There are several steps patients can take to minimize the appearance of a hysterectomy scar. For patients who are preparing for a hysterectomy, it is important to talk to the surgeon about the options for the incision, as it may be possible to receive a scarless hysterectomy or to place the incision in a less noticeable place. Patients with existing scars have a range of options available to make their scars less noticeable.
If a hysterectomy is recommended, patients may want to express their concerns about scarring. For some procedures, it is possible to perform a laparoscopic hysterectomy, where surgical instruments are inserted through the navel and the uterus is removed vaginally. This will leave no visible scarring in addition to having a shorter recovery time. If it is necessary to make an abdominal incision, the doctor may be able to place it at the bikini line, where it will be less visible.
After a hysterectomy, following the directions for wound care will reduce the formation of scarring. Once the surface wound is healed, patients can pursue options like specialized bandages designed to break down and minimize scar tissue, along with massage. Massaging a hysterectomy scar will break down the collagen inside, making it appear smaller. Any cream or oil can be used during massage, although products with ingredients like vitamin E can have more skin benefits and may help minimize a hysterectomy scar even further.
The earlier people start treatments to minimize a scar, the more successful they will be, as scar formation continues during the healing process. People with old scars are not out of options, though. There are skin resurfacing procedures that can be performed to remove upper layers of scar tissue. Paired with massage of the site after the procedure, these can minimize the appearance of a scar. A dermatologist can provide a consultation for patients interested in exploring this option. Very large and ugly scars can be candidates for scar revision surgery, where a surgeon will resurface the area. This surgery will still leave marks, but they will be less visible.
It's important to be aware that tanning around a hysterectomy scar will make the scar more visible, as scar tissue does not tan like neighboring skin. Tattooing over scars is also not generally recommended, although a creative design may integrate the scar and turn it into part of the artwork, making a patient feel more confident about a hysterectomy scar.