What to Expect: Scars Left Behind from Plastic Surgery

By Ramsey J. Choucair, M.D.

One of the questions I am asked frequently is with regard to what kind of scarring many of the plastic surgery procedures produce on the way to getting the nice improvements from the surgery. Although most patients agree that the pros outweigh the cons, I wanted to offer realistic advice about what scars you can expect from different procedures.

Tummy Tuck: Incisions or scars are often evaluated based on how much improvement the patient gets from the surgery. For instance, a tummy tuck scar while usually a narrow thin line underneath the bathing suit line or underwear line will always be present — a well-hidden and meticulously sutured incision area most certainly yields a lifestyle that benefits from a flat tummy even though there is a scar. Patients and I almost unanimously agree that a loose, bulging, flabby stomach without a scar is less desirable than a flat tight smooth abdominal area with a scar.

Eye Lift: Incisions in the upper eyelid or even the lower eyelid are usually hardly noticeable. They typically heal very thin and inconspicuous and the benefit of the eyelid lift is so dramatic that even a small thin line is worth the scar.

Facelift: Incisions can be hidden very nicely along the ears and along the hairline behind the ears so that a loose, heavy neck or significant prominent jowls can be eliminated and the small well-executed and placed scars are well worth the benefit.