Obesity

How to get rid of Tummy Tuck Scars

Obesity is a growing menace in the world today. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one-third of the adult population suffers from obesity in the United States. A bulging mid riff is a common sight in the country now. Apart from the dangerous nature of belly fat and the increased risks of cardiovascular diseases it poses, belly fat can be aesthetically unpleasant. And the abdomen is one of the most susceptible site for weight gain. Even if one is not overweight or obese, a little excess flab around the tummy is common.

In order to remove excess fat from the abdomen, a surgery is done which is known as tummy tuck. Tummy tuck is also known as abdominoplasty. It is a cosmetic surgical procedure that is designed to help the patients tone and sculpt their abdominal area. During the tummy tuck procedure, the surgeon will make an incision in the abdomen and tighten the muscles in the abdominal wall manually and suture them. To create a flatter and firmer midsection, the surgeon will remove any excess skin left on the abdomen area. The tummy tuck procedure is customized according to the patients’ requirements and other liposuction and body lifting procedures could be coupled with it.

To learn about the tummy tuck procedure in detail watch the video below:

One of the most unpleasant after effects of the procedure is scarring. Surgeons while performing the surgery make sure that the scars of the tummy tuck are easily hidden. The scars of the tummy tucks are visible mostly on the lower part of the abdomen. The tummy tuck scars can be seen easily after the surgery for 6 months and then they start improving.

Tummy Tuck Scars

How to get rid of Tummy Tuck Scars

  • Cortisone Creams
    Cortisone cream is prescribed by the doctor in order to heal the tummy tuck scars after the surgery. This cream is used to treat scars of the tummy tuck. The cream helps in keeping the inflammation in check, thus preventing worsening of the scar.
  • Retinol Cream
    One can apply retinol cream if the scar is still red. Apply it before going to bed. It promotes cell growth and it is rich in vitamin A. It not only makes the skin smoother but also activates the collagen which are found under the skin.Thus, helping in making the scar less visible.
  • Natural Remedies
    One can also apply aloe vera gel and olive oil once the scars are healed. Rub olive oil and aloe vera gel on the scars vigorously so that it improve the blood circulation. In order to remove the tummy tuck scar, cocoa butter is also very effective.
  • Tanning Beds
    Tanning bed will provide significant improvements to the scar area. Cover your face and rest of the body with towel. Let that particular area of the scar get tanned. You will find wonderful results after seeing the area tanned.

Tips to Minimise Tummy Tuck Scars

  • Before getting the surgery done, discuss about the scars with the surgeon. This will help you to have realistic expectation after the surgery. Your doctor might try to keep the scars as low as possible. However, scars may be visible when you will wear a swimsuit.
  • Take capsules of vitamin E and multi vitamin. Start taking these capsules two months before your surgery.
  • Avoid smoking. As cigarettes would prevent oxygen from reaching the skin cells. Thus resulting in delaying the healing process, and leaving the scars on the tummy tuck.
  • Maintain good personal hygiene and follow a healthy diet.
  • However, it will take a lot of time to get rid of tummy tuck scars no matter whatever technique you may follow. Be patient and do not take any hasty measure in order to get rid of scars quickly. Get temporary tattoo done on tummy tuck scars in order to get rid from them temporarily.

Tummy Tuck Procedure

Based on the patients requirement and the complexity involved, the procedure can take any where between one to five hours, and some times need a night stay at the hospital. The whole process is done after the patient is given general anesthesia. Depending on the need, two options are available for a tummy tuck.

Recontruction of the the belly button in a complete abdominoplasty

Complete sutured area following a tummy tuck

Complete Tummy Tuck

  • This is done for patients who needs the most correction.
  • Hipbone to hipbone incision is done in the abdomen area.
  • Incision is made low, usually at the same level of your public hair to help hide the scars.
  • The surgeon will contour and manipulate the muscles, tissues and skin as needed.
  • In this procedure it is required to free the navel from the surrounding tissues, so your belly button will get a new opening and will be reconstructed.

Before and After images of Abdominoplasty

Mini or Partial Tummy Tuck

  • Done on patients who require shorter incisions, usually for patients having lesser fat deposits that are located just below the navel.
  • In most of the cases, the belly button is not removed.
  • The skin between the belly button and the line of incision will be removed.
  • This surgery can be performed using an endoscope.
  • Depending on the requirements this procedure may take only two hours or below.

Recovery from Tummy Tuck Procedure

The maximum recovery time required for a tummy tuck surgery is between 5 to 6 weeks. It all depends upon the general condition of the person undergoing this surgery and the type of tummy tuck surgery done. It is very important to adhere to the post operative instructions given by the surgeon. The surgeon leaves behind a tube in the incision to drain the fluids collecting between the skin flap and the muscle. The drain helps in reducing the chances of an infection. The amount of secretions from the area must be recorded daily to enable the surgeon have an idea about the healing of the wound.

Who is an ideal candidate and what to expect from Tummy Tuck?

