What Kind of Scar Can You Expect After a Tummy Tuck?

Are you planning to have tummy tuck surgery to remove excess fat and skin, tighten your abdominal muscles, and create a firm, flatter stomach? You probably expect to have a scar after your surgery, but do you know every patient who undergoes tummy tuck surgery heals in different ways?

When considering your tummy tuck, the procedure’s twofold nature includes:

  • Tightening the abdominal muscles and repairing any separation.
  • Removing extra skin and fat from the abdominal area.

Keep reading to learn more from Dr. Stephen Bresnick and his care team in Encino, California.

What You Can Do Before Your Tummy Tuck

During your consultation, Dr. Bresnick will review all of the options for the incision placement.  He prefers a very low scar when possible so that it is hidden beneath the panty line.  While you probably will have specific concerns about what your scar may look like, remember that Dr. Bresnick will customize your surgery for your body, needs, and goals.

Remember to bring your favorite bikini bottoms or underwear with you to your surgical planning consultation, as this will help you understand where the scarring will be relative to your panty line.

What Scarring to Expect

The tummy tuck scar you can expect will depend on factors such as:

  • Incision placement
  • Bresnick’s surgical technique
  • Your skin quality and genetic tendency to scar


You might not initially expect it, but the belly button can be one of the focal points where tummy tuck scarring occurs.

In a traditional tummy tuck, the belly button scar is minimally visible because of the tightening of the abdominal wall pulling it in. In the case of a mini tummy tuck that involves less skin, fat, and smaller incisions, your belly button scars may not be an issue at all.   In addition, some of the special procedures which Dr. Bresnick offers for full tummy tuck do not include any scars on the belly button, such as the floating belly button technique!

Most surgeons will seek to place tummy tuck scars as low as physically possible, below the bikini line. In many cases, you can conceal the scar beneath underwear and bathing suits, which is why we recommend bringing your favorite underwear or swimsuit bottom to your initial consultation.

What Dr. Bresnick Offers to Reduce the Appearance of the Scar

Dr. Bresnick has found that abnormal tension tends to make abdominal scars more noticeable, and reduced tension of the tummy tuck closure improves the appearance of scars.  Dr. Bresnick is careful to remove just the right amount of skin and also close the skin in at least three layers to support the closure and reduce tension.   Following the care instructions will also help your healing.

After surgery, optimal care of the incision is essential and Dr. Bresnick’s team will help you heal optimally.  Silicone gel is used a few weeks after surgery to optimize the healing process and bleaching creams can also lighten the scar so that it blends better with your skin.

What You Can Do After Your Tummy Tuck to Treat and Reduce Scarring

While some post-surgical scarring is inevitable, you can take precautions before and after surgery to minimize its visibility. Diligently following the self-care strategies Dr. Bresnick recommends, like not smoking and following a healthy diet and lifestyle before and after surgery, will reduce the risk of complications that could lead to visible scarring.

Apply Topical Vitamin E or Silicone Gel Healing Ointment

Topically applying vitamin E or Silicone gel to your scars may minimize their appearance and can also help keep the incision moisturized as it heals.

Always Wear Sunscreen

Apply sunscreen with a high SPF rating over the area of your scar and, if possible, avoid exposing the area to the sun.

Watch for Signs of Infection

Cleaning your incision every day will keep it healthy, minimize its appearance, and reduce your risk of infection.

Other Ways to Reduce Scarring

Your tummy tuck scar should be visibly healed after about 12 weeks. Before seeking additional cosmetic procedures to address your scar, we suggest waiting until it has fully healed.

Dr. Bresnick might recommend treatments offered by his expert Medical Spa team that can help improve your tummy tuck scar’s size, color, and texture. Alternatively, for your scar to be closer in texture and tone to the rest of your skin, Dr. Bresnick may suggest a combination of topical treatments, surgical revision, and other minimally invasive procedures.

Next Steps on Your Tummy Tuck Journey With Dr. Stephen Bresnick

As you may have already discovered, Dr. Bresnick will tailor your tummy tuck to your specific needs, goals, and body type. Additional procedures such as liposuction and other treatments could help you achieve even better results.

For more information about your tummy tuck, Dr. Stephen Bresnick and his caring staff in Encino, California, can help. To start, call us today at (818) 981-3333 or contact us to schedule an appointment.

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