During tummy tuck consultations at Muse Plastic Surgery, patients often ask Dr. Wright Jones and Dr. Sabine Lovell about scarring before making a final decision. These are fair questions because patients who want a flat, firm abdomen do not want the cosmetic benefits negated by an unsightly scar. In this blog, our board-certified plastic surgeons explain what kind of scarring patients can expect after abdominoplasty.
A Scar Along the Lower Abdomen
To perform tummy tuck, a plastic surgeon places a horizontal incision just above the pubic area. This incision enables the surgeon to eliminate excess skin and drape the remaining skin to achieve a flat, tight stomach. It creates a long scar. While this scar will fade significantly as time goes on, it does not fade completely.
However, that does not mean that the patient must show off a surgical scar anytime she exposes her midriff. The scar is positioned low enough that most underwear and bathing suits cover it. This allows a woman to show off her firmer tummy without a noticeable sign of plastic surgery — unless she is completely naked.
The surgeons at Muse Plastic Surgery perform a form of abdominoplasty that involves progressive tension sutures. This avoids the need for fluid drains and takes tension away from the incision point, which can further help to minimize scarring.
A Scar Around the Navel
Most patients also require a second incision around the belly button. This is necessary because when the skin is pulled taut, the belly button hole is eliminated while the belly button stalk is still in place. Therefore, Dr. Jones and Dr. Lovell create a new hole in a position that looks natural and proportional for the new stomach shape. Scarring is also inevitable around this incision, but the scar blends in so well with the contours of the belly button that it is generally inconspicuous.
Less Scarring Is Possible with Mini Tummy Tuck
Shorter incisions, which in turn produce shorter scars, are a signature of mini tummy tuck, a less invasive version of abdominoplasty. Because it addresses mild skin sagging and does not reposition the navel, this procedure is mainly suited to thinner women who have not experienced diastasis recti (abdominal muscle separation).
Trust the Experts at Muse Plastic Surgery
Dr. Jones and Dr. Lovell are always candid with their patients about the benefits and drawbacks of any procedure. While scarring is an inevitable part of abdominoplasty, most patients agree that the cosmetic improvements to their midsection far outweigh scarring that is easily concealed.