Outside of the preparation, tummy tuck cost, and recovery, scarring is one of the most important concerns for people who are looking to have this treatment. Tummy tuck procedures involve incisions that heal and leave behind scars. These scars need proper care and attention to minimize their visibility. When this is not the case, an individual is left with hideous scars that can easily be noticed. The type of scar that remains after tummy tuck surgery is dependent on several factors. These include the type of tummy tuck procedure used, the location of the incision, and the skills and experience of your surgeon. In order to minimize your tummy tuck scars, here are some tips to guide you.
Always Follow the Doctor’s Instructions
To begin with, instructions are there to help us learn. They make the process effortless, and enjoyable. The surgeon will provide a set of instructions which will include how to properly clean and care for the incisions, how to dress the wound, and how to take the prescribed pain, and antibiotics medications. All these instructions and much more help promote a healthy recovery with fast healing of surgical incisions.
Smoking is prohibited for individuals who are planning to undergo, and who are recovering from tummy tuck surgery. Cigarettes contain nicotine. Nicotine narrows small blood vessels whose function is to supply oxygen, and nutrients to the treated area. It does so by making the platelets clump and form clots that block tiny blood vessels from transporting blood and oxygen to the treated area. This hinders effective healing, therefore, increases the risk of complications and the formation of large, visible scars.
Appy Scar Gel
After surgery, the doctor will give you a scar gel, or cream to help reduce the appearance of scars. It smoothens the area of incisions by reducing the redness, thus evening out the skin. For effective results, it should be applied to the scar at least twice a day for a period of three months.
Use of Laser and Light-Based Treatments
Laser treatments basically smoothen the surfaces of scars to make them invisible, while light-based treatments target darker pigmented cells in scars in order to lighten them as they reduce redness. The laser energy helps to stimulate the growth of new, healthy skin which will replace the old scar’s skin. Such treatments require more than one session for the desired outcome to be achieved. Although they may not completely eliminate the scars, they at least make them less visible, which makes one more comfortable. Laser and light-based treatments are usually more costly compared to other means of minimizing the visibility of scars.
Avoid Heavy Lifting in the Initial Days of Recovery
The heavy lifting of items exerts too much unnecessary pressure on the wounds. This makes the abdomen stretch which increases tension on the suture line. If this prolongs, the surgical abdominal wounds may reopen, a condition known as dehiscence, which may result in serious complications, and the formation of large, noticeable scars.
Do Not Expose Your Scars to the Sun
The sun gives energy in the form of UV radiation, visible light, and infrared radiation. These UV rays can alter the appearance of scars by darkening the skin, a condition known as hyperpigmentation. In turn, this will increase the visibility of the scars. It is always advisable to cover scars whenever you are exposed to the sun.
Maintain High Levels of Hygiene
Any wound needs to be properly cleaned and disinfected. This can be done through the use of ointments, and bandages recommended by the surgeon. Caring for the wounds minimizes the visibility of scars since these wounds will effectively heal without any interference.
Use of Steroids and Injections
Steroids and injections can be used to minimize tummy tuck scars. They help reduce swelling, and redness that form within the scars. They may either be used during the time of surgery to prevent the formation of scars or four weeks after surgery to correct any scars that may have formed. The cost of such steroids and injections will entirely depend on the severity, and size of the scars.
Taping is a procedure that uses paper tape over the first few months after surgery. It aims to promote scar remodeling during the initial stages of recovery. Taping helps minimize scars by applying gentle, continuous pressure to the skin which minimizes the chances of scars swelling therefore becoming raised. This paper tape should be applied directly over the belly button, and at the lower abdomen’s scars. Patients are advised to change the tape between 5-7 days.
Use Silicone Gels or Silicone Strips
A silicone gel has a lot of functions to the scars. When a silicone gel is applied to a scar, it reduces its appearance by keeping the wounds hydrated, reduces wound tension, reduces the activity of inflammatory cells that are responsible for scar formation, decreases blood flow to the area of the scar, and helps in proper alignment of structural problems.