After I had my son I was covered in stretch marks. The ones on my stomach are either at or under the level of my belly button and wrap around both my love handles and a couple are on my back. I'm considering getting a tummy tuck to remove the ones on my stomach and I also want the ones on my hips removed but wasn't sure if that was possible. So my question is would a tummy tuck work on removing my stretch marks from my hips or should I consider lazer removal or possibly a skin graft?
Can a Tummy Tuck Remove Stretch Marks on Hips?
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Doctor Answers 12
Can a tummy tuck remove stretch marks in the hip area
A tummy tuck can remove some of the stretch marks in the hip area but not a lot of them. The incision can be extended laterally (to the side) to include some more of the loose skin in the hip area and subsequently remove some more of those stretch marks. If you have significant loose skin of the lower abdomen and hip area, you may be a candidate for a lower body lift procedure where the incision extends all the way around your waist area (circumferentially) to remove even more skin. This may not only remove more of your streth marks in the hip area but also give you a better overall contour.
This is difficult to answer without examining you, so I would recommend consulting with one or more board certified plastic surgeons experienced in body contouring to give you a comperehensive exam and revie your surgical options.
Modifications of the Tummy Tuck Technique
Depending on your exact anatomy, the standard tummy tuck can be effectively modified to remove a bit more skin in the hip area.
It is also possible that you would benefit from a body lift type procedure, in which skin is removed from the back of your torso in addition to the front.
The best way to know for sure is to find a well trained, experienced Board Certified Plastic Surgeon you like and feel you can trust and visit for a consultation.
How to find such a surgeon? Please read this:
Extended tummy tuck
1) Traditional tummy tuck: Reduces a great amount of skin laxity, tightens the abdominal wall muscles and keeps the incision hidden in the underwear line.
2) An extended tummy tuck: Same as a tummy tuck, but helps to reduce more skin laxity around the flanks.
3) A corset tummy tuck: Adds a vertical scar and breast fold scar, but reduces a significant amount of vertical skin laxity in addition to the horizontal skin laxity and creates the most hour-glass type figure. Downside is more visible scar
4) A belt lipectomy (or lower body lift) helps lift the outer thighs and buttock in addition to the benefits of an extended tummy tuck.
Options 2 and 4 will more likely reduce some of the stretch marks on the flanks/back region. Liposuction is usually added to all of the procedures to help improve the results. I would recommend visiting with a board certified plastic surgeon who can spend time with you to explain the different options in more detail.
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Stretch Marks on Hips
Lasers have minimal and unpredictable benefits for stretch marks. The standard tummy tuck may remove some of the stretch marks but not all of them. For greater improvement of the stretch marks, the tummy tuck procedure can be altered to provide additional skin excision.
Lasers wil not make the stretch marks disappear. I have not been satisfied with the results of the lasers. If the strech marks are in ellipse removed with a tummy tuck then they will be gone.
Tummy Tuck Operation
Women who have stretch marks below the belly button usually find that the marks are gone with removal of extra skin in this area. A tummy tuck scar is from hip to hip and does not reach to the back of the patient. If you desire removal of stretch marks in this area and have plenty of loose skin then a body lift may help. The skin above the belly button can only stretch down to the pubic area and if you have stretch marks above the belly button the stretch marks look better but do not go away. There are many laser machines that help with stretch marks but this takes time and many treatments. My clients find a big improvement in the tummy area and are very happy with the result.
Stretch marks on hips
The scars from skin grafting are much worse than stretch marks themselves, and so might the scar on your hips from "extended" abdominoplasty, besides the masculinizing effect this extension may have on your figure. Sure, stretch marks can be cut out, but that's like burning down the house to get rid of termites. Sometimes, the trade off is not worth it. Consider accepting them as a natural consequence of the pregnancies that developed your beautiful child/children, and realize they will fade into the background with attention getting colors and styles of clothing/swimsuits/lingerie. Few people notice a stretch mark when the underlying body is hot, and the swimsuit or lingerie even hotter. Consider camouflage cosmetics also, used in a timely and judicious manner, such as Linda Seidel's Body Stick.
Laser or skin graft are not for stretch marks
You may benefit from a circumferential belt lipectomy. Discuss this with your surgeon. This can be completed in one procedure whereas other physicians prefer to perform tow separate procedures (front and back).
Stretch mark removal
An abominoplasty is a wonderful operation to remove the stretch marks present on your abdomen and can be extended to address the stretch marks present on the hips. A lower body lift is a circumferential extension of the abdominoplasty to improve the appearance of the outer thigh and lift the buttocks while removing the stretch marks in those areas.
These are the best procedures to permanently remove stretch marks. Light and energy based technologies may improve the appearance of the stretch marks but they will never be imperceptible or completely corrected by the current technologies.
Skin grafting is a poor solution for stretch marks and is reserved for wound healing or reconstructive situations.
Good luck. I hope this was helpful.
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.