Tummy tucks can help patients struggling to get rid of a loose, flabby stomach. During an abdominoplasty procedure, excess skin and fat are removed and abdominal muscles are tightened, leaving behind a firmer, smoother, more toned abdominal area. But can a tummy tuck also eliminate unsightly stretch marks?
What Exactly Are Stretch Marks?
When it comes to stretch marks, pregnancy is the most common culprit. However, because they occur whenever the skin expands rapidly, stretch marks can plague women with no history of pregnancy as well as men who undergo significant weight gain or other periods of too-fast growth (for example, during puberty). Usually, they first appear as purplish or reddish lines on the skin. Although stretch marks often fade to a softer color over time, they do not completely go away or heal on their own, because they’re actually a type of permanent scar.
Maintaining Realistic Expectations
Many patients come to our practice for a tummy tuck with hopes of erasing stretch marks in addition to having excess skin and fat removed. Some patients may believe their stretch marks will simply be smoothed away because their entire stomach region will be tightened. This may or may not be true, and it’s important to discuss your hopes with your surgeon. If the stretch marks are located on the portion of skin the surgeon will remove during the tummy tuck, then the patient can expect the stretch marks to be effectively gone for good. If the patient’s stretch marks are outside the area to be removed during the procedure, then the stretch marks unfortunately won’t be affected.