Bandage Shows Promise for Reducing Scarring after Tummy Tuck

In addition to a smaller stomach, abdominoplasty leaves you with something you may not appreciate — a scar.  Now, a new bandage developed by a plastic surgeon could reduce scarring after tummy tuck surgery, according to study results of a small group of patients.

The results showed a statistically significant difference in the ratings of the scars by both plastic surgeons and lay people between the treatment and the control group, with the treatment group getting better ratings for scar appearance.

Dr. Geoffrey C. Gurtner, who developed the bandage, said, “In none of the cases was the treated scar worse than the control scar, which I think is different than some of the biologic agents we’ve seen over the last few years.”

Gurtner and his colleagues developed the bandage so that it isolates the wound from the movement of the skin around it. One reason scars form is that skin movement around the incision pulls at the new skin tissue that is growing as the wound heals, causing the scar tissue to thicken and spread out.

The incision is covered by the bandage, which is held on by adhesive strips that run parallel to the wound. Gurtner said that they transfer the stress of movement away from where the skin is growing back together.

The bandage could be used for more than just scars from cosmetic surgery. Gurtner reported there is interest in it from orthopedic surgeons who perform knee replacements.

Reducing Scarring after Surgery

There are a variety of ways to reduce scarring after cosmetic surgery. Surface treatments can reduce uneven pigmentation and soften surface irregularities, and options include dermabrasion, laser resurfacing, chemical peels and skin bleaching agents. Topical treatments, such as gels, tapes or external compression, can help in wound closure and healing, while injectable treatments can be used to fill depressed or concave scars.

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Dr. Michael J. Will cosmetic surgeon Maryland received his bachelor’s degree from Washington and Jefferson College, his dental degree from Georgetown University and his medical degree from the University of Texas.

He completed his General Surgery and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery training at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Will also completed a General Cosmetic Surgery fellowship at the Cosmetic Surgery Center in Little Rock, Arkansas.

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