Category Archives: Tummy Tuck

Is a Tummy Tuck Scar Covered by a Bikini and Underwear?

iStock_000000177225SmallIt goes without saying that any woman considering a tummy tuck in Tampa is concerned about the resultant scar. Dr. Traci Temmen’s patients routinely ask, “how long will my tummy tuck scar be,” and “how low will my tummy tuck scar be?” But in reality, what most patients really want to know is, “will my tummy tuck scar be covered by a bikini and normal underwear?”

While it is impossible to speak for all plastic surgeons, or all patients for that matter, leading plastic surgeon in Tampa, Dr. Temmen, describes here a normal postoperative tummy tuck scar in her practice at the Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa.

Question: How long is a typical tummy tuck scar?

Dr. Temmen: For a normal-sized patient, with a BMI less than 30, my tummy tuck scars are usually ten to twelve inches long. For most patients, this tummy tuck scar is approximately one inch longer, on either side, than a C-section scar. By many standards, a tummy tuck scar of this length, similar to the length of a C-section scar, is the same length as a mini tummy tuck scar. I rarely extend a tummy tuck beyond the points of the hipbones and never extend a tummy tuck scar around the sides or back of a patient.

Question: How low is a typical tummy tuck scar?

Dr. Temmen: I generally place my tummy tuck scars five to seven centimeters, or two to three inches, above the top of the vaginal lips in the midline. Laterally, the C-section scar extends slightly superiorly, but almost never extends above the level of the hipbones. If a patient has had a previous C-section, I am usually able to place their tummy tuck scar at or slightly below their old C-section scar and then remove the C-section scar during the tummy tuck surgery.

Question: Is a tummy tuck scar covered by a bikini or underwear?

Dr. Temmen: For most patients, the resultant tummy tuck scar will be covered by bikini bottoms and/or normal underwear. Very thin patients, with relatively little excess abdominal skin, may have a tummy tuck scar that is slightly higher than normal and may be at least partially visible, particularly in the midline, in a standard bikini bottom or underwear. I can usually predict which patients will have a higher or longer tummy tuck scar than usual and forewarn these patients ahead of time.

Question: How long does it take a tummy tuck scar to heal?

Dr. Temmen: In general, it takes two to three months before a tummy tuck scar will be 80-90% as strong as the surrounding skin. The healing and appearance of a tummy tuck scar proceeds in a cyclical fashion. Initially, the scar will appear as a fine, fresh line. After several weeks, the scar becomes red, hard, and raised. Then after six months to one year, a tummy tuck scar will become softer, flatter, and will appear as a fine, white line. Because it takes so long to see the final appearance of a tummy tuck scar, most plastic surgeons recommend waiting at least six months to one year before considering any type of tummy tuck scar revision.

Question: What can I do to prevent or minimize my tummy tuck scar?

Dr. Temmen: Unfortunately, anytime a patient undergoes cosmetic surgery, there will be a scar. As a plastic surgeon, I try to make each tummy tuck scar as short, thin, and hidden as possible. To try to minimize the appearance of a tummy tuck scar, I recommend that my patients avoid sun exposure to their scar for one year. Sun exposure can cause scars to become darker and more noticeable.

Question: Are there any creams or ointments that can help my tummy tuck scar heal better?

Dr. Temmen: There isn’t one magic cream or “potion” that has been proven to make scars heal better or faster. If there were, everyone would use it. With that said, for patients that want to try a topical treatment for their tummy tuck scar, I usually recommend a silicone-based ointment. Topical silicone agents have been shown to decrease the appearance and soften all types of scars, not just tummy tuck scars. To learn more about all of the cosmetic surgery procedures Dr. Traci Temmen, a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon performs we encourage you to visit her website or contact her today: 813-877-2277

How Long Should You Wait to Have a Tummy Tuck After Pregnancy?

Babies are wonderful and beautiful…but stretch marks and loose, saggy abdominal skin are not! Whether they admit it or not, every new (and not so new) mother is anxious about getting her “pre-baby body” back. This concern over recovering from pregnancy and the birth of a child has many women asking Dr. Traci Temmen, “How long should I wait to have a tummy tuck after pregnancy?”

