Can tummy tuck treat cellulite and stretch marks on the abdomen?
Many patients wonder about when the tummy tuck should be performed and whether it is effective in helping the patient get closer to a normal weight or treating cellulite and stretch marks on the abdomen.
Before anything else, the tummy tuck should not be confused with liposuction, which involves sucking excess fat from the subcutaneous tissue. Abdominoplasty mostly removes excess skin and strengthens the loose and distended muscles of the abdominal wall. Therefore, liposuction is often required before a tummy tuck to thin the layer of the fat present in the abdomen.
However, none of the two procedures performed on the abdominal wall can treat cellulite and stretch marks. In this article, we will discuss why this is not possible.
What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks are visible linear scars. Even if they don‚Äôt pose any medical issues, they can bring significant aesthetic prejudice to the patient. They look like areas of the body in which the cutaneous structure looks thinned. It is estimated that stretch marks occur in a large percentage of pregnant women, teenagers, and people performing sports on a professional level. The appearance of the skin on the stretch mark is quite specific: the skin is thinned, smooth to the touch and the surface looks riddled with an increased transparency for new stretch marks that also have a certain color, usually reddish purple. The stretch marks can be of different lengths, from a few millimeters to a few centimeters. In some cases, the stretch marks can also cause local itchiness.
Stretch marks are a condition of the skin, a rupture of the collagen fibers in the cutaneous tissues caused by overstretching. The factors that lead to the occurrence of stretch marks are not all known. In most cases it is the rupture of the conjunctive tissue by the excessive and sudden stretch of the skin. This can occur due to insufficient or low quality conjunctive tissue.
An important factor in developing stretch marks is attributed to genetic inheritance or predisposition. The areas that are most commonly affected by stretch marks are the abdomen, flanks, and breasts for women with multiple pregnancies; the chest, arms and underarms for athletes and the abdomen, flanks, buttocks and legs for overweight people.
What is cellulite?
Cellulite represents an accumulation of adipose tissue at a subcutaneous level. This is another skin condition that affects mostly women than men. Despite the fact that it is not a medical condition, cellulite can look quite unpleasant and can create emotional discomfort for the woman confronted with it. If you look online and it is your first time researching cellulite, you might tend to believe that all it takes to get rid of it for good is a few weeks of massages with special, anti-cellulite creams. Unfortunately, this is almost never the case as the treatments for cellulite are never as efficient as they are advertised to be. So is plastic surgery a solution for cellulite?
Cellulite looks like skin with bumps on it. It is often described as orange peel skin due to the similarities in appearance. Cellulite can vary in severity. F or example, in mild cases, it can only be observed when the skin is pulled between the fingers. In more severe cases, the skin looks irregular with highs and lows, especially on the thighs. Cellulite most often occurs on the thighs and buttocks, but it can also be present on the inferior part of the abdomen and the upper part of the arms.
8 out of 10 women are affected by a certain degree of cellulite, and the condition tends to worsen with age as skin loses elasticity. An increase in body weight can make cellulite even more accentuated, but the condition can also affect people of normal weight.
Treatment for cellulite and stretch marks
Nowadays there are plenty of creams and lotions available on the market that aim to correct cellulite and stretch marks. Unfortunately, they rarely provide any results at all, leaving those confronted with these issues looking for more effective methods such as cosmetic surgery.
It is important to understand that at this point we don‚Äôt have a clear treatment that will work on any patient. So the focus is mostly on preventing cellulite and stretch marks from occurring. To be able to do this, it is essential to avoid considerable weight fluctuations, to force the muscle development at an abnormal pace, and to have a balanced eating regimen with plenty of physical exercise.
Aside from these, there are also different procedures that can be used to improve the appearance of the skin affected by cellulite or stretch marks such as laser or microdermabrasion. However, the tummy tuck is certainly not the answer for the troubles created by cellulite and stretch marks.
Can tummy tuck treat cellulite and stretch marks on the abdomen?
This myth probably occurred due to the fact that during the tummy tuck, we eliminate a certain amount of skin and fat tissue from the inferior part of the abdomen. Cellulite and stretch marks often occur on the lower part of the tummy, and in certain cases, during the tummy tuck, the pedicle of skin with stretch marks has also been removed. Does this mean that you can get rid of the cellulite and stretch marks with the help of abdominoplasty? The answer is still no, and a responsible plastic surgeon will advise patients to try other methods before undergoing a tummy tuck just to get rid of stretch marks and cellulite.
However, if you have stretch marks on the inferior abdomen, a part of this tissue will be removed during abdominoplasty. This means that you might get rid of some stretch marks on the abdomen if they were located on the skin that was removed. The same is valid for cellulite. But the reality is that it is only in rare cases that these conditions only occur on the inferior part of the abdomen. Many times, stretch marks will be found on the upper part of the tummy as well. Keep in mind that during the tummy tuck the skin is re-draped over the abdomen, so this means that the stretch marks that were on the upper part will descend. Skin affected by stretch marks and cellulite is often skin with poor tonus and quality. This means that liposuction is also not recommended to be performed on the area, at least not as a standalone procedure as it might lead to skin sagginess.
The tummy tuck is performed with the purpose of helping the patient achieve a flatter and firmer abdominal area. In a vast majority of cases, patients interested in undergoing the procedure are women who have had significant weight fluctuations over time, men that were once obese or severely overweight, or women who had multiple pregnancies in the past. As weight fluctuations are one of the causes that determine the occurrence of cellulite and stretch marks, many patients associate these skin conditions with the tummy tuck. Moreover, during the tummy tuck there will be a certain amount of skin that is in excess on the inferior part of the abdomen that will be surgically removed to get a nice shape of the tummy. This means that the stretch marks placed on the pedicle of skin that is removed will disappear as well. However, the plastic surgeon can‚Äôt help you eliminate all the stretch marks on the abdominal wall, so the tummy tuck can‚Äôt be considered an optimal solution for treating cellulite or stretch marks.