Is There Such Thing As "Too Many" Stretchmarks for a Tummy Tuck?

I have tons of stretchmarks, below the belly button (which is no longer a belly button in my opinion) is mostly just wrinkled extra skin, however, I have quite few gashes of vertical stretchmarks that are above the bellybutton canvasing under my ribcage. I know the stretcmarks cant be removed even if slightly pulled down. I am just curious if a surgeon would turn me down for this reason?

Doctor Answers 13

Are Patients with Extensive Stretch Marks Good Candidates for a Tummy Tuck(Abdominoplasty)?

Yes indeed. A Tummy Tuck is the only procedure that will remove stretch marks.The stretch marks(known as striae) that are below the belly button will be removed; the stretch marks above the belly button will unfortunately remain, but they will be pulled somewhat lower.  You should seek consultaion with an experienced, board-certified Plastic Surgeon, who can evaluate your situation and propose the right treatment for you.

Best wishes!

Too Many Stretch Marks For A Tummy Tuck?

A surgeon would not turn you down for a tummy tuck due to extensive stretch marks, unless your expectation were that you wouldn't have any after the procedure. A good plastic surgeon will not give a patient an unrealistic expectation or opereate on one who has unrealistic expectations.

Howard N. Robinson, MD (retired)
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Stretch marks

Thank you for your question.  While the stretch marks above your belly button will not be removed, this is no reason to not perform the operation.  A Tummy Tuck operation can remove many of the stretch marks below your belly button, however.  The most dramatic effect of a tummy tuck though is the significant tightening effects on both the skin and muscles that can greatly improve the contour. 

You might also like...

Stretch marks and tummy tuck

Thank you for your question.  I doubt you would be turned down for a tummy tuck because of your stretch marks.  One of the main indications for a tummy tuck is to remove the loose, stretched out skin below the belly button.  Depending on how much loose skin you have, you will have a variable amount of skin removed from above the belly button as well.  The upper abdominal stretch marks will be moved down low onto your abdomen but will not be removed completely. Make sure you seek out a board certified plastic surgeon to have allof your questions answered.  Good Luck!

Stretch marks and tummy tuck issues

One of the main reasons that patients come see me to be evaluated for a possible tummy tuck is because they are bothered by their stretch marks on the abdomen.  I tell my patients that most if not all of the stretch marks below the belly button will be removed with the tummy tuck; however, most of the stretch marks (if they are present) above the belly button will still be present.  After a tummy tuck those upper abdominal stretch marks will be "on stretch" and a bit tighter and I have found they typically bother patients less.  Also they will now be "located" lower down in the lower abdomen afterwards.  I have never had a patient with bad stretch marks regret having had a tummy tuck.  I still think it helps even if it cannot remove all of the stretch marks.

Stretch marks below the belly button are typically removed with a tummy tuck

Great question!   Depending on how much loose skin you have, the stretch marks below the belly button are usually removed.  Sometimes, the stretch marks above the belly button can be removed.  Before the stretch marks are removed, the abdominal muscles are tightened to help flatten out the belly.  The entire procedure can be done as an outpatient with about 7-10 days for recovery.  Good luck!  Dr. Schreiber...Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Never too many

As you know, stretch marks below the BB are removed those above move down. As long as you are aware of this and accept it, you should be a fine candidate.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Tummy tucks and stretch marks

Thanks for your question.

 A tummy tuck in most cases will remove the skin and fat from the level  of the belly button to  a line just over the pubis, taking all the stretch marks with it.   When this gap is then closed, the stretch marks above the belly button are moved to level of the pubic groin crease incision. Those that were in the middle of the abdomen are now positioned much lower.  If your stretch marks extend all the way to the rib cage then likely you will still have them covering the whole abdomen.

The difference is, the skin will be tighter and wrinkling problem solved. You have to decide if that result would be worth it to you.  

Good luck with your decision,

Douglas Hargrave, M.D. 


Too Many Stretch Marks For A Tummy Tuck

Stretch marks are a primary reason for seeking a tummy tuck procedure because no other treatment exists to eliminate them.  The stretch marks at or below your belly button should be removed with a tummy tuck.  Unfortunately, the stretch marks above the belly button will remain.  

I would recommend meeting with a few board-certified plastic surgeons to address your particular circumstances.  Reviewing pre- and post-op photos from board-certified plastic surgeons can also be very helpful in visualizing what can be done with a tummy tuck procedure.

Best wishes!!!!!

Louis DeLuca, MD
Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Extensive Stretch Marks and Tummy Tuck?

No, the presence of extensive stretch marks do not  contraindicate  tummy tuck surgery. Unfortunately,  you will probably be left with residual stretch marks (after tummy tuck surgery) given the location/extensiveness of your current stretch marks on the abdominal wall.

 When the time is right, seek consultation with board-certified plastic surgeons; ask to see lots of examples of their work.

Best wishes.


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.