Abdominal surgery is performed for a variety of reasons. From emergency procedures to elective operations, the reasons for a surgeon to access the abdominal cavity are as varied as the surgeries themselves. A common concern after abdominal surgery is scar tissue. Since the belly is an area that is exposed when bathing, swimming or during other activities, patients hope for minimum scarring. This article will give you some tips on how to treat scar tissue after abdominal surgery.
Check with the Doctor
With the advice of your doctor, ask if you can begin to treat your incision right away. Many doctors do not want you to use Neosporin or other goopy ointments on the incision until the staples or sutures come out, as these ointments create a moist environment for infection to take hold. As much as you want to avoid scarring, it is even more important to avoid infection, so hold off on any skin treatments until your doctor has cleared you for it. If, on the other hand, the incisions are small, your doctor may well give you the okay to begin right away. Just make sure you check before you begin.
Ointments and Oils
There are literally hundreds of treatments for scar tissue. Neosporin has been clinically proven to reduce the appearance of smaller scars, but is not so effective on large incisions. Rubbing vitamin E into the scar twice a day can help. Aloe vera gel, infused with vitamin E and other nutrients or just straight from the plant has been shown to have excellent healing properties. The idea behind most of these treatments is to keep the tissue moist and supple as it heals, which will allow the skin to close normally and to minimize the appearance of any scar tissue that tries to form. The trick is to keep the scar tissue just moist enough, but not so moist it breeds bacteria. Infection is the last thing you want. It is not worth it. Better to have a huge abdominal scar than to develop a deadly internal abdominal infection.
Massage and Protect
Another effective treatment for scar tissue is regular massage. Scar tissue is actually ridges of hardened skin that has formed behind a scab. If you can break up this tissue as it forms and continue to break it down slowly over time, it can reduce the appearance of the scar. It can be quite uncomfortable to massage scar tissue that is still healing, so be prepared. You also must be very aware of sunlight. The healing tissue is especially vulnerable to UV rays and you should use sunscreen on the scar whenever you expose it to sunlight. By using these methods, you may not be able to totally prevent scar tissue from forming but you can certainly minimize its appearance and sometimes even prevent it from becoming as large or unsightly as it might have otherwise.