Can a Mommy Makeover Reduce My Stretch Marks?
Throughout pregnancy and nursing a woman’s body undergoes significant changes. Unfortunately, the results of these changes are not always reversible and may be evident long after childbirth.
Stretch marks, or striae, are among undesired post-pregnancy cosmetic effects that are extremely hard to get rid of. According to different studies, more than 50% of moms have to deal with them.
While being harmless, they still cause women to feel less attractive and confident. Mommy makeover surgery, a descriptive term for procedures to improve women’s shape after pregnancy, has gained popularity in recent years.
One of the most common questions asked by patients is “Can mommy makeover reduce my stretch marks? How effective are these procedures? ”
Let’s find out.
What Causes Stretch Marks During Pregnancy?
Before we go into any further discussions, we need to acknowledge a little bit more about the processes responsible for the formation of these annoying lines.
During pregnancy, the body expands to accommodate the growing mass of the baby, and the striae appear when the skin stretches beyond its natural elasticity, causing collagen fibers to break.
While upper layers of skin remain intact, the dermis, a deeper structure, break apart under pressure. As a result, we get tears in undersurface layers of skin that look exactly like scar tissue under the microscope. That’s why striae can not be erased using creams or any other measures.
The only way to eliminate them is surgical removal.
Stretch marks are not unique to a pregnancy and occur during any rapid weight gain or as a result of steroid therapy, in both women and men.
How Do Mommy Makeover Procedures Help to Address This Problem? Can a Mommy Makeover Reduce My Stretch Marks?
Mommy makeover surgery is a clever marketing term that combines surgical, as well as non-surgical procedures to match individual patients’ needs.
Although the stretch marks, as a rule, are not the main concern during a mommy makeover, in some cases it may still be able to completely remove some of your striae, or at least reduce their appearance by tightening the skin.
The key here is the location of stretch marks.
Striae are scar tissue and as has already been said, surgical removal of the skin containing stretch marks is the only definitive measure. Here we will briefly review procedures that are cornerstones in mommy makeover procedures and include excess skin removal.
Tummy Tuck and mini-tummy tuck (otherwise called abdominoplasty and mini-abdominoplasty) are plastic surgery procedures that can help women suffering from stretch marks on the abdomen.
During the procedure excess skin between the bikini line and navel is removed, along with the fat tissue.
As a result, all the striae in this field will be gone forever. Even though the stretch marks above the belly button remain untouched, the skin they are located on will be repositioned downward, towards the pubic bone, and tightened as well.
So, if your stubborn abdominal striae are in the right spot, an abdominoplasty will definitely help. But keep in mind that the main goal of this procedure is to tighten muscles and remove excess fat.
Breast lift – or mastopexy, allows women to get rid of the unpleasant consequences of sagging breasts.
During the procedure, the skin containing stretch marks gets either completely removed or at least tightened, improving the appearance of striae. And again, the success of striae removal depends on individual anatomy and the surgical technique used.
According to the San Antonio Center of Cosmetic Surgery :
“A breast lift may remove stretch marks on the underside of the breasts, though it will likely not change any on the top or sides unless you’ve specifically requested your surgeon to excise this tissue.
However, if the breast lift is combined with a breast augmentation, it can address these top and lateral stretch marks since it stretches the skin making the stretch marks less visible.”
Thigh lift – as in the case of tummy tuck and breast lift, this surgery can also help women to get rid of stretch marks, as long as they are located on the excised skin. Furthermore, the remaining striae will appear smoother once the skin tightens.
Weight gain after thigh lift surgery will almost for sure compromise the results and new stretch marks may appear. The same is true for previous procedures.
You can find more information about mommy makeovers and these procedures here.
Multiple other ways are available to deal with stretch marks, including home remedies like Vitamin A, aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, coconut oil, etc.
Among non-surgical measures are lasers and other light-based therapies, needling and microdermabrasion.
Lasers are used to force blood vessels to fade quicker and therefore are effective against newly formed purple striae.
Needling involves injecting collagen underneath the skin, whereas microdermabrasion exfoliates the skin to improve the appearance of stretch marks.
In most cases, the results are controversial, as these procedures aim to change the appearance of striae and can not physically get rid of them.
The only way to get rid of stretch marks is to remove them along with the skin. Procedures in postpartum makeover can improve the look but might not be able to clear out striae completely.
Apart from that, mommy makeover addresses your personal needs. There are no set rules and almost every plastic surgery procedure can be seen as part of your makeover.
So the best way would be to consult with a qualified plastic surgeon in your area to get a more realistic view of what to expect.