Can a tummy tuck help get rid of stretch marks?

Would a tummy tuck be an effective way to remove stretch marks on my stomach? Getting a full tummy tuck would mean that I would have a big scar on my stomach though, right? I guess a single scar would look better than what my current stretch marks look like. Thanks for the advice.

IYolande

F, 36, California

You may have tried some of the countless creams and visited websites that tout miraculous reductions in stretch marks. Generally these don't work. And, unfortunately, the longer you have had stretch marks, the harder it is to get rid of them.

Not all stretch marks can be eliminated with a tummy tuck or mini tummy tuck. The tummy tuck will remove some stretch marks, tighten your abdominal muscles and remove excess skin that is typical after weight loss or pregnancy. Overall, it will improve your abdominal contour. However, the skin between your navel and pubic area is what is usually removed. If your stretch marks are beyond that area, the tummy tuck procedure will not eliminate them.

As with many surgical procedures, there will be scarring. With a tummy tuck the scarring will be in the area of your lower abdomen (bikini line). To set realistic expectations about and to prepare for this procedure, consult with several board-certified plastic surgeons to find out what you’ll need to do before surgery, as well as what you can expect with regard to your healing and recovery and when you can expect to return to your normal daily activities.

The answer is that it varies depending on the individual and the severity and location of the stretch marks. Stretch marks are generally the result of weight gain/weight loss, pregnancy, etc., and a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is performed to remove skin tissue from the lower abdomen, essentially firming up the area. While a tummy tuck may eliminate some stretch marks, there’s no guarantee that it will remove all of them, especially those above the belly button.

To start, allow yourself time to shop around and consult with as many plastic surgeons as you feel is necessary. Ask to see before and after photos of other patients who’ve undergone the procedures that you are considering for yourself-- tummy tuck or abdominoplasty. Once you find the board-certified surgeon whose recommendations for treating the stretch marks make the most sense to you, you can discuss all of your options and know that the choice you make will be an informed one.

A tummy tuck would only potentially get rid of stretch marks that are below your belly button.  Stretch marks above your belly button would be pulled down and stretch further.  Although this does not remove the stretch marks, it could improve the appearance of them as they will become more taut.  However, this is not always the case and any improvement with these stretch marks cannot be predicted.