While tummy tuck surgery can be absolutely life-changing for many men, some are unfortunate in that they end up with poorly-healed scars. These men are often looking for options to improve the appearance of their scars and make them less noticeable.
Before we discuss these options, it’s important to point out that after tummy tuck surgery, scars are unavoidable. There is no way to undergo an invasive surgery like abdominoplasty (tummy tuck surgery) without getting scars. We wish there was! However, this advancement in surgery has unfortunately not been developed yet.
Therefore, the best scar you can hope for after a tummy tuck will be apparent — but as flat and unpigmented as possible. When we say “unpigmented”, what we mean is: as close to your natural skin color as possible so that it blends in nicely. You want your scar to be flat as well, so that it also blends in naturally with the contours of your skin and isn’t lumpy, bumpy, or noticeable.
For some men, if these goals are achieved, there’s little we can do to further improve the appearance of your scar. Again, you’re going to have some sort of scar after any kind of invasive surgery that requires incisions.
On the other hand, if your tummy tuck scar has lumps or bumps, or if it’s highly pigmented, raised, or hard, there may be some things we can do to help you improve its appearance. Of course, ideally, you will implement some of our tips right after surgery and as your scar is healing so that you can avoid problems with your scar down the line.
What Should a Tummy Tuck Scar Look Like?
The best-healed tummy tuck scar will be flat, smooth, pliable, and the same color as the skin around it. While it will still be slightly noticeable, it will be hard to see and won’t cause any comfort problems for the patient.
Where exactly your tummy tuck scar is located (and how many scars you have) will depend on what type of abdominoplasty you underwent.
Types of Tummy Tucks
There are several different types of tummy tucks and resulting scar patterns.
The most common abdominoplasty procedure is called the full tummy tuck. This procedure requires an incision along the bikini line (from hip to hip) and another incision within the belly button. The abdominal muscles are tightened, unwanted excess skin is removed, and the incisions are closed up. Belly button incisions are not noticeable after surgery. Your lower abdominal scar may be noticeable to an extent, but it will almost always be covered by your underwear, pants, or bathing suit.
Some patients may require an extended tummy tuck for more significant loose skin. The lower abdominal scar will be longer for this surgery — often extending beyond the hips and around toward the back of the abdomen.
Fleur-de-lis tummy tucks require a naval incision, a lower abdominal incision, and another incision that extends from the belly button down to the abdominal incision.
How to Get Rid of a Tummy Tuck Scar
Here are some tips for treating tummy tuck scars during your recovery period as well as after healing has taken place — if the results of your scar are unideal.
Use massage: After a few weeks, once your scar is healed, you can utilize massage to help your scar lay flatter and to reduce adhesions in the scar tissue, which may cause lumps and bumps. Massage can also be used in the months and years following surgery.
Try silicone: Silicone-based scar treatments have been proven to be the most effective at reducing the appearance of scars. Silicone sheets and gels are available.
Don’t expose your scars to the sun: A surefire way to get a more noticeable scar is to expose your incision sites to the sun or tanning beds. UV rays make scars more pigmented.
Avoid tension during recovery: Exercising too soon or stretching your abdominal area too much (especially in the weeks directly after surgery) can strain your incision sites and make your scars more noticeable.
Consider steroid injections: When scars have healed badly — no matter the reason — steroid injections may help to smooth the skin and get rid of lumps and bumps. Speak to a board-certified plastic surgeon if you would like to pursue this option.
Is Tummy Tuck Worth the Scar?
For most male patients, yes, tummy tuck surgery is worth the scar. If you weigh the pros and cons, getting tummy tuck surgery means no more loose skin around your abdomen, tightened abdominal muscles, more comfort in your clothes, more comfort when exercising and moving about in your daily life, and a long list of other benefits.
FAQs: Male Tummy Tuck Recovery and Scars
Is tummy tuck good for men with loose skin?
Yes, tummy tuck surgery can remove loose skin on the stomach and fix separated abdominal muscles.
Where can I see male tummy tuck before and after photos?
Navigate to our before and after male tummy tuck photos section on our main tummy tuck page. There, you’ll find results from past male and female patients.
What is the recovery time for a male tummy tuck?
After a tummy tuck, the recovery period is usually around four to six weeks. Most patients take between 10 to 20 days off work or school. Full results will be visible after six to twelve months.
What does a male tummy tuck cost?
The baseline cost of male tummy tuck surgery is generally upwards of $9,500.
Is a male tummy tuck worth it?
If you have loose skin on your abdomen, a tummy tuck is the only way to get rid of that skin. Even with the most vigorous workout routine and strict diet, surgery is necessary for reducing loose, stretched out skin.
Schedule Your Consultation With Dr. Schulman
Do you have a male tummy tuck scar that’s been bothering you? While there’s no way to completely eradicate the appearance of a scar after abdominoplasty, there are steps we can take to help reduce your scar’s appearance and ideally, flatten it out and remove lumps and bumps.
Call today to schedule your consultation appointment with board-certified NYC plastic surgeon Dr. Matthew Schulman.