How to Minimize Scarring After a Tummy Tuck

Dr. Luke Cusimano, FACS

How to Minimize Scarring After a Tummy Tuck

Sep 3, 2023 | Blog

Considering a tummy tuck or recently had one? Then you’re in the right place. A tummy tuck, also called an abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic procedure that helps flatten your abdomen by taking away excess fat and skin while also tightening those core muscles. Scarring is one of the key concerns that many patients have before they decide to move forward with abdominoplasty. This article examines the cause of tummy tuck scarring and discusses solutions to help minimize it.

What Causes Scarring

First things first, let’s understand why we even get scars. Whenever our skin undergoes a significant injury (and yes, a tummy tuck counts as one) your body jumps into action mode. It rushes to repair the damage by creating a fibrous tissue known as a scar. Think of it as our body’s unique way of patching up. 

Choose a Skilled Surgeon

The Baton Rouge plastic surgeon you choose to work with can make a world of difference when it comes to post-abdominoplasty scarring. The better the surgeon, the neater the incisions, and the less noticeable the scars.

Here’s something to chew on: surgeons with board certifications and heaps of experience under their belts tend to use more advanced techniques. What does this mean for you? Simply put, these specialists often have what it takes to perform the surgery while significantly reducing the appearance of scars. So, make sure you take the time to research and choose the right surgeon. 

Post-Surgery Care: The First 48 Hours

Congratulations on completing your surgery. The next 48 hours are vital for your recovery. Imagine your body like a freshly poured cement foundation – it needs time to set undisturbed.

Listen to your body and rest. While it’s tempting to check out the results immediately, your body will benefit from uninterrupted healing. Avoid any strenuous activities, including heavy lifting. Think of it as a day or two of relaxing with your favorite movies or shows.

Handle the incision area with utmost care. It is important that you keep it clean and dry. Avoid long baths and always be gentle when cleaning the wound. Moisture can invite unwanted bacteria, and we want to keep them away.

Use Silicone Gel Sheets

Ever heard of silicone gel sheets? These little wonders are like magic patches for your post-surgery skin. Think of them as a protective shield, helping to create the perfect environment for your skin to heal beautifully.

Silicone gel sheets keep the scar area hydrated and protected, which in turn minimizes excessive collagen buildup. This helps to reduce the thickness of the scar. When used consistently, these sheets can also fade the color of the scar, making it blend more seamlessly with your surrounding skin.

Studies have proven that silicone gel sheets, when used diligently, can genuinely reduce both the thickness and color of scars. So, if you’re keen on giving your healing process a magical boost, definitely consider adding silicone gel sheets to your post-surgery toolkit.

Hydration and Nutrition

Your body needs top-notch hydration and nutrition to heal efficiently. Water isn’t just for quenching thirst, it’s the unsung hero of the healing process. By keeping ourselves hydrated, you ensure that your skin cells get the moisture they need to repair and regenerate. And this is backed by science. Drinking at least 8 glasses of water daily can give a turbo boost to your skin’s natural healing process. 

While munching on those comfort snacks might be tempting, what your body really craves after surgery is a vitamin-rich diet. Think colorful fruits, green leafy veggies, and foods loaded with Vitamin C and E. These power-packed nutrients play a pivotal role in skin health and help your skin become more elastic, strong, and ready to combat scarring.

Think of hydration and nutrition as your dynamic duo that together lay the groundwork for optimal healing and minimal scarring. 


When it comes to post-surgery scars, massages aren’t just about the feel-good vibes. They play a critical role in the healing journey.

Once your plastic surgeon gives you the green light, gently massaging the scar can work wonders. Start with a soft touch using your fingertips in a circular motion. Keep it gentle. The idea is to stimulate the area without causing any added strain.

So, why is this important? Massage increases blood flow to the scar tissue. This rush of fresh blood brings along a squad of essential nutrients that support healing. Plus, it helps break down the scar tissue – making it softer and less noticeable.

Limit Sun Exposure

Scar tissue is super sensitive, especially in its early stages. When exposed to UV rays, there’s a high chance it can darken or discolor, making it stand out more than you’d like. Think of your scar as a newbie at the beach burning way faster than the rest of your sun-seasoned skin.

But this is not to say that you should lock yourself indoors. Just arm yourself with some solid protection. Whenever you’re venturing out, make sure to generously apply sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher on your scars. This will act as a shield to keep those pesky UV rays at bay and your scar safe.

So, next time you’re planning a day out, remember to pack that sunscreen and give your healing skin the protection it deserves. 

Embrace Pressure Garments

Let’s talk about another tool in our scar-fighting arsenal – pressure garments. These garments are designed to apply consistent pressure on your skin. This pressure helps restrict the blood flow just enough to prevent excessive collagen buildup. This in turn results in scars that are flatter, softer, and way less noticeable.

According to research, patients who used pressure garments saw a remarkable reduction in scar visibility after just 12 weeks. 

When to Consider Scar Revision

Let’s face it, even with the best care, sometimes scars can be a tad more stubborn than we’d like. If you find yourself side-eyeing that scar months later, it might be time to consider scar revision surgery. 

This is a follow-up procedure that aims to improve the appearance of the scar and make it blend more seamlessly with the surrounding skin. Whether it’s to reduce its size, adjust its position, or improve its texture – the goal is to make you feel utterly confident in your skin.

About 10% of tummy tuck patients, after seeing their results, opt for scar revision surgery to give their abdomen that extra touch of perfection. It’s all about personal choice and what feels right for you.


As with any journey, the steps you take along the way make all the difference. It’s essential to follow the guidelines provided by your plastic surgeon’s office and always keep an open line with your surgeon.