Surgery · November 17, 2022

How Long Does a Tummy Tuck Scar Last: 4 Ways To Minimize Your Scar

We talk a lot about how a tummy tuck improves sagging skin, strengthens weakened ab muscles, and eliminates stubborn fat deposits. And while patients frequently ask about the procedure’s recovery process, we don’t talk quite as much about post-surgical scars.

To answer the question right off the bat: You will have a permanent scar after tummy tuck surgery, but it will gradually fade and flatten for about a year. However, you can minimize scarring and achieve the best possible outcome with a few simple actions. In this post, I’ll list some steps you can take to ensure your scar is as faint as possible.

4 Steps to Minimizing Your Tummy Tuck Scar

Most people find that having an easily hidden tummy tuck scar is a worthwhile trade-off for a flatter, trimmer midsection. Still, here are 4 ways to get the most imperceptible scar possible:

1. Choose a Skilled Plastic Surgeon

An experienced board-certified plastic surgeon will place your incision as low as possible on your abdomen. This strategy will result in a scar that is easy to hide under your clothing and undergarments. A scar low on your abdomen is also easy to protect from the sun, as harmful UVA and UVB rays can darken your scar.

2. Focus On Incision Care

Follow all your plastic surgeon’s instructions on how to care for your incision, including any skincare products you should avoid after the procedure.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons recommends using sunscreen and a gentle moisturizer to hydrate your skin and protect your scar from the sun for the first few months after your tummy tuck. When your skin is adequately hydrated and protected during recovery, your scar will have a flatter and smoother appearance.

You can learn more about post-tummy tuck incision care and recovery in our Tummy Tuck FAQ page.

3. Use Scar Creams

Scar creams and silicone gel sheets are not magical cures, but they can improve the appearance of scars. Your plastic surgeon can advise you when to start applying these treatments after your procedure. If you want to use a cream that contains a lightening agent such as hydroquinone, it’s better to wait at least 6 weeks.

4. Try Laser Skin Resurfacing

A laser or light-based treatment is the best choice if you want to see a dramatic improvement in your tummy tuck scar. Creams and scar tape can only do so much, but laser treatments like HALO™ effectively reduce pigment on your scar. Just be aware that you may need more than 1 treatment session to get the results you want.

These are some simple steps to ensure your tummy tuck scar fades beautifully so you can enjoy your results to the fullest. Our tummy tuck patients are usually thrilled with their results; take a look at their before and after photos to see the type of results you might expect.

To learn more about how a tummy tuck works and what you can expect after the procedure, request a consultation at our Denver, Golden, or Colorado Springs office, or call us at
(303) 278-2600 to schedule an appointment.