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Abdominoplasty Scars: Things To Know and How To Heal

Dr Hanikeri offers a range of surgical procedures for the breasts, body and face.

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There are many reasons why someone may seek abdominoplasty surgery, whether related to ageing, weight loss, or pregnancy. However, despite the potential benefits, patients should consider possible adverse effects of the surgery. One of these is scarring. What to expect from your abdominoplasty scars and how to manage their appearance is something every patient should know.

Firstly, you should be aware that every surgical procedure results in scarring. The extent of the abdominoplasty scars might be different from patient to patient. When planning your surgery, take the time to understand what to expect from the abdominoplasty to ensure you are well-informed about the potential scars. Having the right information beforehand can make the surgical process clearer and empower you to make well-reasoned decisions.

In this article, we will explore the factors that affect abdominoplasty scars. If you are looking for more personalised information, contact our Perth Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, Dr Mark Hanikeri.

Placement of abdominoplasty scars

The appearance of abdominoplasty scars can depend on many different factors, one of which is incision placement.

Incisions are part of abdominoplasty surgery. They allow the surgeon access to underlying muscles and allow for the removal of excess skin. For this reason, the placement of the incisions will depend on the extent of the surgery and how much tissue your surgeon needs to remove.

There are multiple types of abdominoplasty, each with different incision techniques. This includes:

  • Traditional – the incision runs across the lower abdomen from hip to hip
  • Mini – the incision is smaller across the lower abdomen
  • Extended – the incision runs across the lower abdomen and extends over the hips
  • Fleur de Lis – in addition to the lower abdomen incision, a second incision runs vertically to remove more tissue from the mid-abdomen

In order to know where your incisions will be, you will need to discuss the placement of your incisions with Dr Hanikeri. He will assess your excess tissue and recommend an incision technique that suits your goals.

The Healing and Aftercare Process

A major factor in the appearance of your scars is your recovery and aftercare, during which your scar tissue will begin to form. The formation of scar tissue is your body’s natural way of healing itself. As it happen, the body sends extra healing cells to the area in order to mend the wound.

How well you take care of your wounds during recovery will have a big impact. Knowing this, Dr Hanikeri will give you instructions to help you through the process. These may include:

  • Sleep slightly upright on your back during the initial recovery
  • Take time away from work and other duties
  • Avoid activities that slow healing, such as smoking and drinking alcohol
  • Drink water and maintain a healthy diet
  • Resume gentle activity and walking as soon as you are able
  • Get enough sleep and rest
  • Avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting
  • Avoid exposing your wound to direct sunlight
  • Keep your incisions clean and dry to avoid infection
  • Contact Dr Hanikeri if you have any abnormal or concerning symptoms

Bear in mind that scar formation and maturation take a long time, meaning you cannot try to reduce your scars straight away. You will need to be patient and wait for your wounds to heal. Then, after they have healed, your scars will continue to mature and change colour for months or even years afterwards.

Scar Reduction Techniques

Once your incisions are healed, your scars will begin to mature. To begin with, they will likely appear red and raised. As time passes, however, they should start to fade to a paler colour and flatten. Some techniques that can help this maturation process include:

Using silicone sheets or gel – This provides an additional layer of protection over the scar to help the maturation process.

Massaging the scar – Gently massaging your scars can help improve blood flow to the area.

Getting light or laser therapy – Light (LED) and LASER therapy use light technology to trigger healing in the skin cells. It works to trigger collagen production, helping to break down the scar tissue and alter the scar’s tone and texture.

Using creams, ointments, and gels – There are many different ointments, creams, and gels available, with varying degrees of effectiveness. If you are unsure of what to choose, you may discuss this with Dr Hanikeri. He will be able to recommend a treatment based on your specific needs.

Other Considerations

In addition to the above techniques, there are other individual factors that can affect abdominoplasty scars. Lifestyle and habits, for example, can have a large impact on your body, not just during recovery but after. Certain habits can increase your risk of poor scarring outcomes, such as:

  • Smoking, as this impedes collagen production and oxygen supply, which can adversely affect scar tissue
  • Sun exposure, as UV rays can cause the scar to become discoloured
  • Diet and hydration, as the healthier you are, the better your scars are able to resolve

These lifestyle factors can affect your scars as they mature. Therefore, it is important to look out for your health in your recovery phase as well as afterwards.

Additionally, some things are outside of your (and your surgeon’s) control. Scarring is never completely predictable. If there are any unforeseen healing issues, for example, then this will probably affect how your scar tissue forms. As well as this, genetic predispositions are also a factor. If you are genetically prone to larger scars, like keloid scars, then make sure to bring this up with Dr Hanikeri at your consultation.

In other words, no matter the scar reduction techniques you employ and the skill of your surgeon, there is always a risk of poor scarring outcomes. Learn more about the risks of plastic surgery here.

Your Treatment Plan

A personalised plan is necessary for every patient. This is because everyone has different proportions, skin conditions, goals, and preferences. A qualified surgeon such as Dr Hanikeri will aim to accommodate your ideals whilst taking the relevant health factors into account. In other words, your needs are unique, and this probably means that your scarring will not be the same as someone else who has had the same procedure. Dr Hanikeri can speak to you about what your specific plan involves and help you have expectations that are balanced, realistic, and achievable.

When discussing your treatment plan, it is a good idea to ask Dr Hanikeri questions. Since each surgery is slightly different, he can inform you about the risk factors of your surgery specifically. You can ask questions such as:

  • Where will my incisions and scars be?
  • What is involved in caring for my incisions?
  • How long will it take for my scars to resolve and mature?
  • What scar management techniques may work best for me?
  • Does my health present any risk factors?

Why you should choose Dr Hanikeri for abdominoplasty surgery in Perth

Choosing a surgeon is a big decision. Dr Hanikeri is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon who takes great care to cater to the needs of his patients. He can provide you with information about abdominoplasty scars, as well as what to expect both during and after your surgery. An initial consultation gives you one-on-one time to speak about your hopes, goals, and concerns, as well as get answers to your questions. Discuss your surgical treatment plan with Dr Hanikeri at a private consultation in Perth.