Will A Tummy Tuck Get Rid Of Stretch Marks?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am 5’ 9” tall and fairly skinny. I have no extra fat but some loose skin from my three pregnancies. While I am not crazy about the loose skin, what bothers me the most are the many stretch marks that I have. They are around my belly button and lower as well as out onto my hips. The stretch marks on my hips are the worst, being wider, redder and more noticeable than those on my stomach. Therefore I would like to get rid of them the most.most noticeable, so I would love to get rid of those at least. I was hoping to get rid of most stretch marks and extra skin with a tummy tuck but I don’t want to go through with it if it does not provide a major improvement in my unsightly stretch marks.

A:  The main benefits of tummy tuck surgery is the removal of extra skin and fat and the tightening effect of the stomach that it provides. Any improvement in associated stretch marks from pregnancy is a secondary benefit that is largely coincidental. The stretch marks that will be removed is what lies within the outline of the tummy tuck excisional pattern. Your surgeon can mark that out for you so you can see exactly what stretch marks will be removed. Stretch marks around the excisional pattern, particularly above the belly button, will shift position to a lower location below the new belly button for many of them. Stretch marks on the hip, which is largely outside the zone of the tummy tuck cutout will not be removed/improved.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana