Tummy tuck, laser stretch marks removal or both? (Photo)

I had a baby 2 month ago and even though i will begin to work out and let my body do it's own healing i got a lot of stretch marks. I have been tretinoin for stretch marks for a week and feel like there is some progress , my treatment continues for 7 more weeks . What type of treatment will have the best results? I am 5'2 115 lb and 21 years old. I gained 32 lb but before baby i was weighting 98lb so i'm happy at my actual weight , i just want to feel confident in my body again

Doctor Answers 8

You may be a good tummy tuck candidate, butit may not remove stretch marks.

It sounds like you have a very realistic plan for getting your pre-baby body back, which is great. If a tummy tuck is something you’d like to consider to restore the tightness of your abdominal skin and muscle, it’s best to reach your target weight first through diet and exercise for maximum results. But if you’re considering a tummy tuck for the sole purpose of removing stretch marks, this may not be the best option. Only stretch marks located on the skin that is excised during a tummy tuck will be removed. I suggest consulting a board-certified plastic surgeon to an idea of what your best options might be. Good luck!  

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Give it time and congrats!

First off, congratulations on the baby!  He or she is going to be the very fulfillment of your life on Earth, and I want to wish you many, many years of happy parenting.  Also, enjoy every moment of parenting, even the dirty diapers and shoulder accidents.  The years go very, very quickly, and there WILL be a day in the  not-too-distant future when you will miss the diaper changes and naps with Baby!

At 21 years of age and only 2 months post partum, the skin of your abdomen and pelvis are still quite resilient, and a good amount of that excess skin will contract and the stretch marks improve.  Tretinoin definitely helps.  Laser therapy would also likely help. The one thing I would caution you about though is the safety of tretinoin if you are still breast feeding.  Please ask your obstetrician and pediatrician about this.

If after a year, your stretch marks are still bothering you, you would be an excellent candidate for a tummy tuck.  But this is obviously an invasive procedure, and it will leave you with a permeant scar that extends a good ways across your abdomen-pelvis (below the panty line).

Before spending a lot on stretch mark treatments

its strongly suggested you get some kind of warranty that the technology used WILL make an obvious improvement so you're not stuck with an empty bag at the end of the treatment.

As for tummy tuck, that s certainty in helping you achieve your goals... but I would approach you differently in that yes, a full tuck with muscle repair is needed but I would suggest releasing your belly button (because it isn't that attractive) and have a reconstruction of a dimple later with better scarring than what happens when your old belly button is brought up through a hole in your skin.  And if you have any hints of a belly button hernia, this will allow for its repair at the same time.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Full tummy tuck with muscle reconstruction

Based on these photographs you appear to be an excellent candidate for a full tummy tuck with muscle reconstruction. This will flatten the muscles, reconstruct your core muscular corset, revise the belly button, eliminate the stretch marks from the belly button to the pubic hairline, and remove the loose skin and fat of the anterior abdomen.

Tummy tuck, laser stretch marks removal or both?

Dear Sleepykitti

As you will see with all responses, the best way to manage your abdominal stretch marks is to proceed with a tummy tuck once you have decided you will not have more pregnancies. At that point, you can have a tummy tuck. Lasers can improve pigmentation in stretch marks but cant remove the actual stretch mark on the abdomen.

Afshin Parhiscar, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Tummy tuck, laser stretch marks removal or both?

I hope you don't get talked into something that raises your hopes and lowers your bank account with no good results. There is no cream, lotion, laser or any other type of treatment yet discovered that will take away your stretch marks. They are scars within the skin and the only way to take them away is to take away the skin, ie a tummy tuck. Not everyone wants a tummy tuck and that's just a choice, but I can't even tell you how many patients I have seen over the years that tell of spending thousands of dollars in the false hope, sold to them, that some nonsurgical treatment will be of value. It will not. 

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Tummy tuck, laser stretch marks removal or both?

The lower stretch marks will be removed with a tummy tuck and the upper ones brought to a lower position where they will be less obvious. While there are many nonsurgical procedures that are claimed to get rid of stretch marks, most ethical knowledgeable plastic surgeons will tell you that they have limited if any benefit, are unreliable, and not a satisfactory option in your particular situation.

If you are planning to have additional children, it is best to delay having a tummy tuck until you are finished with your pregnancies
Keep in mind that following advice from a surgeon on this or any other website who proposes to tell you what to do based on two dimensional photos without examining you, physically feeling your tissue, assessing your desired outcome, taking a full medical history and discussing the pros and cons of each operative procedure would not be in your best surgery. I would suggest that you find a surgeon certified by the American Board of American Plastic Surgery and one who is ideally a member of The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) that you trust and are comfortable with. You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person.

Robert Singer, M.D., FACS

La Jolla, California

Robert Singer, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Tummy tuck candidate and stretch marks


Thank you for your question. A tummy tuck will remove the stretch marks below the belly button and bring the stretch marks above the belly button down.Your photos suggest that you could benefit from a tummy tuck but its best you see a board certified plastic surgeon for a proper assessment and to discuss all of your concerns.

Best regards

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 414 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.