Tummy Tuck Scar: How To Prevent It?

If you are contemplating a tummy tuck, you may wonder about tummy tuck scars. Before undergoing surgery, it is natural to have concerns and questions.

This article covers the different types of tummy tuck scars and how to prevent them. It also provides details about the procedure, risks, and benefits.

What Are The Types of Tummy Tuck Scars?

Types of Tummy Tuck Scars

Tummy tuck scars fall into different types depending on the specific procedure selected. The major types of tummy tuck scars are primarily:

  • Mini Tummy Tuck Scar: A mini tummy tuck is a procedure that targets the lower abdomen. It results in a smaller scar, typically just above the pubic area. This scar is usually shorter and less noticeable than others from a full tummy tuck.
  • Full Tummy Tuck Scar: A full tummy tuck, called an abdominoplasty, works on the upper and lower abdomen. Generally, the scar for a full tummy tuck starts at the hips and goes on to the hips. It is positioned low on the abdomen, just above the pubic area. It is longer but can often be concealed beneath clothing or swimwear.
  • Extended Tummy Tuck Scar: A surgeon may recommend an extended tummy tuck if a person has a lot of excess skin and fat on their flanks (or hips). The scar from such an operation is longer and runs circular-like around one’s whole hip to the lower spine.
  • Fleur-de-Lis Tummy Tuck Scar: If you have a lot of excessive skin and fat, your doctor might suggest doing a fleur-de-lis tummy tuck. This approach involves a scar shaped like an anchor. It has been cut both horizontally and vertically across the stomach.

Preventing Tummy Tuck Scars

It’s not possible to avoid scarring entirely after a tummy tuck. However, you can take certain measures to decrease their visibility. For example:

Choose a Skilled Surgeon

The board-certified plastic surgeon you choose can affect the height of your tummy tuck scar. Experience with tummy tucks is important.

Follow Post-Operative Instructions

Good healing requires obeying your surgeon’s post-operative care instructions. This includes do’s and don’ts and how to care for wounds and manage scar tissue.

Scar Creams and Ointments

Many people use scar creams or ointments their surgeon recommends to help their scars heal faster.

Protect Your Scar from the Sun

The sun will make the scars darker. It’s essential to keep your wound out of direct sunlight or use sunscreen when you must.

Tummy Tuck Procedure Details

Excess skin and fat from the abdomen are removed with a tummy tuck. It also tightens up the underlying muscles. Here’s what happens during the process:

  • Anesthesia: To ensure your comfort and pain-freeness during surgery, you’ll need general or local anesthesia with sedation.
  • Incision: Your surgeon will make the necessary incisions depending on the type of tummy tuck. Types include mini-tuck, full, extended, or fleur-de-lis.
  • Fat and Skin Removal: Excess abdominal fat and skin are removed in a meticulous manner.
  • Muscle Tightening: If necessary, your surgeon will tighten your abdominal muscles for a firmer, more toned appearance.
  • Closing Incisions: The surgical incisions are stitched up with sutures, and bandages or gauze are applied.
  • Recovery: The initial recovery phase will be a period of close observation. Most patients can go home the same day.

Risks and Benefits of Tummy Tuck Surgery

Like any surgery, tummy tuck operations carry both risks and benefits.


  • Improved Abdominal Contour: A tummy tuck procedure can give the abdomen a smoother and more toned appearance. It helps patients feel good about themselves.
  • Muscle Repair: Tummy tuck surgery can restore muscle strength and function. It can help people with weakened or separated abdominal muscles.
  • Reduction of Excess Skin: Tummy tucks are especially good for individuals who have lost weight or had a pregnancy.

Risks Of Tummy Tuck Scar

  • Scarring: Scars are inevitable after a tummy tuck. Although attempts are made to minimize them, these efforts have yet to succeed.
  • Infection: Like any operation involving skin, there is a chance for infection to occur. Adhering strictly to postoperative care instructions is recommended to reduce this risk.
  • Anesthesia Complications: Anesthesia use always carries risks. This includes adverse reactions or complications.
  • Numbness and Sensation Changes: Some patients might feel tingling or changes in sensation around the stomach. This can be temporary or permanent.


Tummy-tuck scars are a natural part of the procedure. With careful attention and the skill of a good surgeon, the appearance can be minimized.

People with severely wrinkled and flabby skin won’t benefit much. Tummy tucks are quite beneficial. They produce better abdominal contour and repair muscles.

However, they also have potential risks. If you are considering a tummy tuck, consult a board-certified plastic surgeon. They can help you determine what you want from the surgery.


Q1: How long does it take for tummy-tuck scars to show less?

A. Every person has tummy tuck scars that may look different. Within a year, though, most of them will begin to fade. Scars can fully develop and may decrease up to 18 months after surgery.

Q2: Besides the tummy tuck, can I undergo more procedures to enhance the look of my abdomen?

A. Absolutely. Many patients combine a tummy tuck with liposuction or other forms of body contouring. This can lead to more effective results.

Q3: Is there a non-surgical substitute for a tummy tuck to tighten one’s abdomen?

A. Non-surgical treatments like Cool Sculpting and radiofrequency treatments can reduce fat. They can also mildly tighten the skin. The treatments depend on individual needs. However, the results will not be comparable to a tummy tuck for significant excess skin and muscle repair.

Q4: When I have a tummy tuck, will I have to stay in the hospital?

A. Most tummy tuck procedures are done as outpatient surgery so that patients can go home the same day. Based on your individual case, your doctor will have specific guidelines.

Q5: What are the risks associated with tummy tuck surgery?

A. Risks include:

  • Scarring.
  • Infection.
  • Bleeding or hematoma.
  • Poor wound healing.
  • Blood clots.
  • Anesthesia complications.
  • Asymmetry or an unsatisfactory cosmetic outcome.


Dr. Luna Rey specializes in diagnosing and treating a wide range of skin conditions, from common conditions like acne and eczema to more complex conditions like psoriasis and skin cancer. In addition to her medical practice, Dr. Luna has a strong interest in writing and has published numerous articles on dermatology topics in leading medical journals. Her writing style is clear, concise, and easy to understand, making her work accessible to a broad audience.

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