• Heavenly Scars: After a Tummy Tuck

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    Whoa Nellie!  Before we can even talk about how fabulous your tummy tuck results are going to be, we need to talk about scar healing.

    All scars will take about 6-12 months to fully heal.  The process is called “scar maturation” and is very important because there is no procedure, laser, cream, massage, potion or spell that can work healing magic on your scar, the way time can.  Time is the greatest scar treatment there is.

    I can also provide some non-surgical treatments to help you achieve the best looking tummy tuck scar possible.  I rarely need to do more surgery, cutting or sewing to give you the best results.

    Your role as a patient, is to remain patient, and communicate with me (your surgeon) about the scar.  Is it getting red? Thick? Wide?  You may only need a special cream, bandage, or injection to get that scar to look great.   Ya gotta TELL a surgeon.

    If you do NOT tell me about your concerns, then I can’t give you the optimal non-surgical treatment and you may end up with a less attractive scar.  We are a team-  when it comes to your results; we both want them to be fantastic.

    What SHOULD My Scar Look Like?

    A tummy tuck scar is horizontal, in the lower abdomen and upper groin area.  It extends in a curve from pelvis to pelvis in the same location as a C-section scar, but longer.  Once healed, your scar should be a long, thin, white line, easily hidden with low-cut jeans or under your fave bikini bottom.  Still worried?  Bring the jeans and bikini to your consultation, and I can tailor the incision to be concealed as you wish.

    What Is a “Dog Ear”?

    If the far right and left edges of your tummy tuck scar are prominent or seem to bunch up a little, this is called a “dog ear”, because it can resemble the ears of a dog.

    I know, indelicate.

    Dog ears often occur right after tummy tuck surgery, and when they do, it can make patients nervous.  Remember though, healing is a process and takes time.  (Note my repeating theme patience with beautiful scar results – they will come to those who wait!)

    Immediately after surgery and liposuction, there is swelling.  The tissues are all healing from deep beneath, all the way to the surface.  Dog ears require attentive patience, and almost always smooth into a delightfully tight and attractive surface contour in just a few weeks.

    However, if dog ears persist for several weeks or months after surgery,  you may need to have this extra skin and loose tissue removed.  Not to worry, the excision is a minor procedure, which can often be done in an office setting.  Every patient is different, but this type of revision, although uncommon, has excellent long-term results with minimal inconvenience to the patient.

    What Can I Do to Improve My Scar?

    Your best contribution to a beautifully subtle scar is PATIENCE. (Yeah, I said it again.)

    Take it easy after surgery, care for your incision after surgery with antibiotic ointment and other anti-scar medications as recommended, and don’t rush into stretching and putting pressure on your incision.

    All the skin around your healing incision is new, and has been freshly operated on.  Special anti-scar bandages, anti-scar creams, and possibly cortisone injections may help with the overall appearance of your tummy tuck scar.  The main active ingredient in anti-scar bandages is silicone gel – so make sure that your bandage has that in abundance!

    What is a Scar Revision, and Can It Be Done for a Tummy Tuck?

    A scar revision is a fancy term for removing scar tissue, and re-closing up the edges of the new scar lines on either side of the old scar tissue.

    Despite the best care and non-surgical treatment, some bodies still develop a thicker, wider, and discolored scar.  If this is case, you may be a candidate for scar revision.  Fortunately, a tummy tuck scar revision is not a very painful procedure, since the scar tissue is at the skin’s surface.

    After revision, of course, you will still have to care for your tummy tuck scar like the good old days:  antibiotic ointment, relaxation, anti-scar bandages and dressings.

    Should you desire more information, or want to schedule your own consultation, please contact Dr. Kim’s office at info@drkim.com, or call 415-362-1846.

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