Study Shows Bandage Reduces Scarring after Tummy Tuck Surgery

scarring after plastic surgeryCosmetic surgery sometimes leaves you with an unwanted reminder of the procedure — a scar. Now a newly developed bandage shows promise for reducing scarring after tummy tuck surgery based on study results of a small group of patients.

Published in the Annals of Surgery, 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.

Plastic surgeon 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 created 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. For example, Gurtner reported there is interest in it from orthopedic surgeons who perform knee replacements.

Scar Reduction Options

Options for reducing scars include:

  • Topical treatments, such as gels, tapes or external compression, which can help in wound closure and healing.
  • Injectable treatments, which can be used to fill depressed or concave scars.
  • Surface treatments, which can reduce uneven pigmentation and soften surface irregularities; options include dermabrasion, laser resurfacing, chemical peels and skin bleaching agents.