Tummy Tuck

Let's Talk About Tummy Tuck Scars

No one likes a scar, but for most, this scar is WELL worth it. Why? Because it's often hidden even in your bikini. Check it out.

Different Tummy Tucks Have Different Scars

All good things come with a bit of a trade-off, and such is the way of the tummy tuck. As with all surgical procedures where you remove the skin, there will be an incision. If someone tells you they can do a scarless tummy tuck, our advice is, run. 

How long and where your incision is depends on the type of tummy tuck surgery you have. 

There are 4 common types of tummy tucks:

  1. Fleur de lis
  2. Extended
  3. Full
  4. Mini

What does a tummy tuck scar look like?

The fleur de lis is the largest incision that is shaped like…you guessed it, a fleur de lis, which goes vertically up the abdomen and along the sides. 

An extended tummy tuck scar goes right above the pubic area hip-to-hip and along the sides of the body. 

A full tummy tuck incision is hip-to-hip right above the pubic hairline with a small incision inside the belly button and a mini tummy tuck scar is a little smaller than the full. 

You can learn more about the ins and outs of tummy tucks in the free Bustmob Academy app

full tummy tuck scar
Full tummy tuck scar

How will I know what kind of tummy tuck I need?

After a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon, you’ll know what type of tummy tuck is best for you.

During your consultation, your surgeon will do a physical exam and based on your goals and anatomy, will be able to tell you exactly where and how long those scars will be. 

In most cases, there is even a little customization that can happen. If you have a bathing suit you love and would like to cover your tummy tuck scar, bring it with you. 

Your surgeon may be able to plan the incision so it is hidden even in your favorite swimsuit. 

However, every tummy tuck patient’s needs and anatomy are different. 

Doing your research ahead of time will ensure that you know the basics and aren’t caught off guard during your consultation. Have you seen the Bustmob Academy app, yet? We’re pretty proud of it.

Is the tummy tuck scar worth it?

We hear from thousands of women that the results of a tummy tuck are life-changing and well worth the scar, regardless of its size.

Whether it’s removing excess skin and fat from weight fluctuation, age, pregnancy, or scar tissue from a c-section, a tummy tuck makes a huge impact on so many–not just in their confidence, but the in way they live their lives.

Modern tummy tuck before and after photo by Dr. Rafi Fredman of Amelia Aesthetics St. Louis
Modern tummy tuck before and after photo by Dr. Rafi Fredman of Amelia Aesthetics St. Louis

For most, your tummy tuck scar can be completely hidden in your favorite underwear or bathing suit and the scar is a fine trade-off for the smaller, tighter core that comes with the damaged skin removal, muscle repair, and liposuction included in a tummy tuck. 

But of course, be empowered to have a conversation with a plastic surgeon about any concerns you may have. They will be the best resource to understand your unique risks and benefits.

But don’t take our word for it–hear it for yourself. 

Connect with other women in the Bustmob Community who have been in your shoes to hear their stories. The Bustmob Community was built by women for women to support each other wherever they are on their plastic surgery journey, from research to post-op. 

The community is full of encouragement, personal experiences, and advice from the members–as well as the expertise from the plastic surgeons of Amelia Aesthetics who volunteer their time to answer questions and host live Q&A sessions for the community. 

Before and after modern tummy tuck: 11 days post-op by Dr. Michelle Roughton of Amelia Aesthetics Raleigh

Will tummy tuck scars go away?

If cared for properly, tummy tuck scars can eventually fade to where they are hardly noticeable. However, that healing process takes time and consistency. 

Darker skin tones may be more prone to hypertrophic or keloid scars. If you tend to scar in this way, be sure to let your surgeon know before surgery so they’re aware. 

In some cases, your surgeon will give a steroid injection into the raised scar as it heals for a flatter appearance. 

All incisions, tummy tuck or otherwise, will get redder, darker, and increasingly noticeable for the first 3 months post-op. Don’t panic! 

After that 3-month mark, your scars will begin fading day by day for up to a year. 

Keep in mind that most plastic surgeons will take the after photo around that 3-month mark, which means those scars pictured have not completely healed. In fact, they are likely at their darkest. 

So don’t freak out when you’re scrolling through tummy tuck before and after photos and aren’t loving the scars. Take some comfort in knowing those scars will heal and fade.

What is the best scar treatment for tummy tuck surgery? 

As we’ve mentioned caring for your scars is important for them to heal beautifully. Every plastic surgeon will have their own scar protocol so be sure to talk with your surgeon about what they recommend. 

At Amelia Aesthetics, the surgeons typically recommend you keep scar tape on the incision and avoid submerging in water for the first 6 weeks post-op. 

After that initial 6 weeks and beyond, always use sunscreen when outdoors and keep your incisions out of direct sunlight to prevent hyperpigmentation in the first year of healing. 

When can I start using scar cream after a tummy tuck?

Most people are cleared to start using scar cream once that tape is removed around the 6-week mark. It’s usually recommended you use the cream twice daily for the first 12 months.

However, it’s always important to check in with your surgeon before adding or subtracting anything from your recovery protocol. 

What is a tummy tuck scar revision?

If a healed tummy tuck scar is raised or imperfect, your plastic surgeon can do a scar revision–a procedure to remove the original tummy tuck scar tissue and make a new scar.

You may have also heard of a “dog ear.” A tummy tuck dog ear scar is a little different, but can still be corrected with a revision. Dog ears happen when not enough skin was removed during the initial procedure which causes “puckering” on the sides. 

If you’re concerned about the possibility of a revision, be sure to ask your plastic surgeon during your consultation.

Some practices like Amelia Aesthetics offer Revision Assurance to cover the cost of revisions needed within a certain period. 

The main takeaway is scars fade and you may find you don’t even notice scars when looking at the overall result.

But see for yourself! The Bustmob GoalFinder is home to thousands of after photos from real women to get an idea of what tummy tucks look like on women just like you.

Found this helpful, but want more? 

Good news! This is just one of hundreds of fun, factual videos on the Bustmob Academy app to make your plastic surgery research easy.

From commonly told myths and FAQs, to recovery time and costs, Jenny Eden, founder of Bustmob, and Gretta Nance, lead educator at Amelia Aesthetics, break down your plastic surgery research into bite-size, binge-able pieces. 

Pair the Bustmob Academy app with Bustmob Community, a safe space to connect and learn wherever you are on your plastic surgery journey, and you are well on your way to being empowered and educated before you even set foot in your consultation.

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Jenny Eden
Founder, Bustmob Community
Gretta Nance
Lead Educator, Amelia Aesthetics
Ready to learn everything about plastic surgery?
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