How To Optimally Treat Your Tummy Tuck Scar
Many women (and some men) are willing to undergo a tummy tuck procedure (abdominoplasty) in order to effectuate several aesthetic improvements. Most common reasons for this surgery are to get rid of wrinkled skin and/or excessive fat on the stomach, the tightening of abdominal muscles, to get a slimmer waist line and to improve overall body shape. Also pre-existing scars, e.g. from earlier cesarean surgeries, will in some case be removed.
The only aesthetic downside of the tummy tuck, and one of the reasons women are reluctant to get this surgery, are the inevitable new scars. But with the right approach these can be treated optimally so the final appearance will be as minimal as possible. The size of the scar depends on the type of tummy tuck surgery performed. There are several variations such as the traditional, mini, circumferential, endoscopic, and extended tummy tuck. Tummy tuck scars are known to get worse before they improve. In contrary to many other surgical scars they will be roughly at their worst in about 3 months after the procedure.
It is important to realize that optimal tummy tuck scar treatment already starts when the scar is still a wound. During this wound care phase some things can be done to boost the wound healing process, and to prevent infections and scabbing. A faster healing wound without complications such as infections and inflammation will commonly lead to less scar tissue development.
The tummy tuck wound might be a little more complicated to treat properly because drains (tubes) are commonly inserted into the wound to drain excess fluids. Also the high chance on swellings is something to take into account when treating the wound. For this particular reason compression garments (elastic bandages) are worn to reduce swelling but also to keep the pressure of the incision by applying pressure on the whole area. Things like surgical tape, and wound dressings can make a big difference in achieving optimal wound healing. I would like to address one particular type of wound dressings; those based on medical grade manuka honey.
Medical Honey for Surgical Wounds
These FDA approved medical devices have shown to have unique wound healing properties. Some of their properties are that they speed wound healing by creating an ideal moist and clean environment and prevent and treat infections. (medical grade manuka honey has shown to be able to cure seemingly untreatable, antibiotics-resistant infected wounds). Because of these properties the honey based dressings have shown to minimize scarring. Click here for more info on Medihoney wound dressings.
Special, dedicated, tummy tuck garments are designed to apply the exactly needed amount of pressure. This takes the tension off of the wound thus stimulating the wound healing process. It also reduces the mostly inevitable swelling and bruises. Furthermore the pressure applied by garments stimulates blood circulation which is an important factor in scar healing.
Tummy Tuck Scar Treatment
Whether you use surgical tape, hydrogel strips, or Medihoney wound dressings, when the wound has closed it is time to start treating the scar with the best product available. The only product for which clinical proof on its efficacy exists are silicone sheets. (also referred to as patches, strips, or dressings)
Especially for surgical scars such as the tummy tuck scar these are the best over the counter product you can use. The silicone sheets flatten and smoothen the scar. They make it less discolored and more skin color. They reduce itch and pain and prevent hypertrophic and keloid scar tissue from developing.
Special shaped, custom made silicone tummy tuck scar treatment strips are available online.
Be patient because, especially with the right treatment, the tummy tuck scar will improve over time. Keep in mind to moisturize the scar with a cream of your liking. Petroleum based ointments such as Vaseline have shown to be just as effective as Mederma. Finally, don’t forget to protect your scar from sun exposure and excessive tension.
For more info on clinical evidence: Abstract of study on the effects of tension on scars, microporous tape, scar hydration, and silicone sheeting.