There are some side effects and risks involved with surgery. One of the main concerns patients may have about undergoing a surgical procedure is scarring. Is there scarring involved with every surgery? Whether breast augmentation, liposuction, or tummy tuck surgery, any type of surgery that uses incisions will involve some scarring; however, incision lines are likely to fade over time. With the proper care, scarring can become less noticeable, if visible at all. Patients should follow all postoperative instructions provided by their doctor and practice healthy habits to help minimize scarring from incision lines.
How to Minimize Surgical Scarring
The extent of scarring and whether or not your scars will fade over time will depend on many factors, such as:
- Age: Every patient heals at their own pace; however, the older we get, the more likely our skin elasticity will weaken, making it thin and lax. Older patients might notice their skin isn’t as tight, which can inhibit their level of healing. A person’s age can significantly impact the severity of incision lines. You can discuss with your doctor how your age will affect your surgical scars.
- Sun exposure: The sun is a huge factor in the overall health of our skin. You should protect surgical scars from sun exposure by applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher daily. It is pivotal to shield incisions from the sun during the healing process, so staying indoors or in the shade is ideal.
- Diet: Sticking to healthy eating will keep the skin fresh and less susceptible to sagging and loss of elasticity. Patients should follow a well-balanced diet with an emphasis on protein intake. Protein helps to support the skin during healing.
- Smoking: Smoking can slow down the healing process. It is important that patients quit smoking at least two weeks before surgery and do not resume until two weeks after surgery.
- Drinking: Alcohol dehydrates the body and, therefore, the skin. During the healing process, patients should refrain from consuming alcohol and should only drink non-caffeinated beverages.
- Hydration: Staying hydrated is a fundamental component of maintaining overall health. Drinking plenty of water keeps the skin moisturized to aid in the healing process.
- Weight: Many people might not think about it, but a person’s weight significantly impacts how quickly their body recovers following surgery. The fat beneath the skin can work against the surgeon’s effectiveness in properly suturing incisions.
- Wound care: Following safe and proper wound care after surgery is critical for preventing infections. When an incision isn’t cared for attentively, it will not heal correctly, which could cause unwanted scarring.
Dr. Cohn is highly experienced and skilled in plastic surgery. He employs the latest surgery techniques to ensure less scarring and a safe surgical process. We offer recovery products that are recommended after surgery to promote better healing and to reduce the severity of surgical scars.
If you are interested in a surgical procedure, schedule your consultation with Dr. Cohn today! He is a board-certified plastic surgeon who can address all our your concerns about post-surgical scarring and healing. Contact us by calling (205) 930-1600 or by filling out our online contact form.