At the Portland Plastic Surgery practice of Dr. Michael Bohley, many of the patients who request tummy tuck surgery wonder whether the procedure will help improve the look of stretch marks on the stomach. Dr. Bohley discusses the answer.

What Tummy Tuck Entails

To understand whether tummy tuck surgery will help improve the look of stretch marks located on the abdomen, it is important to understand what the procedure entails.

When performing tummy tuck surgery, Dr. Bohley first performs liposuction of the abdomen, if necessary, to remove stubborn deposits of fat from the under the skin. He then creates a horizontal incision across the lower abdomen that extends from hipbone to hipbone. (Although the incision is significant, Dr. Bohley strategically positions it in an area that can be easily concealed by an underwear or bathing suit line.) He then excises the excess abdominal skin before placing permanent internal stitches in the abdominal wall fascia to repair the underlying musculature and other tissue structures. This restores muscle tone in the treatment area, for a firmer, flatter abdominal contour. Dr. Bohley re-drapes the residual skin over the newly contoured area and closes the incision. Finally, using a second incision that is hidden within the belly button, he adjusts the position of the navel, so it is aligned with the tighter, toned abdominal profile.

What Effect Does This Have on Stretch Marks?

Tummy tuck surgery does not necessarily improve the look of stretch marks located on the abdomen. However, for certain patients, the procedure may improve the appearance of bothersome stretch marks. For instance, stretch marks located on the sagging, excess skin below the navel might be removed when Dr. Bohley excises this loose abdominal skin during tummy tuck surgery.

If the stretch marks are located above the navel, they most likely will not be removed during tummy tuck. That being said, Dr. Bohley can sometimes improve the look of similarly situated stretch marks as he re-drapes the residual skin, pulling it tight, but this cannot be guaranteed.

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Bohley to learn more about tummy tuck surgery, please contact his practice by calling (503) 253-3458.