Stretch marks are superficial scars that form when overstretched skin disrupts collagen production. Stretch marks most commonly develop as a result of pregnancy, weight gain and hormonal disorders. While they may cause cosmetic concern for many women, stretch marks are harmless and usually fade over time. In Megan’s case, however, her stretch marks from pregnancy were exacerbated by multiple surgeries to save her life.
When Megan was six months pregnant, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and underwent surgery to remove a tumor. Two years after giving birth, the cancer returned. Megan underwent four more surgeries, including, eventually, a full hysterectomy.
Megan's cancer has been in remission since 2010, but she was left with severe stretch marks from her pregnancy, as well as prominent surgical scars on her abdomen.
“I am completely insecure,” Megan says. “When I go to the beach, I have to have a shirt on. I have to constantly have my stomach covered up.”
After considering topical creams, laser therapy and microdermabrasion treatments, Megan learned about a new, minimally invasive procedure that uses platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and a micro-needling pen to minimize the appearance of stretch marks and scars.
Megan met with plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Semira Bayati, who performed several treatments on Megan using the cutting-edge technique. “We usually do five to seven treatments, and they’re done in intervals that are about a month apart,” Dr. Bayati explains. She adds that additional treatments are administered every six months, or as needed, to continue to improve results.
To demonstrate how the procedure works, Dr. Bayati performs Megan’s fourth treatment in The Doctors’ procedure room. She explains how PRP contains stem cells that stimulate new collagen and elastin, resulting in firmer skin and improved texture.
The PRP is first smeared on the targeted areas, and then a micro-pen containing 11 vibrating needles at the tip is used to create small channels in the skin so the stem cells can be absorbed.
“These are such fine needles that it causes no discomfort for Megan,” Dr. Bayati says. “It’s the depth of the stretch marks that casts a shadow and makes them more visible. As they fill in with her own collagen, they become less noticeable.”