I am thinking about getting a tummy tuck but am worried about having a scar. What can I do to make it heal better?
A How your scar looks ultimately depends on 4 things- 1- the preoperative planning by your surgeon, 2-the technique/skill of your surgeon, 3- how well you follow postoperative instructions and restrictions, and 4- how your body heals. The first thing to do is choose a surgeon who has experience doing tummy tucks and has meticulous attention to detail.
You want someone who can describe where your incision will be and how long it will be, uses techniques that allow for the incision to be in a place where it can be covered by a bikini or your preferred style of lingerie, and pays attention to the look of the belly button.
The surgeon’s technique determines how the belly button scars will look, where the scars will be, and how much tension is placed on the incision. The tighter the abdomen is made, the more tension there is on the skin. Therefore, it’s very important to follow instructions after surgery, like not working out for 6 weeks.
Then, you can either see how your body heals, or you can take additional steps to optimize your wound healing. One way to do this is use Embrace scar therapy on the incision. Embrace is a technology that uses silicone sheet that also has a mechanism to reduce the tension on the incision, and tension is what can lead to thick or puffy or more pink/red scars, or widening of the scar.
Embrace therapy usually lasts 8 weeks and is started 2 weeks after surgery. There are also silicone gels, tapes, and steroid injections that are common tools in scar therapy.