How to care for tummy tuck scars

Scarring is unfortunately part of having a tummy tuck. However, there are some tips and tricks that you can use post-operatively that will help the scar heal well, without complications.At Perth Cosmetic Surgery, we often get asked how to care for a tummy tuck scar after the operation so we’ve put together some do’s and don’ts for caring for a tummy tuck scar.

Tummy tuck do’s and don’ts

After the operation:
  • We suggest that you walk as soon after your operation as you can. Walking encourages blood flow through the body, it reduces swelling and lowers your risk of clotting.
  • Drink lots of water (approx. 2L – 2.5L per day) and keep your body hydrated.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet. This will help your body to gain the vital nutrients it needs during the recovery process.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise and activity and any heavy lifting for at least 6 weeks after the operation. You do not want to put any pressure on your abdomen or bend into it at all.
Treatment of the scar
  • Most plastic surgeons will suggest applying a topical vitamin E cream to the scar. Vitamin E creams help to improve the appearance of the scar and keep it moisturised.
  • We suggest applying the cream once a day for the first 3 – 6 months. Massage the cream deeply into the scar as this will also help break down any thickening from developing.
  • Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your scar if you will be in the sun. Scars can react differently to the sun and often darken more than the surrounding skin. An SPF of 30+ and higher is always recommended.
Watch for infectionKeep a close eye on your scar especially in the first 1 – 3 weeks after the operation. If any of these symptoms occur, contact your surgeon immediately:
  • Bleeding from the scar
  • Pain in the scar area
  • Swelling, redness or heat along the scar line
  • Any yellowish/greenish discharge from any point on the scar
  • If your temperature increases
We suggest if you suspect anything, or are unhappy about any part of your scar in terms of infection, that you should contact your surgeon or go in to see the nurses immediately to have it examined.Wear your compression garment as directedThe compression garment that will be put on you during the procedure is key in your recovery and preventing your scar from swelling. The compression garment also increases blood circulation to the scar which enhances its healing. Your surgeon will give you strict instructions for the use of the garment too.Don’ts after a tummy tuckHere are a few don’ts to avoid after your surgery:
    • Don’t forget to hydrate - keep your body from dehydrating – this could impact your healing
    • Don’t let the scar dry out, scab or crack
    • Don’t leave it if you suspect there might be an infection starting
    • Don’t forget to wear your compression garment.
Contact Perth Cosmetic Surgery today to find out more about our state-of-the-art centre and treatments.