By Kahlil Andrews MD
Stretch marks, also known as striae, are an unfortunate result of pregnancy and weight gain. The marks may resemble a cottage cheese appearance, or they may appear as red, purple or white lines across the abdomen, buttocks and hips. Women looking for a cosmetic procedure to eliminate unsightly stretch marks may consider a tummy tuck for this purpose. But
is a tummy tuck the best way to get rid of stretch marks?
A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that removes excess fat and skin from the abdominal area. Structures underneath the skin are also tightened for a smoother, natural appearance. A tummy tuck is commonly requested by women in the middle years who have found pregnancy has stretched their abdomen beyond its original state.
A tummy tuck is often performed on an outpatient basis, under general anesthesia. Most patients who undergo this procedure are able to return to work and other regular activities within 3-4 weeks. Exercise may be resumed approximately one month after surgery. Final results can usually be seen within 6-12 months, once the body has fully recovered from the procedure.
Another option for patients wishing to achieve a firmer, flatter abdomen is a mini tummy tuck. This procedure is less invasive than a full tummy tuck, with a smaller incisions and less recovery time afterward. A mini tummy tuck primarily focuses on reducing the “pouch” that sometimes appears in the lower abdominal area. It is not very effective in removing stretch marks or a significant amount of sagging skin.
During a tummy tuck, skin below the navel is typically removed. If your stretch marks appear in this area, they are usually removed or greatly minimized. In some cases, women have stretch marks above the navel. These are not usually impacted by a tummy tuck. However, this skin might be moved to the lower part of the abdomen during the procedure. If that is the case, stretch marks will be hidden in the lower part of the abdomen so they are no longer as noticeable.
Stretch marks are an indication of dermal scarring, which does not go away without treatment. A full tummy tuck can remove a significant amount of stretch marks located below the navel for a smoother, sleeker appearance. For more information on how a tummy tuck can help you say goodbye to unsightly stretch marks, contact Dr. Andrews Plastic Surgery today.