck scars.
What are the best tummy tuck scar treatments?
- Silicone gel – we recommend Silgel scar gel to apply to scars once they have fully healed to get better-looking tummy tuck scars.
- Silicone sheets – these are reusable sheets of silicone that can be directly applied to scars. They help to flatten tummy tuck scars by increasing tissue hydration and minimising excessive inflammatory changes.
- Steroid injections – steroid injections are useful to reduce excessive scarring, particularly in those who have darker skin types.
- Laser resurfacing – CO2 or erbium YAG lasers are excellent ablative laser treatments to remodel surgical scars for a flatter appearance.
- Morpheus8 RF microneedling is useful for raised scars that have not improved significantly with injections of steroids.
Book a tummy tuck consultation at Centre for Surgery
Centre for Surgery is the leading cosmetic surgery clinic in London and is home to some of the best tummy tuck surgeons in the UK. Our state-of-the-art surgical centre is located in the heart of Marylebone in central London and is conveniently located to all the major transport networks. Call us today on 020 7993 4849 or complete the contact form below if you have been considering having a tummy tuck to get rid of excess skin and fat. Our friendly and experienced patient coordinators will be able to give you further information about the procedure, and an in-person consultation serves as the ideal opportunity to learn about how your surgeon will minimise scars after a tummy tuck.
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