Scars are one of the top concerns for any cosmetic surgery patient and especially for those interested in tummy tuck surgery. Experienced plastic surgeons skillfully make abdominoplasty incisions in a discreet location that can usually hidden by even the smallest bikini bottoms, but most patients are still interested in ways to fade the scars that result following tummy tuck surgery. At my Vancouver, B.C. plastic surgery practice, I tell my patients the first step in minimizing a scar’s appearance is following aftercare instructions regarding dressings and keeping the incision clean.
There are several other ways to help incisions heal and fade quickly. These range from topical products used at home to laser treatments performed by qualified medical professionals. Simply avoiding sun exposure on the area of the scar will help make the scar less visible. The most common scar-reduction treatments include:
- Over-the-counter or prescription products: Creams, ointments, and gels are the easiest to use because they usually require only a single application each day. These are the first step for many patients.
- Silicone sheeting: Generally considered the top-of-the-line home treatment, silicone strips are used after your incision is healed. To get the best results, silicone strips need to be worn continuously, which for some people can be problematic. The results can be very impressive, though.
- Laser treatments: Lasers are being used more often to treat scars of all kinds, including those that result from tummy tuck incisions. There are non-ablative lasers approved to treat surgical scars. A non-ablative laser doesn’t damage the outside layers of skin, and it spurs collagen growth deeper in the skin to improve texture and tone on the surface. Many physicians recommend laser treatments because they are more predictable and effective than traditional scar treatments.
Of course, some patients combine treatments, using both topical creams and silicone sheeting, for example, to get better results. By discussing your tummy tuck incision and scar treatment with your surgeon during your consultation, you will know what to expect and how best to help heal and fade your scar.