Stretch marks are the nightmare of every woman. They are off-colour hued scar-like streaks or stripes that mar skin in different areas of the body: breasts, arms, buttocks, tights, and tummy. Stretch marks form due to microfractures of the collagen which makes skin less elastic and stretchy, and they appear during pregnancy, puberty or due to sudden weight gain. They may diminish with time, but unfortunately, they will not disappear completely, even though there are many products claiming that they will get rid of them, i.e. oils, creams and laser treatments. The results are not always long-lasting. While many women undergo tummy tuck procedure to enhance their body after giving birth, the question can tummy tuck reduce stretch marks is very popular during the surgical consultation.
Benefits of tummy tuck procedure
Generally, the patients undergoing tummy tuck seek to achieve one of the below:
- Removing excess of skin stretched due to pregnancy
- Repairing separated abdominal muscles causing the lower stomach to bulge
- Reducing the stretch marks
While the first two reasons are well-known, the reduction of stretch marks seems as an addition that many plastic surgeons tend to leave out, as the reduction of visible scarring requires great skills and patience.
Who is more prone to have the stretch marks?
Truth be told, anyone can have stretch marks – adolescents, pregnant women, bodybuilders or anybody who gains weight suddenly. The stretch marks form because of fractures in collagen when the skin stretches rapidly. Skin loses then the ability to shrink or contract and that leaves you with purplish vertical stripes which will turn whitish within next year or year and a half.
So is it possible to get rid of stretch marks with a tummy tuck? Yes, after tummy tuck procedure the excess of skin with the stretch marks will be removed, however, you must remember that the surgery will not remove them from the areas of the skin that are not cut out during the procedure.
If your stretch marks begin below your belly button, they will be removed during the procedure, but if they are above it, they will stay, however, they may be less visible after the tummy tuck though. It is because of the stretch and tightening of the remaining skin on your belly – the results will be very individual and they vary among the patients though.
Many patients are also concerned about additional scarring after the procedure. You must remember, that getting rid of the excess skins is a pretty invasive procedure and you will have a horizontal scar on your abdomen from hipbone to hipbone. The exact placement will be different among the patients, however, the scar will be quite pronounced, even if the surgeons usually try to make the incision low enough to hide the scar beneath the line of underwear.
Tummy tuck to hide stretch marks and reduce scars – how can it be done?
As with every surgical procedure, you are starting with the face-to-face consultations with your doctor. The surgeon will examine you thoroughly and discuss your goals, expectations, risks and complications of the procedure. To ensure safe abdominoplasty your doctor will explain all the steps of the tummy tuck including the post-op treatment to ensure quick recovery and good scar healing.
If the stretch marks removal is one of your main aims for the surgery, that can be achieved through careful surgical planning in most cases. The doctor will try to make the incision in the removed area of your tummy in such a way that will include the stretch marks and the scars you would like to get rid of.
What scars can I expect after the tummy tuck?
The biggest advantage of the tummy tuck is that your scar will be concealed by your clothing. To ensure that the scarring is minimal your surgeon can do one of the following:
- To minimize the size and appearance of the incision by applying various surgical techniques (as a mini tummy tuck or endoscopic tummy tuck – however, those are not always possible in all the cases and must be discussed with your surgeon)
- To make an incision which is concealed by the clothes
- To recommend some additional procedures which will smooth the skin after the scar has matured
Are you a good candidate for the tummy tuck?
If you are in good health and have loose skin around the abdomen and/or your abdominal muscles are lax due to pregnancy and/or you have stretch marks, you may start to think about the tummy tuck. The candidates should have stable weight – slim people with some extra fat and loose skin on the lower tummy are the best candidates, but if you are obese, this procedure is not appropriate for you, as you should lose extra kilos first. If you plan to have a baby or to lose some weight, you should also refrain from the tummy tuck. The most important thing though is to have realistic expectations about the procedure.
The surgery is performed under general anaesthesia, the incision is made on the lower abdomen to remove the excess skin and fat and the surgeon will tighten the fascia over the abdominal muscles. The scar will be on your lower abdomen and after the surgery, you will have to wear a supportive abdominal garment for about six weeks.
How to ensure good results?
First and foremost – choose your surgeon carefully. It should be a board-certified plastic surgeon with years of experience and many tummy tuck procedures done. You can always ask for a face-to-face consultation to discuss the surgery and make a plan for your case. The surgeon can show you the pictures of the former patients, so you know what you can expect.
If you are looking for a cheap tummy tuck, you should think about having your tummy tuck abroad. Considering undergoing this procedure, you should think about doing your tummy tuck in Poland and our advisers at Beauty Poland will be delighted to assist you with arranging your surgery and post-op stay.