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Can A Tummy Tuck Reduce The Look Of Stretch Marks?

closeup of woman's stomach

There are many reasons why you may wish to have a tummy tuck procedure, also known as an abdominoplasty. Because a tummy tuck targets and removes excess skin and fat, this procedure can also reduce the appearance of stretch marks — but this depends on the location of the stretch marks on your abdomen.

What Is A Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)?

A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a type of cosmetic surgery that targets excess or loose skin around the abdomen, as well as stubborn fat around the stomach and hips that may not respond to lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise. Candidates for tummy tuck surgery may be those who have lost a substantial amount of weight and whose weight loss has resulted in excess skin; individuals who are having difficulty losing weight around their midsection; or those who are struggling to regain a tight, toned midsection following a pregnancy.

An abdominoplasty is performed under general anesthesia. During the procedure, your tummy tuck surgeon will lift the abdominal skin and repair any weakened abdominal muscles. Excess skin is then trimmed and stitched together, and also makes a new opening for the belly button. This must be done since the skin is tightened. Without the new opening, the belly button won’t be in a natural position.

What Are Stretch Marks?

A stretch mark is a type of scar formed when the skin stretches or shrinks quickly. It often looks like streaks on the skin. Stretch marks can result from rapid weight gain or loss or dramatic changes such as pregnancy. They can appear anywhere on the body where dramatic weight gain or loss or a rapid change in muscle mass has occurred, but they are most commonly seen on the abdomen, breasts, buttocks, and thighs.

What Causes Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks are caused not only by a dramatic change in body weight and shape but also by an increase in cortisone. A family history of stretch marks can also increase your likelihood of developing them, as can some adrenal gland disorders such as Cushing’s syndrome, Marfan’s syndrome, and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

Is There A Way To Prevent Stretch Marks?

Avoiding rapid weight fluctuations is the best way to prevent the occurrence of stretch marks, but this is not always possible. The skin stretching experienced by pregnant women, for instance, is unavoidable. Those who are experiencing rapid weight fluctuations and body changes, like pregnant women, should ensure they remain hydrated and apply moisturizer to help prevent the collagen damage that results in stretch marks.

Will A Tummy Tuck Help Get Rid Of Stretch Marks?

closeup of woman's stomach after tummy tuck

A tummy tuck can help eliminate or reduce the appearance of stretch marks, but this will depend on the location of the stretch marks on your body. Generally, if stretch marks appear below the navel, they are reduced or eliminated by a tummy tuck surgery. But if stretch marks appear above the navel, their appearance may not be impacted by this type of surgery.

How Tummy Tuck Removes Stretch Marks

During a tummy tuck, a surgeon removes excess skin and fat from the abdominal region. Some stretch mark removal often occurs during this procedure because the stretch marks are located on the excess skin that is removed. However, a tummy tuck will not remove stretch marks outside that area.

For example, stretch marks on your hips will remain after your procedure. If stretch marks are partially located within the treatment area, they will not be removed entirely. Some stretch marks may be moved or lowered during surgery as well.

Eliminating stretch marks is usually not the main purpose of tummy tuck surgery. However, patients who desire the aesthetic and potentially functional benefits of a tummy tuck may experience a decrease in stretch marks as an additional benefit.

Patients concerned about scars should be aware that tummy tuck surgery, like other surgeries, creates scars. However, the main scar is often positioned under the bikini line and may be hidden under underwear or a bathing suit.

If you undergo a full tummy tuck, you will also have a scar around the belly button. Scars typically fade with time, and their appearance is often improved with consistent topical scar care. Many people feel that a well-positioned scar looks better than the often extensive stretch marks that are removed with the excess skin.

Will a Tummy Tuck Remove Stretch Marks Above the Belly Button?

A tummy tuck mainly removes excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen, which can lead to the removal of stretch marks in that area. However, this procedure does not remove stretch marks above the belly button. Instead, as the skin is tightened, these stretch marks may be repositioned lower on the abdomen and might become less noticeable. It’s important to note that while a tummy tuck can improve the abdomen’s appearance and reduce stretch marks below the belly button, it is not specifically designed to eliminate stretch marks above the treatment area.

What Are Some Other Benefits Of A Tummy Tuck?

Even though a tummy tuck may not totally help with stretch mark removal, there are several benefits to this type of cosmetic surgery:

  • A tummy tuck eliminates loose skin and stubborn fat around the abdominal area.
  • It restores weakened or separated muscles, resulting in a tighter tummy, a smoother shape, and a slimmer profile.
  • Individuals who opt for a tummy tuck surgery will experience heightened self-confidence due to the elimination of excess skin and fat, which can often be embarrassing, and as a result of a more pleasing, symmetrical, smoother silhouette.
  • Individuals who have given birth may consider a tummy tuck procedure as part of a “mommy makeover” after their pregnancy. A mommy makeover may include a tummy tuck, as well as a breast augmentation or breast lift, and liposuction.
  • A tummy tuck procedure can have medical benefits in addition to aesthetic ones. By repairing abdominal muscles that may have become weakened or separated, tummy tuck patients may experience improved posture and a reduction in back pain.
  • Tummy tucks can also help relieve urinary incontinence, particularly among those who have recently given birth.

You can also read more about the differences between tummy tuck and liposuction procedures in our detailed blog post.

Is There A Way To Get Rid Of Stretch Marks Without Surgery?

Retinoid creams help rebuild the collagen in your skin and may help reduce the appearance of stretch marks, especially if they are relatively new. Glycolic acid creams and peels may also effectively reduce or remove stretch marks, as can laser treatments that stimulate collagen or elastin production.

Why Choose SpaMedica For Your Tummy Tuck?

Dr. Bell has been in practice for over two decades and personally performs or oversees all of the best tummy tucks in Toronto at SpaMedica. From your initial consultation to your post-surgery recovery, you can be assured that you are in experienced, qualified, capable hands.

Dr. Thomas Bell | SpaMedica

by Dr. Thomas Bell

Dr. Tom Bell, with over 25 years of practice experience dedicated to cosmetic plastic surgery, pioneered Avenue Road and Yorkville as Toronto’s Beverly Hills of plastic surgery with his first surgical center in Yorkville’s Avenue road corridor back in 1986. Named as Canada’s best plastic surgeon by W magazine and one of the world’s best, Dr. Bell returns home to join the SpaMedica Plastic Surgery team as the reigning King of Plastic Surgery.
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