Following puberty, pregnancy, weight fluctuation or major weight loss, many women will experience stretch marks in their lifetime.
While many women experience stretch marks primarily across the upper and lower abdomen, stretch marks also commonly occur on the breasts, hips, thighs, back and arms – we’ve seen it all!
Can plastic surgery get rid of stretch marks? Read on to find out!
Why do stretch marks occur?
A stretch mark is essentially a type of scar that develops when our skin stretches or shrinks too quickly. Although our skin is elastic and can tolerate some degree of stretching, once the skin reaches its limit, the deepest layer of skin called the dermis will eventually tear. When these deep tears occur, the above layers of skin remain intact but develop the ‘streaky’ appearance we know as stretch marks.
While stretch marks pose no serious health threat, many women seek stretch mark removal for aesthetic reasons.
Can I get rid of stretch marks with plastic surgery?
While no one ‘stretch mark removal’ surgery exists – there are multiple plastic surgery procedures available to help minimise the appearance of stretch marks based on the area of the body where they have occurred.
A tummy tuck is the most effective way to target abdominal stretch marks. During a tummy tuck, the majority of the skin below the belly button is removed, therefore the stretch marks in this area are also removed. If stretch marks are present above the belly button, these will be pulled down and repositioned to the lower stomach towards the suture line. This creates a smoother appearance overall.
This 37-year-old patient came to see me following over 50kg weight loss. Pictured here 6 months post breast reduction, uplift and tummy tuck, you can see many of her abdominal stretch marks have been removed.
This 30-year-old patient came to see me following two pregnancies. Pictured here 5 months post tummy tuck, I have been able to remove a significant amount of stretch marks along with her excess skin.
This 32-year-old patient came to see me following two pregnancies and 55kg weight loss. Pictured here just 4 months post tummy tuck, I have removed majority of the effected skin.
Breast Reduction or Lift
A breast reduction or a breast lift may minimise the appearance of stretch marks on the breasts. Both a breast reduction and a breast lift involve removing a portion of breast tissue/skin and repositioning the breasts into a higher position on the chest wall. Not only does this make the breasts appear firmer and the skin appear tighter, but it can also help to disguise the appearance of stretch marks.
This 23-year-old patient came to see me with a severe tuberous breast deformity. As her breasts developed during puberty, she developed lateral stretch marks on the sides of each breast. Pictured here 7 months post breast lift, while the stretch marks have not been removed, they are reduced in appearance.
This 27-year-old patient came to see me with a heavy F cup breast. Her weight had fluctuated since puberty and her stretch marks extended across the length of the breast. She is pictured 7 months post breast reduction.
Other excess skin removal procedures
Following significant weight loss, many women find they have also developed stretch marks across their upper arms, thighs, flanks or lower back. These areas can be targeted with excess skin removal surgeries, such as an arm lift, thigh lift or lower body lift. While I cannot guarantee the removal of all existing stretch marks, excess skin removal in these areas will usually greatly lessen the appearance.
Can plastic surgery make stretch marks look worse?
Some patients with severe stretch marks won’t be an eligible candidate for certain plastic surgery procedures based on the quality of their skin. For example, a patient with extremely thin, stretch-marked skin post weight loss is generally not a good candidate for breast augmentation. In this case, a breast augmentation may actually worsen the appearance of the existing stretchmarks, and the skin may not be strong enough to accommodate an implant for a long period of time. More information about stretch marks after breast augmentation can be found here.
Are there non-surgical treatments for stretch marks?
Yes – there are several non-surgical options available to help soften the appearance of stretch marks.
To help fade stretch marks, you may consider undergoing skin needling treatments such as Dermapen. Skin needling helps to assist with the turnover of skin cells, encouraging the production and distribution of new collagen. Skin needling can help to progressively “fill” or fade stretch marks over time, in some cases banishing them completely! More information about our Dermapen treatments for scarring and stretchmarks can be found here.
At home Dermal Rolling
At home dermal rolling is another way to effectively target stretch marks. A derma-roller is a small handheld device with a roller at the top which is covered in lots of tiny needles. Using a derma-roller over the stretch marks works in a similar fashion to skin needling, improving the skin’s ability to absorb nourishing creams and serums.
Is there anything I can do to prevent stretch marks?
Stretch marks can only be prevented to an extent. Unfortunately, some women are predisposed to stretch marks based on genetics and hormones. Maintaining a stable weight without major fluctuation is your best bet for avoiding stretch marks.
Keeping the skin hydrated with products like Vitamin E and hyaluronic acid may also help to combat stretchmarks. Stratamark is a product available at many chemists that is formulated to help prevent stretchmarks.
Ready to begin exploring your surgical options for stretch mark removal?
Please do not hesitate to call one of our friendly team on 4920 7700, or fill out the contact form at the bottom of this page and we will be in touch!
More blogs you might be interested in:
- Are stretch marks normal after breast augmentation?
- Can I claim a tummy tuck from Medicare?
- Liposuction Vs. Tummy Tuck: Which procedure is right for me?
- Recovering from a tummy tuck
- Will Medicare fund my breast reduction?
- Plastic surgery after mass weight loss
- What happens if I put on weight after plastic surgery?
- How to get the best long term results from your plastic surgery
Dr Nicholas Moncrieff, Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon
About Dr Moncrieff
Dr Moncrieff focuses exclusively on breast reductions, breast lifts, breast augmentation, tummy tucks and body lifts.
He is one of only a handful of Plastic Surgeons across Australia with this sole breast and body focus.
Dr Moncrieff has performed thousands of surgical procedures over more than two decades in medicine. Over 20,000 of these procedures have been in Newcastle.
More information about Dr Moncrieff is available here.