Abdominoplasty, commonly known as a tummy tuck, is a procedure to tone, tighten, and generally improve the shape and look of your stomach. During a tummy tuck, a horizontal incision is made in order to remove loose or sagging skin and fat from the tummy area. Tummy tucks are effective when it comes to removing any unwanted loose skin from significant weight loss, or after pregnancy.
Following your tummy tuck, you will need around 4-6 weeks off of work and you must postpone any exercise until you recover. You will also not be able to drive for a few weeks after the surgery. It can also take some time before you can see the results of the tummy tuck. Since a tummy tuck is a major surgical procedure, it really does require a lot of rest and recovery time.
Since a tummy tuck is a surgical procedure, the results can tend to leave a scar. The width of the incision depends on whether you have undergone a full or partial tummy tuck. A partial tummy tuck will require a minor incision across your lower stomach, but a full tummy tuck requires a slightly longer incision. Most patients get a tummy tuck in order to improve the appearance of their stomach, there are often concerns about the scar healing properly, and the appearance of the scarring, especially when wearing a bikini.
It’s important to wait until your incision is completely healed, and all swelling has gone down before exposing the area to direct sunlight, or to water. Once you are fully recovered, it should be okay to wear a two-piece bathing suit, however you must be very careful when exposing a new scar to sunlight and be sure to cover the area with proper sunscreen. Sun exposure can make scarring more visible. After a year, your scar should have faded enough to be hardly visible, as long as you’ve taken good care of it. Ask your surgeon to recommend a cream or other treatment (such as Vitamin E) to aid in healing.
As far as visibility goes, most tummy tuck scars are low enough to be covered up by the average bikini. Scars around the belly button however, may be harder to cover up. Perhaps a bathing suit cover or sheer wrap around beach scar would help and still look great. If you’re partial to high waisted bikinis, or don’t mind some scar visibility, then this shouldn’t be an issue, but it’s really important that you communicate with your surgeon prior to your surgery so that you know what to expect.