Are Tummy Tuck Scars Permanent?

By: Dr. Nana Mizuguchi


It takes time to feel back to normal after tummy tuck surgery. Your stomach won't be completely flat afterward due to post-operative swelling, and scarring is an inevitable part of the process. It is important to remember that tummy tuck surgery will leave a scar, but the intended results generally outweigh the disadvantage of this factor. Scars after a tummy tuck procedure will lessen in appearance during the recovery period, and begin to fade, so be patient.

If you are feeling anxious about your tummy tuck recovery and are concerned about scarring, read on to learn more from dual board-certified aesthetic and plastic surgeon Dr. Nana Mizuguchi at Mizuguchi Plastic Surgery in Louisville, KY.

How can a tummy tuck help you?

The primary goal of tummy tuck surgery is to achieve a flatter, smoother, and more attractive-looking stomach area. Almost everyone has something about their body they don't like. Men and women in the Louisville, KY area struggle with their midsection and turn to body contouring procedures, like a tummy tuck, for help. A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is one of the top five cosmetic procedures performed every year throughout this country. The right candidates who have concerns about sagging skin or unwanted fat in their stomach area can look to a full, mini, or extended tummy tuck procedure to reduce or eliminate these pesky issues.

What scars after tummy tuck surgery can you expect?

Scarring is the body's natural way to heal from a wound or incision by forming new collagen fibers to mend the area. When compared to surrounding tissue, the new scar tissue is visibly apparent due to its unique color and texture. However, scars from tummy tuck surgery will fade in color and be more flesh-tone in appearance after a few months. There are also different abdominoplasty techniques that patients can consider. A mini tummy tuck is less invasive and requires a shorter incision below the belly button. The recovery and incision for a mini tummy tuck procedure are less than that of a more traditional abdominoplasty. A full tummy tuck incision extends from hip bone to hip bone, along with an additional small incision around or in the belly button. If liposuction is necessary, other smaller incisions are made in the target area to eliminate any excess fat.

What happens to tummy tuck scars over time?

Tummy tuck scars will vary by patient depending on what type of body contouring procedure they needed. No matter what kind of tummy tuck procedure you plan for, following your plastic surgeon's aftercare instructions will help any incisions heal and give patients the best possible outcome for scars after tummy tuck surgery. In general, it takes about 8 – 12 weeks for patients to be mostly healed from their abdominoplasty. However, it can take up to a year, so patients who want to undergo a surgical procedure to minimize the appearance of any scarring should wait at least 12 months. It is also imperative to use sunscreen and keep any incisions out of direct sun exposure to allow scars from a tummy tuck procedure to heal properly.

Are tummy tuck scars permanent?

Scars after tummy tuck surgery are inevitable, and even though they will fade, they won't go away completely. A patient's age, skin tone, and genetics also play a factor in how the body reacts to healing from any surgical incisions. Generally speaking, for the first month, scars from tummy tuck surgery are raised and red. They will slowly flatten and lighten in color. After about three months, the incision area(s) should be healed. After six months, a patient's abdominal area should feel less tight, and scars should be faded in color, plus be smoother to the touch. Most patients can see their long-term tummy tuck results in about 8 – 12 months, with any scars from tummy tuck surgery being less dramatic and noticeable.

If you are considering abdominoplasty and reviewing the benefits of this surgical procedure, it is vital to understand the incision scar that will be left behind. Dual board-certified aesthetic and plastic surgeon Dr. Nana Mizuguchi will discuss scars after tummy tuck and tummy tuck healing time with each of his patients beforehand to educate them on what they can expect. His extensive surgical knowledge and medical background have helped countless women and men improve the appearance of their midsection area, so they love the way they look. If you would like to learn more or are interested in scheduling a tummy tuck consultation, contact our office today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mizuguchi at Mizuguchi Plastic Surgery Louisville, KY.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.