  • It is essentially suitable for obese people who have lost their body weight and are close to their ideal body weight.
  • It is for people who have stubborn body fat and excess skin around the abdomen. Belly Fat is a precursor to heart disease and it is essential to control it.
  • Candidate should be voluntarily ready to undergo the procedure and have the emotional stability to endure it.
  • Obese persons who have been able to maintain a steady body weight for at least 6 months time.
  • Skin should have a good tone and elasticity to it to avoid the post procedure complications.
  • Have a proper understanding of the procedure and the risks associated with it.
  • People who don’t smoke or those who have given up smoking for good.
  • It is for someone who does not have auto immune disorders which make them more sensitive and susceptible to infection.
  • Person with a realistic expectation of what could be the outcome of the procedure. It is very important to understand that future fluctuations in body weight can greatly diminish the positive results of the surgery. In cases of women, contemplating further pregnancies, chances are more that the abdominal girth would be back.
  • People with an irreversible heart disease should consult the cardiologist before going for it.
  • Tummy tuck, as a procedure, is essential to be complemented with a regular exercise regimen and a diet and nutrition plan. People who are averse to exercise or have trouble sticking to a controlled diet should not expect long lasting results from it.
  • The procedure is not a miracle cure for stretch marks. Stretch marks are natural, especially after a significant weight loss. It reduces stretch marks partially. Those on the excess skin removed are easy to get rid of but those on the upper abdomen would be very much there.
  • Tummy tuck surgeries involve certain risks. However, complications associated with the procedure are very rare nowadays and the patient should be informed about the risks involved prior to the procedure. Some of the tummy tuck complications are blood clots, infections, delayed healing and bleeding.

Tummy Tuck Complications

There are many complications related to abdominoplasty. They include:

Blood Clots

  • Blood clots are one of the risks that could bring on complications.
  • General anesthesia used for more than 30 minutes in any procedure increases the risk of developing internal blood clots many times.
  • Blood clotting is a natural mechanism that controls the blood loss in the body. However, blood clots can become dangerous and can interfere with the circulation.
  • Clots can break and move to other parts of the body that is to the brain, heart and lungs.
  • The time taken for developing clots can vary but, the risk is great within the first few days.
  • Surgeons suggest stockings and pre or post surgical leg massages to reduce the formation of blood clots in the legs.
  • You should also start taking walks outside your home for a week. Do not strain yourself but, slow movement can be helpful and aids in speedy recovery.
  • Avoid vigorous activities and heavy lifting for at least 4 to 6 weeks after an abdominoplasty.

Infections

  • Infections occur very rarely because qualified surgeons take all the required precautions for the prevention of infection.
  • The surgical room is sterilized and kept warm because a patient when operated in a cold room, the risk of infection is higher compared to a room-temperature or slightly warm room.
  • Infections after an abdominoplasty occur mostly due to the negligence of a patient.They do not take care of their wound during the recovery process.
  • Follow your surgeon’s advice by changing or removing bandages after getting exposed to water.
  • Some amount of leakage and bleeding is normal but if the wound is unclean then you are at high risk for severe infections.
  • So, you must take care of the wound by regularly changing the dressing or follow the advice of the doctor. This would surely prevent infections after a surgery.
  • Some of the signs of an impending infection would be fever with chills, sweating, greenish pus draining from the sutures.

Slow Healing

  • Patient recovering from an abdominoplasty will surely heal at their own pace. But there are patients who take very long time to heal.
  • The normal tenderness, pain, bruising and inflammation that are experienced by some patients usually reduce after six weeks.
  • Patients who suffer from these symptoms even after six weeks fall under the category of slow healers.
  • There are many factors that slow down the healing process like exposure to cigarette smoke. This reduces the size of the blood vessels.
  • The cellular functions of a person who smokes are sluggish and the skin cells are starved of oxygen. This delays the healing process.
  • If there is an infection then the healing process is delayed by causing a diversion in the body’s immune cells away from closing the surgical incision.
  • You must follow all the pre and post surgical instructions that your doctor gives you to aid in fast healing.
  • Contact your doctor if you observe any signs of infection at the site of the incision for immediate treatment.

Numbness

  • Some amount of numbness is normal after a tummy tuck.
  • Numbness in the walls of the abdomen is a part of the recovery process.
  • It takes about a year and a half to regain sensation in the lower tummy area.
  • The area above the sutures do not gain complete sensation in a lot of people.
  • Many patients complain having complete numbness in the area around the belly button.
  • Skin tissue death and necrosis is experienced by some individuals.

Steps to reduce Tummy Tuck Complications

  • Follow the surgeon’s pre and post operative instructions.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking can greatly increase the risk of complications.
  • Rest and don’t get involved in strenuous activity soon after the procedure.
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet and sleep for 8 hours.
  • Try not to be around sick people and pick up infections.
  • Avoid over exposure of the sun to the belly area.

Some people in order to avoid the complications of abdominoplasty opt for other alternatives like non surgical tummy tuck procedures. The complications of a traditional tummy tuck can be avoided in these alternative procedures. In fact, minimally invasive procedures are gaining more popularity in recent times.

Types of Non-Surgical Lipolysis

There are three such procedures available popularly. They include:

  • Injection Lipolysis: As the name says, this procedure is done mainly by injection. A chemical solution called lecithin is injected in to the fatty deposits of the abdomen to melt away the fats. However, this procedure is not accepted by the FDA and is still in the testing phase.
  • Ultrasonic Lipolysis: In this procedure, the problem area is injected with sterile water along with an anaesthetic. This is followed by an ultrasonic massage that must be done four times a week. This helps in melting away the subcutaneous fat.
  • Triactive Lasers: This procedure is done using lasers. Laser is used to heat the collage fibers. This makes them short and tightens the skin as well. This procedure is relatively painless and is extremely popular.

However, it can be said that any sort of cosmetic surgery cannot do away with the emphasis surgeons lay on lifestyle modifications. It needs to be understood that maintenance of the altered body shape is possible only with regular exercise and a controlled diet. Nevertheless, it is an easier and faster solution to a toned abdomen.

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