Laparoscopic bariatric surgery creates small incisions in the patient’s abdomen. Having the surgery with this method means your surgeon inserts the devices into the stomach through these small incisions. After the surgery, mini-surgical scars remain in certain parts of the people. Still, some people don’t like gastric sleeve scars and want them to fade away as soon as possible. In this article, I’ll talk about scars caused by the gastric sleeve and gastric band procedures, how to reduce them, how long does it take for them to disappear, and tips that’ll help your skin recover faster.
While scars after bariatric surgery are evident in the first months after surgery, they heal over time and what will be left of them is just some unclear spots. It is possible to minimize these scars with enough attention and proper treatments so that your skin recovery process escalates.
Gastric Sleeve Scars
During sleeve gastrectomy, your bariatric surgeon creates one to five incisions in the abdomen area in order to perform the procedure. The number of incisions will vary depending on the method your doctor prefers. The procedure is performed through the opened incisions.
Gastric sleeve scars are generally found in the abdomen because the area specified for sleeve gastrectomy is around the belly button of the abdomen.
Gastric sleeve surgery is performed laparoscopically. The procedure is performed in the area closest to the stomach, between the chest and the belly button. The exact location of the scars creates an elliptical appearance that starts from the navel.
Stomach Band Surgery Scars
When a gastric band procedure is done laparoscopically, patients have to deal with smaller wounds in comparison with other methods of obesity surgery. The incisions created for this surgery are as big as the keyhole and are created with special technology. If these wounds are closed and healed, there is almost no scar.
Fading Gastric Sleeve Scars
You can protect your skin and minimize the appearance of obesity surgery scars following some tips:
- Do not scratch your wounds, do not remove the crust and never interfere with your wound from the outside. Your skin will renew itself.
- Clean your wound regularly and keep it dry.
- Drink plenty of water so that your skin does not dry out.
- Always use a strong sunscreen for your wounds when you go out.
- Moisturize your wounds daily. Thus, your skin will be in a soft and flexible form.
- Smoking will affect your healing process. For this reason, you should definitely stay away from tobacco and tobacco products.
- You should avoid scar remover lotions. The content of these products are not suitable for the renewal process. On the contrary, it can negatively affect your wound.
Gastric Bypass Scars
Gastric bypass surgery is one of the types of weight-loss surgery that is performed with the laparoscopic method. For this reason, like every other weight loss surgery, gastric bypass leaves small scars after bariatric surgery.
Gastric Bypass Incisions (Incision) / Where is the incision made?
During gastric bypass procedure, again incisions are made in the area closest to the stomach, between the belly button and the chest. An average of 5 incisions will be made so that all devices can easily enter and the procedure is completed. The sizes of these incisions vary between 8 mm and 3 mm.
How Long Does It Take for the Wounds to Heal After Bariatric Surgery?
These wounds begin to heal within a few months. The significant point is how bariatric surgery patients take care of their wounds after the operation. Moistening and cleaning the wounds and not constantly touching the wounds accelerate this process.
After your wounds start to heal, the scars of your wounds will start to disappear. Scars after bariatric surgery are seen more clearly in the first months. However, within the first and second years after the operation, your scars will gradually become invisible.
Healing Scars After Bariatric Surgery
After the complete healing of your wounds, you can use moisturizers to make the scars disappear faster. Using daily moisturizers is the first step to fresh your skin. You can apply supplements by using collagen-containing creams. Also, each individual’s skin reacts in a different way to scars. Some people’s DNA is in a way that their scars fade away with no special treatment. If you’re like this, you’ve got nothing to worry about. However, if you find the scars annoying and the disappearing process too long, laser treatments help a lot.
Healing Tips from a Patient’s Perspective
I’ve asked some of my patients to share their experiences with gastric sleeve scars and added their stories to this section. This can be a good guide for you.
- Trust the time as it really helps your skin heal. After a year or two, you will realize how much of your scars have gone.
- Don’t waste excessive money on medicals or cosmetics. Even with long-term use, I did not notice a serious difference. My effort and money was wasted. Instead, I kept my skin moisturized by using certain herbal nourishing oil blends.
- Smoking is a huge mistake. Your doctor will ask you to stop smoking before the surgery. Don’t go back and get rid of this harmful addiction because it severely damages both your skin and your stomach.
- Be sure to follow your doctor’s recommendations and consult your doctor about everything. Opt for supervised treatments over random product use. My doctor suggested sesame oil and I really got positive results. They’re not as clear as a scratch and you can barely notice them.
- My scar is obvious like a nail tip, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that I’m healthy, I look beautiful and a small scar will not undermine my beauty. I was obese for many years, but now I’m fit and healthy.