I have had two children and have tried every cream, microdermabrasion, and chemical peels to help reduce my stretch marks and discoloration on my stomach. I was trying to avoid a tummy tuck but it seems that thats all thats left i haven't tried. I guess my question is... Seeing that I am a small framed person with not a whole lot of excess skin and fat would i still have to get that awefully large scar from hip bone to hip bone? or could it be some what similar to a C-section scar, you know, below the bikini line? and can i have another child afterwards?
Can I Avoid Large Tummy Tuck Scar from Hip Bone to Hip Bone?
Doctor Answers (17)
Avoiding large Tummy Tuck scars
We all have various approaches to the topic of abdominal tightening. I fully agree with the previous comment.
The goals of a tummy tuck should be :
- correcting muscle separation,
- removing as much lax, stretch marks covered skin,
- narrowing the waist (IE more of an hour glass figure),
- lifting any droopy genitalia to a youthful position and if possible
- smoothing any anterior thigh cellulite.
In so doing, in my opinion, the length of the incision and resulting scar length would depend on the amount of tummy skin overhang once the muscle repair was completed.
Wheneverr the Plastic surgeon limits himself / herself to a shorter scar (for example, a C section scar) DESPITE a longer overhang, the result is the dreaded dog ears on the sides.
In your case, it does not appear the scar will be too long. An easy way to estimate how long it NEEDS to be is for you to bend over sideways in front of a mirror and mark on either side where the skin is flat BEYOND the fold. That is usually how long the scar would need to be.
Hope this was helpful.
Lux1540 and LuxIR Deep can improve your stretch marks without surgery
You are small and thin and do not need a tummy tuck.
A tummy tuck will not remove the stretch marks around and above your belly button.
The new combined Lux1540 non-ablative laser with the LuxIR Deep skin tightening can signififcantly improve stretch marks without surgery (see reference below for discussion and before and after pictures of laser stretch mark removal).
Be careful and search around until you find a doctor who has experience with this new combined technique using both the laser and the Infrared skin tightening devices made by Palomar Medical.
Hybrid tummy tuck for short scar tummy tuck
It is possible to do a C-section type scar and completely tighten the fascia in patients who do not need a lot of skin removed.
The belly button is not touched; all the work is done from a C-section type incision. If there is an existing C-section, this is usually revised and made even at the time of surgery.
This procedure requires special instrumentation including endoscopic tools.
This procedure is called the Hybrid tummy tuck (R).
The best candidates are usually fit moms who have limited their weight gains during pregnancy.
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Tummy tuck versus liposuction
Based on your picture, you would need a large incision to remove the tissue from between your belly button and your pubis. There is no way around that. You may want to consider liposuction or Smartlipo MPX first which may help flatten your abdomen better than you think. However, if removing stretch marks is what you are looking for, then you may want to opt for the abdominoplasty. Good luck.
Tummy tuck and stretch marks.
I don't recommend a tummy tuck. You will have a scar, and not all of the stretch marks can be removed, because you don't have that much loose skin. So it is not a good trade off. And you should certainly not have a tummy tuck if you might have another baby.
You have localized fat around your belly button. So your stomach can be made flatter with simple, scarless liposuction. You might consider this, even though it does not address the stretch marks. You would look better and it is benign.
Tummy tucks are best performed after you're done having kids
While it is certainly possible to have a child after a tummy tuck, I would not recommend it- you would almost certainly require a second procedure after the pregnancy. Instead, wait until you're done starting a family, and then you can have one procedure that should last many years.
In terms of the incision, it all depends on how much skin you have. If there is just a small amount located centrally, then a smaller inciison tummy tuck, or a mini-abdominoplasty, is certainly an option, but this really can't be determined without a good exam by a plastic surgeon. In the end, you want the best result, and in some cases that means a slightly longer scar.
Sit down and check the laxity!
Lots of people with even lots of laxity look good standing up straight.
But what counts is how you look sitting down. How wide is the laxity that you want removed? The improvement can only be at most as wide as the width of your scar.
There is no magic. Patients all want a "mini-tuck." But in a situation where laxity extends far widely, mini-tucks deliver a mini-result.
Without examining you, I can't tell what would be right for you. Contact an ASAPS member and find out.
If you pln to have another child ,hold off tummy tuck
You have a lot of stretch marks and it extends above the belly button. The extend of the incision will depen on the amount of excess skin and the quality of skin. Please do not limit your options by the length of the scar. Your board certified plastic surgeon can show you similar patient's before and after . Please get more than one consultation before you make up your mind.
If you want to find out the exact length of the incision, please sit in front of a mirror and look at the folds of skin and how far the skin fold exends over the hip bone. The end pont of the folds are the end of the skin incision.
Non-surgical options for improving abdomen (belly) after childbirth
Desptie all the claims of creams, lotions/potions and IPL/lasers, I have yet to see an intervention that successfully eliminates stretch marks. Red marks may be lightened via the use of Retin-A or lasers, but mature stretch marks are very resistant to any treatment.
It does appear that you have relatively little excess skin but it does appear that you have some muscle laxity.
The use of various skin tightening techniques have included Velasmooth, Alma Accent, Titan, and Thermage. You may want to look into one of these modalities to tighten the skin but it is not likely you will see any significant improvement. Muscle repair can be done via limkited incisions but should not be perfomred if you are considering having more children. In the meantime, I would recommend abdominal core strengthening using a Pilates style regimen.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.