Tummy Tuck surgery, where scar tissue already exists from a previous surgery, can be a challenge but this depends on the type and location of the scar. Some patients may be under the impression that their past surgeries will rule out the cosmetic surgical procedure they desire. In the hands of a skilled plastic surgeon, however, the following patients can safely undergo a tummy tuck and achieve their ideal figure:
A common abdominal scar for men and women is the appendectomy scar. Most people with this procedure scar are good tummy tuck candidates because these appendectomy incisions tend to be relatively small and simple so most plastic surgeons have no issue working around or removing them. Another example of a small scar to remove is the tubal ligation scar which can often be excised during and abdominoplasty surgery. It is quite common for women who plan abdominoplasty surgery to have had C-section deliveries in the past, so the low C-section scar will typically be removed. When the existing scar is low enough on the abdomen, it is not usually a problem to remove this along with the excess abdominal skin.
Each patient will be assessed in person to determine the nature and suitability of their scar for this type of removal and your plastic surgeon will tell you if they do or do not plan to completely excise your scar. A tummy tuck surgery will always create a new scar, however, we can typically ensure that this carefully created scar is placed in an optimal, low position so that it can be hidden well in regular clothing or favorite underwear and bikinis. During a tummy tuck, tissue layers are gently closed in such a way that there is not excess tension on the incision, nor staples or visible sutures to create contour irregularities and extra marks. Scars can be treated post-op, helping to ensure that they mature well and remain as flat and light as possible. C-section patients have not always had the luxury of a well-created incision and scar, nor proper scar care, so this is an opportunity to replace the existing blemish with something better.
When scars are more extensive, having formed adhesions (or tethering) either from injury on intra abdominal surgeries, the cosmetic treatment of your abdomen with a tummy tuck may be either inadequate or not possible. It may not be common knowledge among cosmetic surgery patients that the scar from a previous surgery can conflict with the circulation of abdominal tissues during and after a tummy tuck procedure. Because scar tissue behaves differently than regular skin, it does not stretch or heal as well and can be difficult to work with. Internal scar tissue (inside the abdomen itself, where the organs are) should be evaluated and treated by a general surgeon because abdominoplasty only addresses the top layers of muscle, fatty tissue, and skin.
Minor scars which are present below the belly button, including visible stretch marks, can be removed from this area during a full tummy tuck procedure. Because scar tissue must be examined and your surgeon will require procedure history in order to plan for you, an in-person assessment with your plastic surgeon is always the best way to share your ideal appearance goals and find out what your best options are for optimal results.
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