Mom with Child

Abdominal Wall Changes During Pregnancy:


Everyone knows that abdominal skin stretches during pregnancy. However, in actuality, all layers of the uterus, abdominal wall, and skin stretch during pregnancy to accommodate the growing baby. The uterus, which is usually the size of closed fist, increases to the size of a large watermelon at the time of a term pregnancy. The abdominal wall muscles, particularly the rectus abdominis muscles (a.k.a. the “six-pack” muscles) and the connective tissue between the two muscles, stretch in a vertical as well as horizontal direction making them thinner, longer, farther apart, and weaker at the time of delivery. Finally, the abdominal wall skin (and occasionally the skin of the back, flanks, buttocks, and thighs) stretches rapidly and circumferentially, which sometimes results in stretch marks and/or a loss of skin elasticity.


Abdominal Wall Recovery After Pregnancy and Delivery:


Immediately after delivery of a baby, many women are disappointed to discover that they still look six months pregnant. This is due to many factors. It takes at least six to twelve weeks for the uterus to shrink to its original size after the birth of a child. An enlarged uterus is a major contributor to the immediate post-baby belly “pooch.” It takes even longer, between six and twelve months, for the abdominal muscles to strengthen, tighten, and return to their original position. Unfortunately, while the rectus abdominis muscles generally strengthen over time, it is not uncommon for the thick, dense fascia between the lower rectus abdominis muscle to stay thinned and separated. Abdominal fascia lacks the ability to recoil the same way as muscle after significant stretching and trauma. This area of weakened rectus muscle fascia, usually below the belly button, is called a rectus diasthesis if greater than two fingerbreadths can be felt separating the two rectus muscles after the birth of a baby. Rectus diasthesis is a major contributor to a long-term “mommy tummy” and one of the most common indications for a tummy tuck in post-partum women. Finally, similar to the rectus muscles, the abdominal skin also needs between six and twelve months to contract. Unfortunately, while stretch marks will not disappear, they do fade and lighten over time. Stretch marks that are initially wide, deep, and bright red or purple, will become light, thin, and shallow within several months to two years.


When to Have a Tummy Tuck After Pregnancy:


Because it takes at least six to twelve months for all the soft tissues of the pelvis and abdominal wall to contract and recoil as much as possible, Dr. Traci Temmen tells all her patients at the Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa to wait at least six months after the birth of a child before proceeding with tummy tuck surgery. This six to twelve month time period also allows time to lose the “baby weight,” ensuring the flattest, tightest post-operative belly possible. If a tummy tuck is performed before the soft tissues and skin of the abdomen have had time to contract and recover from pregnancy, the abdominal skin will be loose and patients may have a lower abdominal bulge once contraction is complete.   This, obviously, is not the ideal result and defeats the purpose of performing a tummy tuck in the first place!


Tummy Tuck Immediately After A C-Section:


Not only does it not result in an effective tightening of the abdominal skin and soft tissues (as described above), but performing a tummy tuck immediately following a Cesarean-section is dangerous and potentially life threatening. In the initial postpartum period, women are at an increased risk for blood clots in the legs and/or lungs. Any type of surgery, particularly an intra-abdominal surgery like a Section-section or a tummy tuck, significantly increases this risk of blood clots and/or death. For this reason, Dr. Temmen (and most other reputable plastic surgeons) would never perform a tummy tuck surgery immediately following a C-section or vaginal delivery of a baby.


For more information on the prevention and treatment of stretch marks, please see Dr. Traci Temmen’s blog from April 2015 titled: Here’s the Skinny on Pregnancy Stretch Marks.


For more information on scheduling a tummy tuck surgery after the birth of a child, or to schedule a free tummy tuck or mommy makeover consultation, please call Dr. Temmen today at 813-877-2277.


Is Counting Calories Really All We Need to Get a Flatter Stomach?


Mostly every healthy adult contemplates what they put in their body, as well as how much of it. When it comes to eating for successful weight loss we know that not every diet was created equally. However, a recent study shows that popular diet trends that instruct to eat small but frequently throughout the day are not able to achieve effective weight loss results. We know that dieting plays a major role whenever patients desire a flat and toned stomach, so we always encourage healthy nutrition and fitness, especially potential tummy tuck patients. With hopes to inspire you to achieve your slimming stomach goals we will discuss the best options to help you get there.

Settle On a Goal

If you decide to go on a diet, juice cleanses or weight loss plan, you should think about the reasons why you are going to put your body through it. Are you trying to lose weight? Do you feel you are lacking energy? Do you want a flatter stomach? Eliminating meals, adding meals or juice cleanses are probably not the best option to initiate weight loss or increase metabolism. It is best that you settle on counting calories to achieve the desired weight you want to be.

