Laser Treatment for Pregnancy Stretch Mark Removal

Submitted by Nic on May 16, 2013

Stretch marks are usually caused by a rapid weight gain or loss. During pregnancy, it is normal for women to put on a significant amount of weight over a short period of time. As the skin around the stomach stretches to accommodate the growing fetus, the middle layer or dermis can break at various points and cause stretch marks.


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Approximately 80% of women develop stretch marks during pregnancy though in some the marks may be less noticeable than in others. The amount of stretch marks you develop depends on your skin type, age and the elasticity of your skin. If you gain more weight than normal (more than 12. 5 kgs or 28 pounds) you are also more likely to suffer from stretch marks.

This is why eating a healthy diet and exercising during pregnancy is important.

After your baby is born, the stretch marks tend to fade over time though they won’t disappear completely. Stretch marks are not harmful and do not cause any medical problems, however they can mar the appearance of the skin and prevent you from wearing certain clothes with confidence. If you want to get rid of your stretch marks, there are certain things you can do to lessen their intensity. Creams and lotions can help fade the marks into less noticeable white scars. The latest way to reduce the appearance of post-pregnancy stretch marks is laser surgery.

Is laser surgery painful?

Laser surgery is not painful at all. Unlike dermabrasion (where the outer layer of skin is actually removed), laser surgery targets the deepest layer of the skin. Using a laser to eliminate scars on the affected area, your doctor will first swab the skin with a local anesthetic before the surgery begins to ensure that you feel no pain.

What is the process of stretch mark laser surgery?

As the laser beam is focused on the deepest layer of the skin, it is used to lessen or reduce the stretch marks and scars from within. The laser stimulates the production of collage and elastin in the dermis. Stretch marks that are relatively new or still purple or red in color respond better to laser surgery than older white scars. If your skin is dark, laser treatment is not advised either as the procedure may cause hyperpigmentation and permanent damage to the skin.

Laser surgery does not promise a 100% removal of stretch marks. Studies show that laser surgery can improve the appearance of stretch marks up to 50%. Healing can take anytime from six months to one year depending on the post surgery care, and your skin’s healing ability.

What is the cost of laser surgery for stretch marks?

The cost of laser surgery for stretch marks removal can vary depending on several factors. For example, the rates are higher in cities as compared to smaller towns. The qualification and expertise of your cosmetic surgeon or dermatologist will also determine your charges. Finally, the amount of stretch marks and the extent of the treatment required can increase the cost of the procedure as well. Laser surgery for stretch marks can start at $200 per session. Most patients require more than one session to successfully reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Since stretch marks are not considered a medical condition, laser surgery removal is not covered by health insurance. Unless the procedure is combined with an abdominoplasty, your insurance company will not cover the costs of the procedure. Private clinics may offer various payments plans and financing options to fund the procedure so check with your doctor in advance if this is an issue.

Are there any side effects of laser surgery?

Usually, there are no side effects of laser surgery. As long as you choose a doctor or dermatologist with the proper qualifications and expertise, the procedure is painless and has no major risk involved. Choosing a doctor on the basis of the fees charged is never a good idea as you may be compromising on your health and safety. To minimize the risks of laser surgery, the proper skin care should be taken. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions regarding cleaning and moisturizing the skin after the treatment in order to improve the healing process. Try and stay away from direct sunlight for up to six months after the procedure as exposure to the sun post laser surgery may result in an uneven skin tone in some cases as well.

In short, there is no complete cure for stretch marks. While laser surgery treatment can help reduce the appearance of these unsightly scars in some cases, no doctor can claim complete removal of post-pregnancy stretch marks. Only you can decide whether the 50% chance of success is worth your time and money to complete the procedure.

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