Stretch marks form on the abdomen when the middle layer of the skin’s connective tissue is stretched past its elasticity limits. This stretching is caused by the skin expanding rapidly due to pregnancy or weight gain. Fast growth causes the middle layer of the skin to tear and expose the additional layers of skin. Some stretch marks may fade over time, but giving birth or losing weight does not guarantee their disappearance. An option to remove them is through tummy tuck for stretch marks.
Benefits of Tummy Tuck for Stretch Marks
Abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck, may be a permanent solution to remove unwanted stretch marks on the abdomen when diet and exercise are unable to eliminate stretch marks or disproportioned skin. This procedure can restore the appearance of the stomach to appear more flat by removing excess skin and by tightening abdominal muscles, which also includes removing stretch marks. With proper diet and exercise, the results can last many years.
Ideal candidates for tummy tuck for stretch marks would be individuals who’ve reached their weight loss goals and are in good overall health, with no plans of present or future pregnancies. Smokers will be asked to stop smoking for at least one month before and after surgery. The extensiveness of the procedure depends on where the fat and stretch marks are located. Full tummy tucks for stretch marks would benefit someone with fat and stretch marks on the entire abdomen versus a mini tummy tuck, which would benefit someone who has excess skin and stretch marks from the belly button below. A tummy tuck for stretch marks is accompanied by liposuction to assist in achieving the desired contouring of the waist line.
On the day of the procedure, local or general anesthesia will be administered depending upon the doctor’s recommendation. A horizontal incision will be made directly above the pubic area, which will be the length of a person’s bikini line and a secondary incision will be made around the perimeter of the naval. These incisions will allow the skin to be lifted up to pull the muscles together and stitch them into place. The skin is then stretched back over the abdomen and a new hole will be created for the naval, removing any excess fat that hangs over the naval area. The skin is then stitched back into place and drainage tubes may be placed in the abdomen to allow excess fluid to drain appropriately. This procedure may take between two and six hours.
Recovery, Side Effects & Costs
A compression garment will be needed to reduce swelling and increase comfort, as it binds the abdomen to promote healing. The drainage tubes and stitches will normally be removed within two weeks. Pain, swelling and bruising is to be expected. Patients will need to avoid high-impact activity for several weeks. Side effects experienced from tummy tucks for stretch marks include scarring and skin numbness. Patients who’ve had prior surgeries on the stomach such as laparoscopy or C-sections may notice their scars are more noticeable. Less common complications include blood clots and infection. The average cost of a tummy tuck for stretch marks is between $7,000 – $10,000.
Alternatives to a tummy tuck for stretch marks may be liposuction and other laser skin treatments, but the results are not as substantial as a tummy tuck procedure.