Research presented to the Society for Endocrinology suggests that counting calories is all that should matter when it comes to losing weight, for men and women. Most diet experts claim that eating small meals but constantly throughout the day is what overweight adults should follow, but researchers from the University of Warwick found this method ineffective to lose weight.

Their study consisted of 24 lean and obese women who were given two or five meals on separate days, eating the same number of calories each day. Their energy expenditure was also monitored using whole body monitor calorimeters, and results found that regardless of the number of meals they had, obese and lean women burned the same number of calories per day.

However, those who ate more meals found higher levels of endotoxins, bacteria in the stomach from low level inflammation after consuming a high fat meal. This type of inflammation has been linked to the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Researchers concluded that the size and frequency of a meal does not affect the amount of calories burned a day, and those who were overweight exacerbate their risk of metabolic diseases by eating more meals per day which introduced more endotoxins in blood circulation.

How Many Calories Should I Consume?

The number of calories people should consume per day varies around the world, but calorie counting should take place especially if you are overweight. If you are at a healthy weight, males should consume 2,700 calories per day and females 2,200 calories per day. However, those who embark on a weight loss plan should use up more calories than consumed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention measures one pound to be equivalent to 3,500 calories, and by reducing caloric intake you can influence weight loss. Setting a goal of reducing 500 to 1,000 calories on total calories consumed per day encourages the person to lose one to two pounds per week. However, calories must always be counted to ensure you do not go over your daily limit.

If your mission is to lose weight and get a flatter tummy then talk to Dr. Traci Temmen to determine what you need to do to get there. Eating small meals and constantly throughout the day may no longer be the norm, but counting calories is here to stay. If you are within reach of your weight loss goal then consult with Dr. Temmen to find out if you can benefit from a tummy tuck to get a flatter and tighter stomach.

Trim and Slim In Time for Your Christmas Party

Every year, around this time, men and women find themselves questioning their figure. Did you really try to keep active and shed some fat in the past 12 months? Some of you are thinking, yes I sure did! You look and feel better, but you are one more dress size away from achieving your goal. With the help of a detailed diet, exercise regime and tummy tuck procedure you can successfully trim and tighten your belly into that sexy, slim dress for the holidays.

When it comes to toning and weight loss we understand that one size does not fit all. We aim for more results week by week, but at the end of the year the holidays bring on unsurmounting stress, stacks of bills and workloads to the ceiling. Who has time to keep to their exercise program and diet? Well there are simple steps to take to manage both.

Don’t Starve, Fuel Up

Many of us try and starve ourselves or refrain from breakfast or dinner, these are not recommended in any balanced diet. The best solution is to fuel up with healthy meals and moderate food intake.

There are also multiple fat loss foods that help boost metabolism and burn fat, while eliminating toxins. Experiment with some of these fat burners:

  • Greek yogurt

  • Cinnamon

  • Green tea

  • Apples and Berries

  • Coconut oil

  • Eggs

Eggs are filled with protein, good fats and contain less than 80 calories. The Journal of American College of Nutrition reported that people who had eggs for breakfast cut their daily food intake by up to 415 calories. This keeps you fuller longer and have less of a need to snack throughout the day.

Stay Active at the Gym or Home

The end of the year is approaching quickly, so it is time to pump up your workouts. You do not need to spend hours at the gym. The fastest way to blast fat is through high intensity interval training (HIIT). Many routines are available online, and can be done at home in just 20 to 30 minutes. HIIT programs combine plyometrics, strengthening and flexibility. No matter what fitness level the person is in, there are many variations of moves suitable for you.

Trim the Last Bit of Fat

Many of our bodies do not respond too well to diet and exercise, especially if our normal diet consisted of burgers and pizza. However, after committing to an intense training program and diet, the last bit of fat remaining on your belly can be eliminated swiftly with a tummy tuck.

Men and women alike always feel upset when they fail to get toned six-pack abs, well that last layer of flab does not stand a chance with Tampa, Florida’s board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Traci Temmen. When you complement your routine of healthy eating and exercising with a tummy tuck, the stubborn fat sagging from your belly is removed in a single procedure. Many of her clients successfully keep their toned figure with her long-lasting methods of fat removal, now you can too! Schedule your consultation with Traci Temmen and fit into that sexy dress just in time for Christmas.