How visible is the panniculectomy scar?
The scar is going to be humongous, from what I've seen. This wouldn't be a problem if it started fading with time. How much can it fade though? Will it still be very visible in, let's say, 5 years?
I'm going to be completely honest, the scars that remain from a panniculectomy surgery are not small. My horizontal incision is easily hidden because it's below the bikini line. The vertical incision, not so much. I didn't really mind having any of these scars. I'm really not hiding any part of the fact that I was once obese and needed to have the excess skin removed after weight loss. I can say the scar tissue has faded over time. I also used cream to help diminish the look of the scars. I can say that it's been three months since my surgery and my scars look much better. If the scars really bother you, you may want to consider a scar revision treatment.
You definitely shouldn’t worry about the scars. Mine went away with cocoa shea butter every day for a year. They are small and barely recognizable now. I have dieted and exercised a lot since my surgery as well. My panniculectomy surgery was performed by a really experienced plastic surgeon, which I think helped a lot as well. If your doctor has to perform multiple surgeries to remove the fat and skin, then you have more scarring. That was what I was afraid of, but my doctor was really good about talking me through the whole procedure. If you’re concerned about scars with your belly button or something like that, it doesn’t even involve your belly button at all. My tummy looked exactly the same except for the fold of the skin. There were some small incision scars that are barely visible now.
I think if you talked to your surgeon about the scarring, he can show you before and after photos as well as ways to diminish the incision scars after the procedure. In my case, they really weren’t a factor in getting the surgery. I just wanted a flatter tummy and had gone through a couple of c-sections. The folds of skin were removed instantly. I’ve been able to keep my tummy now for five years through exercise. My doctor talked to me about tightening my core and what exercises to do so that I would decrease my tummy size even more. Ask me any questions though! I don’t mind talking about my tummy at all.
Unlike liposuction, which does not result in heavy scarring, a panniculectomy can result in a noticeably deep scar post operation, but this is to be expected with such a serious and invasive surgical procedure. While you can use creams like mederma to try and lessen the severity of the scarring, it will still take a lot of time to heal. Ideally, you should allow your scars 18 months to deal before becoming overly eager about a tummy tuck, for example. You can't heal from a surgery this extensive overnight, so this will require a level of patience you may not be used to. You don't have to let this affect the way you go about your lifestyle, though. You can always opt out of plans to go to the beach and your friends who truly support you will understand completely. It's not easy to have a large smiley face scar on your tummy.
My clothes hide my panniculectomy scar. While I have a visible scar that runs from hip to hip, the procedure removed the fat and skin that hung in front of my privates and made it difficult for me to stay clean and gave me back pain. I look significantly better in my clothes, and I have lost more weight since the surgery because I can exercise now and move around more freely. I can hide the scar, but I couldn't hide my obesity. If you take care of your skin during the healing process, the scar tissue, will be less obvious.
There are a few cosmetic procedures that can added to the panniculectomy treatment to get better results and to improve the scar. I have a friend that had a tummy tuck after the panniculectomy to reposition her belly button and improve the appearance of the scar, but I'm satisfied with my results, and my scar is hidden with most swimwear.