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I underwent a tummy tuck in 2006. I'm curious as to how I can have my scars...

Q:

I underwent a tummy tuck in 2006. I'm curious as to how I can have my scars revised (scar revision). I'm totally satisfied with the tummy tuck, however I have a 360 degree scar that's visible in a bathing suit (male). Can the scar be totally revised or will there always be a scar around my waist?

A:

It sounds like you had a lower body lift. In these cases there is always a trade off because the scars are permanent. There are however red, raised (hypertrophic) scars that can benefit from steroid injections or a revision and injection to get rid of the raised area. These scars can be itchy and tender; the treatment is sometimes aimed at treating these symptoms.

A:

Scar revision is not scar removal.  So unless the scar itself is less than optimal, revising it wouldn't make this any better for you. 

Richard P. Rand, M.D. - View Other Answers by this Doctor
Bellevue, WA

A:

The answer to both parts of your question is yes.  If the problem is that the scar is too high, it may be possible to lower the scar's position.  Scar revision of this sort would mean completely excising the current scar, and some of the skin below the scar.  The result is a new scar that is lower on your torso.

 

A:

I always tell my patients when anyone cuts, plastic surgeon or not, there is always a scar 100% of the time.  Our job is to do all we can to minimize it.  Since this scar is four years old, it is probably mature and if there are parts that are thick and wide, it may be possible to do a simple revision in the office under local anesthesia.  When the surgery was done, we try to get as much excess skin out as we can; hence there is tension on the suture line and this tension, though desirable to maximize skin excision,  does lead to widening of the scar. Yes there will always be a scar but perhaps now is the time to undergo a simple revision.

A:

There is no such thing as surgery without a scar: the key is to get the scar as light and as optimally placed as possible. Typically with the 360 degree scar like you describe, although the scars are long and circumferential, they should be easy to hide in undergarments and bathing suits, and over time, they will fade significantly. If the scar is visible, then you might want to seek consultation with a plastic surgeon about the possibility of lowering the scar. It might be possible.

Michele A. Shermak, M.D. - View Other Answers by this Doctor
Lutherville Timonium, MD

A:

Once you have a scar, you will always have a scar. The trick is to make it as imperceptible as possible. There's a variety of techniques to improve on the appearance of a scar , ranging from lasers, steroid injections, tattooing and surgical revision.

A:

There will always be a scar present.  Revision usually fails to really help.  However, I like applying external tape (Suture Strips) to scars.  I have found the application of the tape will even soften an old scar. The use of external pressure is well known in the care of burn scars. I have all of my patients apply tape to abdominal scars for six months. Try it.

A:

Yes, the scar can be revised and become thinner but not shorter. The location can be slightly changed with the revision.  However, there will be a scar after a revision.

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A. Hossein Nezami, M.D., J.D. - View Other Answers by this Doctor
Jacksonville, FL

A:

It sounds as though you underwent a lower body lift or belt lipectomy.  Either way, scars are permanent, and you have a mature scar now that it has been four years.  However, scars can be revised.  You can revise the entire scar without going through the same recovery as your initial operation.  It is possible that your revised scar may turn out finer than your original scar.  However, depending on your skin type and genetics, you could end up with a worse scar if you have a tendency to keloid.  Post operative taping, steroid injections, and silicone sheets or gel may also help your scars.  One other favorable point to undergo a revision is that you should not have the same tension there as you did with your original surgery.  Tension is an inciting factor to poor scars.  You may be able to lower your scars a small amount.

A:

Your scar can be revised but whatever is done, there will always be a scar.  Scar revision can improve the quality and sometimes change the position of a scar, but not erase it.  In terms of your particular problem, it really depends on how much extra tissue is present and how lax it is.  If there is enough tissue and it is sufficiently loose, the scar may be able to be moved down so that it is less visible in a bathing suit.  The surgeon can only tell this by examining you.

Scott A. Greenberg, M.D., FACS - View Other Answers by this Doctor
Winter Park, FL

A:

The benefits of plastic surgery are obvious, but like any surgical procedure, there is possibility for scarring. Scar revision is tricky because you will be replacing the scar you have now for another scar. Although there are ways to reduce the look of the scar, it is most likely that you will always have a scar there.

Joseph G. Bauer, M.D. - View Other Answers by this Doctor
Alpharetta, GA

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