There are a few ways in which you can reduce the visibility of surgical scars.
If you have decided to undergo tummy tuck surgery, you can expect a smoother, tighter abdominal area and a generally more aesthetically pleasing contour. But the reality is that surgery does leave scars. The good news, however, is that there are a few things you can do during your recovery to reduce the visibility of your scar.
Here’s what you should know before you begin your treatment…
1. Prepare for your surgery
One of the best things you can do to ensure excellent results and minimise scarring after tummy tuck surgery is to choose a fully qualified and experienced surgeon – check for the (FRACS) credential which means they are trained and recognised through the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. Chat to your surgeon about any concerns that you have regarding scarring and ask them to explain exactly how big and where your scar is expected to be.
Your surgeon will let you know what shape scar you will have depending on the technique that they choose to use. The prominence of your scar will depend on a few factors, including the surgical technique your surgeon uses, your unique skin type and how well you follow the aftercare instructions that your surgeon gives you.
If you smoke, it is very important that you stop for at least six weeks before your surgery is scheduled. This will help to reduce the risk of surgical complications and delay in the healing process.
2. Follow your surgeon’s instructions
To ensure that your scar fades over time, it is important that you follow any instructions that your surgeon gives you for your recovery.
It’s advisable that you eat a healthy, balanced diet throughout your recovery period — try to include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as water into your eating plan.
Your surgeon is likely to recommend that you avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting for around six weeks after surgery. Gentle walking is the best form of exercise from about 2 weeks after your surgery. You should also avoid any activity that activates your front core muscles such as lifting for 6 weeks and you should also use your binder garment for support until this time.
3. Take care of your incision
Keeping your scar clean is an essential step in preventing infection after surgery. You should take care of your general hygiene with regular showering. Your incision will be covered with water-proof dressings for a couple of weeks and after that we use paper tape that stays on for a week at a time up to about 6 weeks after your surgery. Keep a lookout for potential signs of infection — these include increased swelling or redness that does not improve with time, smelly discharge from the incision, fever and worsening pain. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should contact your surgeon immediately.
4. Take care of your skin
Once the period of post operative taping is over (6 weeks after the surgery) you may find it helpful to apply vitamin E or Bio-Oil™ to your skin — this will keep your scar and the surrounding area moisturised, and generally improve the appearance of your skin. For best results, choose a pure vitamin E oil and apply it to your scar daily for the first few months following surgery. Once your scar has healed, you can continue to use the oil to massage the scar tissue.
It’s also very important that you apply sunscreen to your scar — scars are made of new skin and are particularly prone to darkening when exposed to the sun. Ideally, you should avoid too much sun exposure and use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more.
How can we help?
Dr Sophie Ricketts offers a number of procedures for the body, including tummy tuck surgery. If you are dissatisfied with stubborn skin and fat in the abdominal area, we encourage you to come in and see Dr Ricketts for a consultation. She will confirm whether you are a suitable candidate for the surgery, and explain the details of the treatment to you in detail. She will also let you know what to expect from the recovery period, and what you can do to enjoy a smooth healing process.
If you would like to find out more about tummy tuck surgery and what the procedure involves, please have a look here.
If you would like to arrange a consultation with Dr Sophie Ricketts, please don’t hesitate to get in touch here.