Is A TT or Laser Treatment Best For My Horrible Stretch Marks?

I'm 18 5ft tall and 118lbs. I recently had a baby 4 months ago and now I'm flabby and have horrible stretchmarks because I was very tiny and got Pupps when I was pregnant. Some doctors say nothing will help and others are almost positive they will. I want a tummy tuck, I think. Will they remove my stretchmarks if so how much? Whats the average price in Illinois? Would it be cheaper and/or better to go somewhere else? would laser possibly work for my stretchmarks? Do I have any other options?

Doctor Answers 16

Laser versus Tummy Tuck for Stretch Marks: Both!

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I have good experience using using Tummy Tuck followed by skin laser therapy to treat post pregnancy tummy and stretch marks.  

Laser treatment or tummy tuck for stretch marks.

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You will for sure need a tummy tuck.  Laser treatments (including Smart Lipo)  Can possibly lead to some skin contraction but will not help with stretch marks and will not give you anywhere near appropriate contraction.  A tummy tuck can probably get back close to your original belly albeit with a discreet scar that can likely be hidden under a bikini.

Kenneth L. Stein, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

The only way to remove stretch marks is to surgically remove them.

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Stretch marks are tears in the dermis that cannot be repaired by creams or lasers or anything for that matter.  The skin cantains them must be surgically removed to rid the patient of stretch marks.  Your pictures suggest you are a good candidate for an abdominoplasty.  Most or all of your strectch marks would be eliminated by that procedure

Tummy Tuck for Stretchmarks

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Pricing really depends on the surgeon, location and type of tummy tuck. Generally speaking, mini tummy tucks range from $6000 to $7000 while full tummy tuck are more, ranging from $8000 to $9000 in Toronto, ON.  

I generally recommend patients wait until about 6 months after giving birth or stopping breastfeeding before proceeding with surgery. Stretchmarks located below your belly button can be removed.

Tummy Tuck is the answer

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Nothing will get rid of all your stretch marks but a full tummy tuck would be the best choice for the problem you have. In a full tummy tuck all of the loose skin between the belly button and the pubic area would be removed with the accompanying stretch marks. Stretch marks above your belly button would persist but would be lower on your abdomen.  Additionally your abdominal muscles would be tightened. Laser surgery would be off no benefit.

Total costs in Indianapolis  would be $6500.








Richard Linderman, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon

Tummy Tuck will reduce stretch marks by removing excess skin

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Tummy Tuck will remove redundant skin on abdomen with stretch marks on removed skin. Rest of stretch marks will remain. There is no treatment for remaining scars. Lasers do not work and nothing else works for stretch marks either. 

Vasdev Rai, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Mommy makeover - abdominoplasty

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Your posted photos show wide deep stretchmarks extending above the belly button half way to the rib cage and hanging excess lower abdominal skin. The best way to address this a standard abdominoplasty. That will remove the lower abdominal stretchmarks and move those above the belly button lower so they can be hidden in your undergarments. You will not be able to remove 100% of your stretchmarks. There is no laser that exists that can remove or erase these stretchmarks.

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Abdominal stretch marks helped by tummy tuck, NOT by laser!

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There is no laser or any treatment that will make a significant improvement in your stretch marks. Even if there WAS, the loose and sagging skin would still be there! Can you imagine a flabby belly looking good even without your stretch marks?

As you probably know, you cannot "exercise" loose skin to smooth tautness. You can lose fat, but that only further "empties" your skin and increases the flabbiness.

Only a tummy tuck will have a beneficial effect here, and it will be significant! Not quite as good as pre-pregnancy form, but really nice. Click on the link for an example of one of my patients who underwent liposuction (elsewhere), and then came to me for the tummy tuck she really needed.

All of the stretch marks below the level of your umbilicus will be removed, and those above your umbilicus will be trans-located to your bathing suit area, so your mid and upper abdomen will be almost completely without stretch marks and flatter to boot, since your muscles are tightened with a tummy tuck (at least one performed by most ABPS-certified plastic surgeons). Yes, there is a long scar, but it is hidden by most bathing suits, and you can't hide the loose skin you presently have, stretch marks or not. Good luck and best wishes!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Tummy tuck a better option than laser for stretch marks

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Stretch marks after pregnancy are associated with loose skin, and other changes that are best taken care of with a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty.) Laser treatments can help fade stretch marks that are red but can't remove them and won't tighten loose skin very much (this includes laser-assisted liposuction.) It is important to note however that all the stretch marks may not be in the area of skin that is removed with a TT, which is the are below th belly button.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Laser versus Tummy Tuck

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Dear Morgan,

Laser treatment of stretchmarks has not shown to be effective in improving their appearance.  Further, your abdomen has additional issues that would also not be effectively improved by laser treaments: skin laxity, skin redundancy, muscle wall laxity, and excess fatty tissue deposition.  You are an ideal candidate for a abdominoplasty or tummy tuck, however. A tummy tuck would remove much of your stretchmarks as well as tighten the skin and underlying muscle.  Fatty tissue would also be reduced.

You should see a few doctors certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery who perform this surgery regularly.

Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 100 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.