Bariatric surgery is an excellent way to dramatically lose weight, stay active, feel mentally better, and prevent the risk of chronic health conditions, such as high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes, sleep apnea, and stroke.
Does bariatric surgery cause scars? How big is the scar? How do you make the scar disappear? Today’s article will answer these questions and give essential details to help you make the most of surgery. Read on!
Does Bariatric Surgery Leave a Scar?
The scar formation depends on the number of incisions a surgeon makes during the procedure. For instance, your scar will stay hidden inside the navel if the surgeon performs a single-incision bariatric surgery, such as a gastric sleeve.
So, it means the scar will have no visibility. On the other hand, laparoscopic bariatric surgery requiring the surgeon to make 4-5 incisions can lead to more minor scars with slight visibility.
The good news is that these scars will fade over time, making it challenging for others to notice. So, scarring is not a significant problem for people who undergo bariatric surgery.
How Big is the Scar from Bariatric Surgery?
Generally, a board-certified surgeon makes a total of five incisions. Three of these incisions are ¼ inch, one about ½ inch, and the other is ¾ inch. So, once your incisions/wounds have healed, you won’t notice significantly visible scars. Even if you notice scars, they will have smaller sizes and fade over time.
How Long do Scars take to Heal After Bariatric Surgery?
Once the wound starts to heat, the scars will begin to disappear. Scars after weight loss surgery remain visible for a few months. However, your scars will become invisible within 12 months and completely fade the following years after bariatric surgery.
How Do You Treat Bariatric Surgery Scars?
Although scars are not a substantial complication of bariatric surgery, if the surgeon has not performed the procedure optimally, you may develop visible scars once the wound starts to heal. The good news is that you can follow these tips/tricks to minimize the risks of scars.
Take Care of the Incisions
Take care of your incisions by gently washing them with soap and water. The purpose is to remove the crust. However, you must not soak or scrub the wound or use alcohol, iodine, and hydrogen peroxide for cleaning.
Otherwise, you will harm the healing tissues and slow down recovery. Always air-dry the incision site or use a clean towel for pat drying before reapplying the bandage or dressing.
Avoid Smoking and Alcohol
Smoking can negatively affect your immune system and prevent it from streamlining the healing process. It also prevents oxygenated and nutrient-rich blood from reaching the incision site, causing dehydration.
At the same time, nicotine is one of the most significant risk factors for wound site infections at the incision site. Smoking and alcohol delay the formation of healing tissues and increase the risk of scarring at the incision site.
Too much alcohol can inhibit bariatric scars from healing and contribute to liver scarring, a condition known as cirrhosis. So, if you want to avoid scarring and related complications, avoid smoking and alcohol.
Use Scar Remover Lotion
Scar remover lotions and creams work in various ways to heal the tissues. Your surgeon will prescribe you an ointment to reduce the appearance of bariatric scars. These lotions contain mild exfoliants that remove the skin’s top layer and eliminate dirt, dust, bacteria, and dead cells.
Wounds and scars need an optimal environment with balanced moisture levels to heal appropriately and reliably. However, not drinking enough water can slow healing and make the scars more visible.
Water is an essential component of blood and supplies nutrients and oxygen to the incision site. It helps cellular repair and speeds up healing to reduce the risks of scarring. So, you must drink at least 8-10 glasses of water.
What to Do Next?
Bariatric surgery has numerous complications, including scars. However, scars after bariatric surgery have less or no visibility if a qualified and board-certified surgeon performs the procedure.
Miami Lakes Cosmetics’ surgeons have years of experience and use evidence-based approaches to streamline the entire process while mitigating the postoperative or post-rehabilitation scar formation risks. Call us between 9 am and 5 pm, Monday to Friday!