Tummy Tuck for Stretch Marks Without Vertical Incision?

I am considering a Tummy Tuck. I have lost about 60 lbs and want to lose a further 30 lbs. I have many stretch marks that extend all the way up about 4-5 inches above my belly button.

I really don't want to get the Tummy Tuck that leaves a vertical scar so I was wondering what I can expect with regards to getting rid of the stretch marks and loose skin with a tummy tuck that leaves a horizontal low scar. Is it possible to get rid of all the stretch marks or at least the majority? Thanks.

Doctor Answers 11

Will a tummy tuck get rid of all of my stretch marks???

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Your stretch marks above the belly button will most likely be present after your tummy tuck.  They will be transported lower and encompass the skin from the scar to the site of your new belly button.  There is some potential with lasers and or microneedling that can improve the skin quality in this region, but the stretch marks will never completely go away.

Vertical incision tummy tuck required for high stretch marks above the belly button

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Thank you for your question. A personal exam and consultation is always best.

That said usually a vertical tummy tuck scar is required to remove stretch marks above the belly button. You might consider 1540 laser treatments for the stretch marks above your belly button after having a standard tummy tuck or abdominoplasty incision.

Be sure to consult a plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, experienced in your procedure, and who has an excellent reputation in your community.

Tummy tuck for stretch marks - avoiding a vertical scar

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I think you would get a satisfactory result with a standard abdominoplasty and diastasis recti repair. The skin will be removed in an elliptical pattern from the umbilicus to a point just above the pubic bone. IF you have excess skin in the transverse direction above the umbilicus you should not expect to be totally tight above the umbilicus.   The stretch marks above the umbilicus will look better when the skin is stretched tight but the will not be removed just lowered down.   There is always a possibility of making a bad scar but attention to detail and using standard plastic surgical techniques can keep this to a minimum.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

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Tummy tucks and stretch marks

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In general, it is impossible to remove all of the stretch marks with a tummy tuck, in particular if they extend above your belly button. But the ones up to the level of the belly button are usually removed during the procedure. It's hard to know exactly what you can expect in terms of results without examining you, but I think this is a reasonable guess. One other thought I have is that if you are planning on losing another 30 lbs., lose that first and then have the procedure-- this will give you the best results.

Good luck!

Dr. S

Shahram Salemy, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 155 reviews

Tummy tuck for stretch marks WITHOUT vertical incision

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Is it possible to get rid of all the stretch marks WITHOUT vertical incision?


Is it possible to get rid of the majority of the stretch marks WITHOUT vertical incision?


Normally, we hide the scar within the confines of your favorite style of panties. The higher the incision, the more stretch marks will be taken off. In the vast majority of cases, we remove from the loose skin from pubic mound to the belly button and sometimes 1-3 finger breadths above WITHOUT needing to place a vertical scar.

The vertical scar (T scar or Fleur de lis pattern) is done in massive weight loss patients to literally taper and take in the excess skin axially. We are more apt to do it in people who already have a vertical abdominal scar or those who will not be having a lower body lift and have a large skin and fat trunk excess.

You need not worry about it.

I hope this was helpful.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon


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In general, most of the stretchmarks are between the umbilicus and pubis.  This is the area of skin and fat we remove, so most of the stretch marks are removed also.  It is also generally true that the remaining marks are pulled down and look better because they are under tension.


Getting rid of stretch marks with a tummy tuck

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Most of the time, the only stretch marks removed are the ones below the belly button. In order to get rid of the ones above, a "reverse" abdominoplasty can be done at a separate time. This involves an incision underneath the breasts to pull the skin up. Any stretch marks in this area will also be removed. Also, if you're planning on losing 30 more pounds and the excess skin now isn't too bad wait until your weight is stable for 3 months after losing all of your weight. Otherwise, you may get more sagging skin. Good luck!

Stretch marks

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This is a common question and situation that often arises. There are several factors that determine if a verticle scar would be needed. These include:

1) is there a c-section or other abdominal scar already?

2) how much extra skin do you have now?

3) how low do you want your scar?

Only a consultation with a plastic surgeon will help you answer these and explain your options to you. An abdominoplasty is a great operation but needs to be tailored to the individual. Even if a verticle scar is used, this scar usually heals very well as there is almost no tension on the scar edges. In some cases, avoiding the verticle scar may make the transverse scar worse in quality due to excessive tension. Ask your surgeon to explain the pro's and con's of each to you.

Good luck and congrats on your weight loss.

Dean Fardo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Excision of stretch marks

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If your priority is to get rid of stretch marks, then your surgeon needs to look at the location of the stretch marks and the quality and quantity of the remaining good skin to see how the excision and closure can be planned. Usually, the higher the stretch marks go, the higher the resulting scar needs to be so there is a trade-off between leaving some stretch marks behind and lowering the scar so it can be hidden.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Tummy Tuck without Vertical Scar

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It sounds as if you are good candidate for a full TT which does not involve a vertical incision. The stretch marks below your belly button should be removed and those above will probably be translocated below your new belly button. You should obtain a consultation from a Board-certified Plastic Surgeon.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

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.