Although having a baby is easily one of the most amazing experiences anyone can have, the stretch marks, skin laxity, and loose muscles that pregnancy often leaves behind are hardly the same. Despite being perfectly natural, these things can leave you pining away for the smooth, unblemished midriff of your pre-pregnancy body. If you have mild, moderate, or even severe scarring across your belly, you may be wondering whether a tummy tuck procedure will give you the right results. Read on to find out.
Stretch marks or striae are tiny tears in the elastin fibers of the skin. They develop when people experience rapid and significant changes in their body weight. This rapid change is a common part of pregnancy.
Stretch marks are commonly found on the abdomen, breasts, hips, and buttocks. In some instances, they manifest as light, inconspicuous marks but in other cases, they appear as bright red, dark purple, or various shades in between. Continued weight gain when stretch marks have already formed will likely cause these stretch marks to darken, raise, or spread. The appearance of stretch marks can also worsen when a person’s cortisol levels are high due to stress. Stress and the resulting effects of cortisol on the skin’s elastin could further worsen the appearance of stretch marks.
Without intervention, these marks are unlikely to go away entirely. However, the passage of time may see them become gradually lighter and less noticeable. Treatment is usually necessary for achieving dramatic improvements.
Also known as abdominoplasty, tummy tuck procedures are largely designed to address muscle and skin laxity in the lower abdominal area. During a tummy tuck, loose, sagging skin is removed and separated muscles (diastasis recti) are repaired. The way in which tummy tucks are performed also makes this treatment an ideal way to eliminate or reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Stretch marks are often found on the areas of the skin removed during a tummy tuck. When this excess skin with visible stretch marks is removed from the abdomen, you will be left with tighter and smoother skin.
Tummy tucks can only eliminate or minimize stretch marks between the bikini line and the navel. However, an abdominoplasty will not have any effect on stretch marks that are present on the buttocks, breasts, thighs, or back since these areas on not targeted with this procedure. Stretch marks in these areas will require alternative treatment such as retinoid creams, chemical peels, or laser skin resurfacing. In some instances, surgical procedures such as thigh lifts or breast lifts will provide impressive results for stretch marks in these specific areas.
As a board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Trupiano has more than 10 years of experience helping his patients reach their cosmetic goals. Whether you developed stretch marks during pregnancy or due to sudden and rapid weight gain, abdominoplasty may be able to eliminate or minimize your scars. We invite you to schedule a consultation today at our office in Troy, MI.