A popular procedure to improve body contours after excessive weight loss or pregnancy is a tummy tuck. This aesthetic surgery focuses on the abdomen by removing excess skin and fat while reinforcing the abdominal wall. One drawback, as with all operations, is the risk of scarring. However, there are safeguards you can take after surgery to ensure your scars are minimal.
One precaution you can take to minimize scarring before your tummy tuck is to choose the right surgeon for the procedure. A board-certified plastic surgeon is trained not only in delivering optimal results but extensive medical care as well. These professionals have had years of hands-on experience, are held to the highest standards in medicine, and should be the only surgeons that you consider for your procedure. Once you’ve chosen your surgeon, you will want to begin thinking about steps you can take at home to minimize the appearance of your scars. Here are our top tips:
Before leaving the surgery center, your surgeon will provide you with information on what to expect during recovery from your tummy tuck. These aftercare instructions will include detailed guidelines on how to care for your incision, including how to clean the wound and how to wear your surgical garment and bandages to minimize swelling and maximize healing. Following these critical instructions will not only help you heal more quickly and comfortably but will also make the difference in ensuring your scars are less visible.
Once your swelling begins to subside and you’re feeling more like yourself, you will no doubt have the urge to show off your new body contours. This coming-out party may include a trip to the beach or pool. Healing skin is more susceptible to dangerous UV rays and hyperpigmentation. Even though your scar will likely be hidden by any bathing suit or bikini that you choose to wear, it is important to know that UV rays can penetrate some fabrics. Exposure to the sun can cause your incision to turn pink or red and eventually become darker. You need to apply sunscreen liberally and indefinitely, every day, as part of your post-surgery lifestyle. When outdoors, you should find a shady space, safe from the sun. Put a light blanket or sun-protective garment in your beach bag to coverup when the shade is hard to find.
Don’t apply topical ointments or creams to your incision wound before it has closed. You should check with your surgeon if you’re not sure it’s safe to use these lotions and creams.
Once you have the green light, keep your skin well moisturized to help replenish lipids and moisture naturally found in healthy skin. You can find moisturizers that contain anti-inflammatory components, which will help reduce redness and scarring and soothe your skin. At Montante Aesthetics, we offer medical-grade skin care products that help moisturize your skin and minimize post-surgical scarring.
If you don’t already, drink plenty of water. Drinking sufficient amounts of water will provide your skin with vital moisture that will help your skin to heal correctly. This hydration will allow your incision to heal from the inside out, by supplying underlying tissues with the necessary moisture to positively affect the wound.
If you are a smoker, you will need to quit smoking for at least two weeks before and two weeks after surgery. Although we know that smoking is harmful to your health, it also impedes proper healing and can increase the risk of scarring by hindering oxygen flow. If you’re going to quit for a month, you may even consider taking this opportunity to stop smoking for the rest of your life.
These are a few of the tips you can follow to ensure a successful recovery and help minimize scarring. To learn more, request a consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Steven Montante, today.