An abdominoplasty or more commonly known as a tummy tuck is a procedure that is commonly used for sculpting the lower abdomen area. The procedure is usually performed to remove loose skin, any tummy fat as well as stretch marks. Most surgical procedures leave some sort of scarring once the wound has healed. This article is to give you additional advice on how to optimise your tummy tuck surgery recovery and some tips that might come in handy.
Depending on the reason for the surgery, there are different types of tummy tucks available. There is the traditional, mini circumferential, endoscopic and extended tummy tuck.
The reasons for having a Tummy Tuck.
The most common reason a person undergoes a tummy tuck, is to get your once youthful and tight belly back. Women who have lost a great amount of weight, and women who have had C-sections are left with loose skin in the lower belly area.
Other reasons are to get rid of old scarring left from previous surgeries. Removing any excess fat and to tighten the abdominal muscles.
The end result being a tighter tummy and a slimmer waist line. For most of us women, getting our waist lines back, boosts our self-esteem giving us more confidence. Being able to wear anything we want again, without having to cover anything up, is in itself a confidence booster.
Different types of tummy tuck procedures
The traditional and scarless tummy tuck
Depending on the type of abdominoplasty procedure, will determine which incisions will be made and the amount of scarring after the procedure.
If the reason behind this procedure is for mild sculpting of the tummy area, a mini tummy tuck will suffice. When other factors come in, such as removal of fat and of loose skin, and the tightening of muscles, an extended tummy tuck will be done.
Complete tummy tuck scarring – horizontal scar from hip to hip and scarring around the naval
This is the most common procedure done of all tummy tucks. The larger incision is a partly horizontal straight line that goes across the abdominal area between the hips and up to the hip bones.
The area of the middle of the scar is just above the pubic bone area. The second standard incision is circular in shape and is cut around the naval. The name of the belly button scar is umbilicus. Sometimes some other minor incisions are necessary.
Scarless tummy tuck – horizontal scar from hip to hip
The mini tummy tuck is also known as the partial or scarless tummy tuck. The term scarless is very misconceiving because there are incisions made and scarring will happen. The use of special techniques, size and visibility, reduces the appearance of the scars.
Other names used for the mini tummy tuck are “low tummy tuck”. This name is used because there is no need to readjust the naval. The only incision made with this procedure is on the lowest part of the abdominal area.
The amount of scarring for this procedure depends on the size of the incision that is made for the amount of skin that needs to be removed. This procedure is less invasive than the traditional operation, which will leave the horizontal scar smaller. There will also be no scarring around the naval.
Endoscopic Tummy Tuck – several tiny scars only
This is the most suitable procedure for women who do not have to have any loose skin removed. This procedure is the least invasive and leaves minimal scarring. Due to specialised instruments, the surgeon only has to make several small incisions to perform the desired goal.
The treatment of a tummy tuck scar
Tummy tuck scarring goes hand in hand with having a tummy tuck procedure. These scars are known for getting worse before they start getting better. These scars will be at their worst roughly around the 3 month period.
Tummy tuck scars only reach the final healing stage about a year after the surgery. In the months prior, the scarring will have a red or purple raised appearance. The appearance will eventually become softer, flat and tone in. That is in most cases. There will also be some bruising and swelling on and around the wound.
It is important to start treating surgical scars as soon as possible. This will lead to an ideal final result.
The first step is to make sure that the wound heals properly. There must be no infection or inflammation of the wound. This usually worsten’s the appearance of the scar. Try keeping the tape on the wound for as long as possible. The pressure of the tape helps minimise the tension on the wound.
After a surgery, 3 types of scarring can appear.
1. Normal scarring (no problem scars)
2. Hypertrophic scars and
3. Keloid scars
Normal scarring does not require treatment. But most surgical procedures usually leave hypertrophic scarring or keloid scarring. All of these types of scarring can effectively be reduced and the appearance of the scars changed to blend with the surrounding skin and flatten out. Scar Heal is particularly effective on scarring that is darker than the surrounding skin and slightly raised above the surface.