Is There a Tummy Tuck Option That Also Reduced Stretch Marks?

I have seen many "After" photos of Tummy Tucks where the women STILL have visible strechmarks!! ABOVE the navel, and on the hips ABOVE the navel. Is there an alternative way to do the Tummy Tuck besides streching the skin downward?? Even when I pull my skin downward, I can still see the strechmarks. However, if I pull the skin horizontally, to the SIDES the strechmarks go away. Is there a strechmark procedure where the doctor can pull the skin to the side towards the hips and remove that skin??

Doctor Answers 13

A Tummy Tuck will not remove Stretch Marks that are above the Belly Button

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Dear NickGA,

Thank you for your question. While your suggestion makes perfect sense we do not remove skin during a Tummy Tuck from the sides of the Abdomen as this would make very visible scars. WE hide the Tummy Tuck incsion in the lower Abdomen where it can be hidden by clothing.

The typical Tummy Tuck removes skin no higher than the Umbilicus or Belly Button, thus stretch marks above this area remain.

Non ablative Fractional Erbium Laser can be used to lessen the appearance of Stretch Marks, paricularly if they are pink or red, but will not remove them completely.

Tummy tuck to remove stretch marks

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When we perform tummy tuck procedures, we try to plan for the ultimate scar/incision lines to lie low and horizontal so that a patient can wear any type of underwear or swimsuit and still keep the scar hidden.  Plus, that direction of pull on the skin is very effective at flattening the abdomen.  And, it frequently removes most of abdominal stretch marks since the majority are frequently at or below the belly button.  I find that the remaining stretch marks are improved in appearance because the skin is tight and the textured or raised appearance of the stretch mark is made better by that.  I hope this information helps. 

Stretch marks and tummy tuck

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Thanks for your inquiry.  Though you make a good point that you arer able to eliminate you stretch marks by pullind sideways or sometimes to the middle, I am afraid the incision scar would be too noticeable.

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Tummy tuck reduces but does not eliminate stretch marks.

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A tummy tuck typically removes many of the stretch marks above the pubic bone and below the belly button but does not remove all of the stretch marks from the entire abdomen and sides. It is a stretch mark reduction surgery but not a stretch mark elimination surgery.  I hope this helps.

Is There a Tummy Tuck Option That Also Reduced Stretch Marks?Answr:

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We wish there was an easy way to do so, but no such luck!! In an aggressive TT we can remove them from the belly button down and some over the hips...but for those above the BB and high up on the hip...not really...We can pull them tight and help them look a bit less noticeable, but not get rid of them....

Tummy tuck removes stretch marks below belly button, not above.

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Really the direction has to be down.  Otherwise you would have a scar either in the midline or on either side.  Such procedures have been described, but most women would prefer to have the scar hidden within the bikini line. 

A tummy tuck will remove stretch marks below the belly button.  Stretch marks above the belly button get moved down.  Stretch marks on the sides don't go away (unless you have an outer thigh/buttock lift).  But many women are pleased to have the majority of their stretch marks removed, even if some persist.  They may even be low enough to no longer be visible.

We wish we had a cure for stretch marks.  All we can do is cut them out.  I've attached a link to the relevant part of my website so you can view some examples.

Removing Stretch Marks With A Tummy Tuck

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The answer to your question varies with where the current stretch marks are. In a standard full tummy tuck all the skin and stretch marks below the belly button are removed in the football shaped area described by Dr. Baxter. The ones above the belly button are moved down to the hairline. If the ones over the hips are an issue, then an extended or circumferential tummy tuck may be of benefit. It sounds like you were looking at pictures of Mini tucks and one of the reasons most of us discourage the mini.

Tummy tuck may reduce stretch marks

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Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) does remove stretch marks below the umbilicus, but does not address stretch marks laterally. There is no procedure that pulls the skin to the side. The scar would still be visible.

Tummy tuck is best for stretch mark removal

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In a standard tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) a football-shaped area of skin between the belly button and the pubic area is removed, and that is usually where most of the stretch marks are. The ones above the belly button are improved by the stretching of the skin down but there isn't a practical way to stretch the skin horizontally as you describe.

Standard Tummy Tuck Best Way To Deal With Stretch Marks

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There are no better solutions to improving stretch marks than to remove them surgically and a standard full tummy tuck is the gold standard.  You are correct that stretch marks located above the umbilicus and in the high hip area are not removed, but there is no place to "hide the scar" if a lateral pull of the skin were done.

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.