Scarring and Weight Loss Surgery

When you hear the phrase “weight loss surgery,” the image that may come to mind may look like this:

However, this isn’t the case. Dr. Nguyen uses minimally-invasive techniques referred to as laparoscopic techniques. This involves using tiny incisions that are only around 1cm in length to perform the surgery versus a single, large incision (approximately 6 inches) that will scar heavily. The actual result is this:

There are several topical options to reduce the appearance of scarring after having a weight loss surgery such as a sleeve gastrectomy. These include:

  1. Vitamin E: Its antioxidants help repair the damage to the skin caused by scars.
  2. Cocoa butter: Although it can not make scars disappear, it can minimize their appearance. Palmer’s makes several Cocoa butter based products.
  3. Vaseline: The brand name for petroleum jelly, Vaseline creates a barrier on the skin’s surface which protects skin as it heals by locking in moisture. This helps the appearance of scars.
  4. Aquaphor: This helps to prevent the thick scabbing that results in scarring.


Don’t pick at your scab that forms as your incisions heal, no matter how itchy it is. If you experience severe itchiness, you can be prescribed a steroid cream or antihistamine.

Laser treatments are also available to reduce a scar’s appearance, however these are not covered by insurance as they are considered to be cosmetic treatments.

Are you considered weight loss surgery but felt deterred due to the preconceived notion of issues such as scarring? While there may be minimal scarring as a result from a weight loss procedure such as a sleeve gastrectomy, but benefits are life saving. To learn more about the surgical and non-surgical solutions available with Dr. Nguyen at Lifetime Surgical, call our office for your initial consultation: 408-358-1855