It is a common myth that any problem area we have with our tummies can be tackled with a tummy tuck, but many patients’ pesky stretch marks remain after surgery. Stretch marks can only be removed during a tummy tuck if they are in the ‘zone of resection’ which is where the tissue is cut off. This estimated zone should be draw by your surgeon beforehand so that you will know how many stretch marks will not be affected.
In terms of removing stretch marks, unfortunately there is no definite solution. However, we have seen good results by combating areas with a Fraxel laser. This innovative laser treatment helps to restore the youthful appearance of skin. By using thousands of microscopic laser columns, each just one tenth the diameter of a hair follicle, the laser is able to treat a fraction of skin at a time without affecting surrounding tissue. These laser columns stimulate the production of younger, smoother and healthier skin, replacing damaged or stretched tissue. If the marks are pink in tone, this laser can also diminish the colour, making them less noticeable.
Laser treatments are becoming a faster and cost effective alternative to surgery. Even though you are not going under the knife, it is still crucial to know what to expect. As with most laser treatments, patients describe a sensation of heat during the treatment. To minimise discomfort, anaesthesia is applied before the procedure and cold air is used on the area during.
Fraxel lasers you may leave you feeling as if you have been sunburnt for first 24 hours of your treatment, with a pink or red tinge to the skin. This skin will start to bronze over the next week or two and with continued sessions, the sunburn to bronze cycle with continue. If skin dries out or flakes, moisturiser can be used to reduce the appearance.
Unlike the recovery time needed with a tummy tuck, results from Fraxel treatment should be faster, with less pain. However, this varies depending on the condition of your skin and how well you look after it. Those who use high SPF sunscreen during recovery and do not have sustainable sun damage should be able to say goodbye to those pesky stretch marks within two to three sessions!