Ask a doctor

Tummy Tuck 6 wks ago, last 2 wks I've noticed dark red stretch marks appearing. hy do I have these, and will they ever go away?

The first four week after surgery I didn't notice any stretch marks at all. Right now I put coco butter on day and night. WThanks very much.

Doctor Answers 10

Tummy Tuck and Stretch Marks

It is very unusual for patients to develop stretch marks after a tummy tuck. Most often stretch marks on the abdomen after a tummy tuck are from prior to surgery, but perhaps became more noticeable once the skin was stretched and tightened. Only stretch marks below the belly button can be removed with a tummy tuck in the area where the excess skin is removed. 

Have a question? Ask a doctor

Stretch marks can worsen


The stretch marks that you are seeing were probably there before your surgery. The swelling and inflammation caused by the surgery sometimes causes residual stretch marks to redden and swell as well. They become more visible when this happens. They should lighten again over time. Good luck!

Stretch marks in the upper abdomen cannot be removed with an abdominoplasty.

To Tummy_08,

Typically, only the stretch marks below the belly button can be removed. The others are pulled tight and can become less noticeable.

Unfortunately, I don't believe there are any great treatments for residual streth marks.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Stretch marks and tummy tucks

A tummy tuck will effectively remove most stretch marks from the level of your belly button to your pubic area. Any stretch marks higher or above your belly button will typically remain, however they will be in a lower position once the procedure is completed. I have not seen new stretch marks created due to a tummy tuck procedure.

If you have new red stretch marks,you can try Mederma or a silicone based scar cream such as Kelo-cote or Hybrisil.

Follow up with your plastic surgeon for a more detailed physical exam and evaluation.

Best wishes,


William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 162 reviews

Stretch marks are not caused by tummy tucks (abdominopasty).

I have never seen a stretch mark caused by an abdominoplasty.  Many are removed when they are below the navel and some might be moved somewhat, but never created (in my experience).  There is no non-surgical treatment for stretch marks so don't waste your money.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Treat stretch marks early for best results

It is unusual to have stretch marks after a tummy tuck, but if it does occur, it is important to start treating it right away. There is a prescription medicine that can be used called Retin A. It can be used twice a day to improve the color and the way the stretch marks look. This should not be used if you are pregnant or nursing. 

Also the V beam laser can improve the appearance of the red stretch marks. 

Usha Rajagopal, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Stretch marks after tummy tuck

While I suppose stretch marks can occur after a tummy tuck, I do not recall ever seeing them. More than likely you had them before and the tummy tuck just brought them into easier view.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Stretch Marks AFTER Tummy Tuck - VERY Unlikely

Stretch Marks would be more accurately termed - Stretch Cracks. In fact, they are not marks or smudges of the skin but full thickness cracks in the skin layers (dermis) caused by rapid excessive stretching of the skin.

I have NEVER seen stretch marks caused by a Tummy Tuck. In this operation, the muscles are brought back to the midline and "taken in" while the overlying skin is trimmed of any excess. The skin is NOT pulled tightly because doing so would would certainly disrupt the wound.

In my opinion, you most likely are seeing stretch marks which were present before surgery but are now found in a new location. You can easily very this by asking to look at your BEFORE pictures.

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Stretch marks after tummy tuck

Tummy tucks are an extremely popular and effective way to contour the abdomen. Patients especially love losing the stretch marks below the belly button. Patients should also have to say a significant recovery process. You will see your final result in approximately 6 to 8 months after the surgery. For the first month or so, you will have some significant swelling. As your swelling is now resolving, you may notice some of your stretch marks. Rest assured that this is not your final result. At this time, you should be patient as your abdomen will continue to change for the next 5 to 6 months. At that time reevaluate your result. Many of our patients who felt that their stretch marks were noticeable at the beginning of the healing process were very satisfied at the end.
To learn more about tummy tucks, see photos, and help you decide which one is best for you, please visit us at the link below:

Pat Pazmino, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Stretch marks after abdominoplasty

It is very unusual that you are forming stretch marks from surgery.

It is more likely that you are visualizing pre existing striae that become more visible from increased blood supply during the healing process.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

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.