American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals
 

What will your mommy makeover scars look like?


high-definition liposuction

Mommy makeover procedures continue to be a popular option for women who want to tone, tighten and reshape their bodies after pregnancy. There is no doubt that by combining procedures such as breast augmentation, breast lift, tummy tuck, liposuction and even certain facial procedures, a board-certified plastic surgeon can help you achieve a remarkably refreshed look.

One of the more common questions I get during mommy makeover consultations is where incisions will be placed and how noticeable scarring will be after surgery. I welcome this discussion because I believe it is an important part of each patient understanding what her body can look like after surgery.

All incisions create scars

Any time the surface of the skin is cut, the body triggers its natural wound healing and repair response. For most people, minor cuts, nicks and scratches often heal quickly with almost no visual trace. Larger cuts, surgical incisions or serious trauma will tend to leave more noticeable scarring as the body repairs itself.

We have not yet achieved a method to perform surgery in a way that leaves no scarring after surgical incisions heal. With that said, modern incision treatment and scar therapy can dramatically improve the appearance of scarring, and these are an important part of postsurgical care for all plastic surgery patients.

Incision placement

All board-certified plastic surgeons are trained in techniques to minimize the size of surgical incisions, and to place them in inconspicuous areas so that resultant scarring is minimized. Because a mommy makeover is a customized procedure, incision locations will vary from patient to patient. Broadly speaking, here is more detail on incision placement for the most common procedures included in a mommy makeover:

  • Tummy tuck scars: The incision for an abdominoplasty is generally placed from one hip to the other, so that your surgeon can access the abdominal anatomy and fully remove excess skin and tissue. A skilled plastic surgeon will place this incision as low as possible so that the resulting scar is hidden by underwear or a bikini bottom.
  • Liposuction scars: Liposuction only requires incisions small enough so that the surgeon can insert the device used to break up and remove fat cells, known as a cannula. When removing fat from the abdomen as part of a tummy tuck, the tummy tuck incision usually can be used, meaning there will be no additional scarring. However, if you are having liposuction in your hips, lower back, or other area, a few small incisions will be needed.
  • Breast enhancement scars: Most women having a mommy makeover seek to improve the appearance of their breasts, which usually have begun to droop and may have lost their perky shape. A breast lift is a common mommy makeover component, and it may be combined with breast implants to restore lost breast volume. In most cases, a breast lift incision will need to encircle the areola (the darker skin around the nipple) and extend downward to or into the breast crease. Breast implants can be placed within these same incisions.

This is of course a very broad overview of incision placement and possible scarring for a few of the most common mommy makeover procedures. Your plastic surgeon can give you a better sense of what to expect based on your specific anatomy and goals. It is reasonable to expect that your scars will fade over time, and they should be completely unnoticeable in a swimsuit or lingerie. The tradeoff for having an improved body contour and increased confidence is well worth it for practically all mommy makeover patients.

Caring for your incisions

In addition to the plastic surgeon's approach, there are things a patient can do after surgery to reduce the appearance of scars. Depending on the surgery, the patient and the surgeon's experience with different incision treatment methods, a patient may be directed to use one or more of these techniques after surgery:

  • Proper wound care involves gently and regularly cleaning fresh incisions, avoiding submerging incisions and applying scar cream. Vitamin E is a common component of these creams. It can help wounds heal faster and improve the texture of any resulting scar.
  • Some surgeons recommend silicone sheets, which are placed on top of incisions. These can help to flatten scars and change them to a more natural skin color, instead of the red or purple color common to fresh scars.
  • To help your body with its natural healing process, eat a healthy diet, avoid smoking and avoid exposing incisions or scars to the sun or UV light. All of these things help incisions heal faster and minimize the risk of scars becoming significantly lighter or darker than the surrounding skin.
  • Getting plenty of rest and minimizing strain on your incision sites will further help your body heal properly.

The good news is that with proper planning and care, scars can be minimized so that mommy makeover patients can focus on the many benefits of their surgery, including a restored appearance and increased self-confidence.


The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Logo

Surgeons In Your Area

Alex Mesbahi Headshot

Alex Mesbahi, MD

7601 Lewinsville Road Suite 400
McLean, VA 22102

(703) 287-8277

Fadi Nukta Headshot

Fadi Nukta, MD

20745 Williamsport Pl Suite 100
Ashburn, VA 20147

(703) 574-2588

Craig Dufresne Headshot

Craig Dufresne, MD

8501 Arlington Blvd. Suite 420
Fairfax, VA 22031

(703) 207-3065

Michael Brown Headshot

Michael Brown, MD

45155 Research Place Suite 125
Ashburn, VA 20147

(703) 726-1175

Haven Barlow Headshot

Haven Barlow, MD

8100 Boone Boulevard Suite 730
Vienna, VA 22182

(703) 448-3800

Reza Miraliakbari Headshot

Reza Miraliakbari, MD

8501 Arlington Boulevard Suite 310
Fairfax, VA 22031

(703) 645-0077

Jamal Yousefi Headshot

Jamal Yousefi, MD

502 Maple Avenue W.
Vienna, VA 22180

(703) 255-4922

George Weston Headshot

George Weston, MD

1825 Samuel Morse Drive
Reston, VA 20190-5317

(703) 893-6168

Logo

Patient Care Center