Pictures of tummy tuck scars taken over time showing the healing process and the time required for scars to fade. They are shown at time intervals of 3 days, 1 week, 2 weeks, 2 months, 3 months and 1 year after surgery was performed.

Scars associated with plastic surgery are a fact of life  (see all pictures) and just something you have to live with. Applying a topical steroid cream for a few days following surgery can significantly fade scars. If done consistently for about 6 weeks, they will fade faster and become much less noticeable. I had initially planned to use fading creams that are available, but the cost was too expensive to cover so many of them. I stuck with the antibiotic ointment for the weeks following surgery. See 10 Ways to Make Scars Fade Faster.

Tummy Tuck Scar Revisions

Some patients become unhappy with the appearance of their resulting scars from their operation and go back to their surgeon for a revision. A scar revision is an additional surgery performed to improve or reduce the appearance of scars. It may also restore function and correct disfigurement caused by a wound, injury, or prior surgery.

Scars Update

It has been about 17 months since I had my operation. I still have noticeable scars on my belly, both my sides and my back side. The tummy tuck portion of my operation appears to have healed the best. The scars at this stage are barely noticeable. You really have to look closely to see them. The scars associated with my lateral thigh lift portion of my surgery are still extremely noticeable and look like they will always be that way. If you’re concerned about this type of thing, plan on always wearing a t-shirt when you go to the beach. The scars around my scars look a little peculiar. On one side they have faded nicely and you can hardly see them. On the other side I still have a thick red scar. It looks like that one will be there forever.

Questions (FAQs)

  1. Does a Tummy Tuck leave scars?
    Yes. Most, if not all surgical incisions leave scars. The severity depend on your health, how fast you heal, the surgical technique used, the type of operation as well as many other factors.
  2. How long do Tummy Tuck scars last?
    They may last up to two years. For those with serious scars other options may include laser scar removal, scar revisions or other surgical techniques. Generally Tummy Tuck scars appear dark and thick for the few weeks to a few months then start fading over the following months. Most grow lighter with time and may take up to a year to flatten out and lighten in color where they may almost fade away completely.
  3. Where are Tummy Tuck scars located?
    The surgeon takes particular care to make incisions below the line of swimsuits or underwear so they will be hidden from sight.
  4. What can be done to reduce Tummy Tuck scars?
    Applying a topical steroid cream for a few days following surgery can significantly reduce scars. If done consistently for about 6 weeks, they will fade faster and become much less noticeable.
  5. How do you treat scars?
    Different treatment procedures work better with different types.

  6. What makes hypertrophic scars different than atrophic?
    These types of scars often grow larger than the original wound area or incision area.

  7. What Is A Scar?
    A scar is fibrous tissue that replaces normal tissue during the healing process. The fibrous tissue (or scar tissue) that remains after the healing process is competed is usually inferior to the original tissue (skin) and has less function and possibly different color.

  8. How Do You Get Rid Of A Scar?
    You can never get rid of it completely, however, there are a number of things that you can do to minimize, reduce or fade it. Your degree of success will depend on the wound, your health, your ability to heal and your dedication to treatment and aftercare of the wound and scar area. Your best remedy for getting rid of scars will likely require a trip to the dermatologist.

Types of Scars

There are many different types of scars. They are defined by their appearance, shape and location and can occur on all parts of the body. The three main types of scars are atrophic, hypertrophic and keloid scars, but there are others.

  1. Atrophic – Depressed scar that forms a valley or sunken recess in the skin.
  2. Hypertrophic – These types of scars typically are thickened raised red scars on the skin that do not extend beyond the boundary of the incision or injury area.
  3. Keloid (Keloidal) – These types of scars are elevated and protrude from the skin and extend beyond the boundaries of the original incision or injury. This may affect mobility and may continue to grow into a large tumor or abnormal mass of tissue.
  4. Contracture – These types are typically scars resulting from burns. They may impair mobility and tighten the skin and affect muscles and nerves.
  5. Acne – Scars produced from acne ranging in appearance from deep pits in the skin to those that have a wavelike appearance.
  6. Surgical – Permanent scars resulting from surgical incisions. These types of scars seem to heal the best because of the precise alignment of the skin edges and lack of tension on the wound.

Feedback Messages


Sent: September 04, 2010
Subject: Tummy Tuck Scars, Incision and Sunlight

My surgery was done in July 6 2010. Is it safe to be expose in the sun already.

Response – Vanessa,

It sounds like you are in that grey area with regard to exposing your tummy tuck scars/incision area to sunlight.

The safest bet is to check with your own surgeon and follow his advise. He/she will be able to inspect your scars and evaluate the amount of healing that has taken place and advise you accordingly. After only two months, I would still be a little bit “chicken” and not willing to take the risk of permanently darkening my scars. I have included some information below that may be helpful to you, but I still think checking with your surgeon is the safest move.

Tummy Tuck Incisions, Scars and Sunlight – If you want your tummy tuck incision to heal with the least amount of noticeable scarring, then keep your incision area/scars out of direct sunlight. Sunlight may permanently darken scars and hinder the healing process of your skin.

How Long Should You Keep Tummy Tuck Incisions and Tummy Tuck Scars Out Of Direct Sunlight?
Tummy tuck surgeons have varied opinions.
– The most conservative surgeons recommend that you protect your scars and surgical incision areas from the sun for one year after surgery.
– Others surgeons think that 6 months is sufficient time to keep surgical scars covered or until the scars have matured well.
– Still others surgeons say to avoid direct exposure to sunlight for a minimum of 6 weeks after surgery, then use a sun block (at a minimum).

Sunlight Verses Tummy Tuck Surgical Scars
– Exposure to sunlight can permanently darken tummy tuck scars.
– Exposure to sunlight can hinder the healing process.
– Never get a sunburn on your incision area.
– Healing skin is particularly sensitive to ultraviolet rays of the sun and can sunburn more easily than the surrounding healthy skin.
– Ultraviolet rays of the sun can reach your scars through a bathing suit and light clothing. Be extra careful in sunny weather. Wear a strong sun block when out in sunny weather.

Good luck,