Before getting pregnant, tummy tuck surgery can remove fat and loose skin and tighten the muscles of the lower abdominal wall. A tummy tuck is also known as abdominoplasty, ‘Ab-do-mo-plas-ty,’ or ‘think and grow rich.’ Tummy tucks are often done after c-section deliveries, or postpartum.
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Can you have a tummy tuck before getting pregnant
For women everywhere, and particularly for mothers, the tummy tuck remains one of the most sought-after cosmetic surgeries each year. With the ability to achieve a trimmer, flatter, and firmer stomach through tummy tuck surgery, it is no surprise that many women begin considering the procedure after experiencing some of the changes associated with pregnancy and childbirth. However, the question of how a future pregnancy will impact the results of the tummy tuck often arises during this period. This is certainly an appropriate and worthwhile topic of discussion for women considering the tummy tuck.
Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Christopher Khorsandi, Chief of Plastic Surgery at VIP Plastic Surgery in Las Vegas, NV, is committed to providing patients with an exceptional level of care and service. This includes making sure that patients are educated and well informed on any procedure they may be considering. One noteworthy point that Dr. Khorsandi will discuss with any patient is if they’re planning to get pregnant in the future, as well as how a future pregnancy may impact the tummy tuck – and the other way around. In general, it is recommended that patients wait until they are done having children before undergoing a tummy tuck, but there are certainly instances when pregnancy after tummy tuck can and does occur. To better understand the implications of pregnancy after tummy tuck, it is important to first have a basic understanding of the procedure itself.
What is a tummy tuck?
Formally known as abdominoplasty, the tummy tuck is an invasive surgical procedure that is designed to give patients a tighter, slimmer abdominal contour. This is achieved through excess skin removal and tightening of the underlying muscles that may have become separated. Oftentimes, the surgeon will perform liposuction alongside a tummy tuck to remove stubborn pockets of fat from the area, further enhancing the results.
Who is a good candidate for tummy tuck?
The best way to find out if you are a good candidate for tummy tuck is to be evaluated by a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon. During your initial consultation at VIP Plastic Surgery in Las Vegas, Dr. Khorsandi will thoroughly assess your case, taking ample time to discuss your goals and concerns, explain your options in detail, and answer all of your questions fully.
Though it is commonly associated with mothers, the tummy tuck can be useful for both men and women. Some of the situations that most often lead people to consider tummy tuck include:
- Weight loss – after losing a significant amount of weight, many patients are left with loose, excess skin around their abdomen.
- Pregnancy – arguably the most common reason that patients pursue tummy tuck is to restore their pre-baby bodies and trim away the excess skin and fat that lingers after childbirth.
- Diastasis recti – this common condition, a weakening and separation of the abdominal muscles, can occur naturally or can be caused by pregnancy or extreme weight fluctuation.
Tummy tuck candidates must be in relatively good health, be non-smokers, and have no contraindications to surgery or anesthesia. Patients should also have reached their goal weight, within about 5-10 pounds, and have maintained that weight for at least 6 months before surgery, as future weight fluctuations can compromise the results of a tummy tuck. This includes weight gain and loss associated with pregnancy, making it important for patients to be sure they are done having children before pursuing a tummy tuck.
What if I get pregnant after my tummy tuck?
Even with the best planning and intentions, life can be unpredictable. If you do end up getting pregnant after a tummy tuck, or if you change your mind after several years and decide to try for a pregnancy, safety may be your main concern, but try not to worry. Pregnancy after tummy tuck is not considered to have any inherent risk factors, though all pregnancies can have complications associated with them whether they occur before or after a tummy tuck or any other surgical procedure. Patients who get pregnant after a tummy tuck have an equally high chance carrying a healthy, full-term pregnancy as do women who have never had a tummy tuck. Some women report tighter sensation with pregnancy after tummy tuck as compared to a pre-surgery pregnancy, but this is not harmful and is usually mild and tolerable.
The biggest concern about getting pregnant after your tummy tuck is the potential negative effect the pregnancy can have on your results, which may lead to the need for a second or subsequent revision procedure in the future. With the significant weight fluctuation and abdominal stretching that will occur during the pregnancy, it is certainly possible that you could once again be left with loose, excess, sagging skin and a separation or weakening of the muscles, both of which would need surgical correction in order to restore your original results.
Is it possible to maintain my tummy tuck results after getting pregnant?
While many patients who become pregnant after tummy tuck end up requiring a touch-up or revision procedure, there are some cases when this is not needed. To give yourself the best possible chance of maintaining your tummy tuck results after a future pregnancy, it is important to try and control weight gain, but this should be done in a healthy way and under the supervision of your OB/GYN. If you do become pregnant or are considering becoming pregnant after a tummy tuck, Dr. Khorsandi and the knowledgeable team at VIP Plastic Surgery can help advise you on what else you can do to try and minimize the affect a pregnancy will have on your surgical results. It is important to set realistic expectations, though. Ultimately, it is always recommended that patients be as sure as possible that they are done having children before undergoing the tummy tuck.
How do I get started with a tummy tuck?
If you think the tummy tuck may be right for you, the first step is to be evaluated by a board-certified plastic surgeon. Call our convenient Las Vegas office to schedule your consultation with Dr. Christopher Khorsandi today, and learn more about how a tummy tuck can help you restore your pre-pregnancy stomach or remove unwanted skin after weight loss, giving you the body you’ve always dreamed of!
Pregnancy is a time of change. New life grows inside of your body, transforming from a single cell into a tiny human in just nine months. This process is beautiful, but its effects on the mother’s body aren’t always as awe-inspiring.
Some of the biggest changes during pregnancy happen in the abdominal area. Rapid expansion and significant growth stretch out the skin and muscles while hormonal fluctuations create new fat deposits.
Tummy tuck surgery is often a wonderful solution to the unwanted changes of a post-baby belly. This procedure removes stretched out skin and extra fat from the abdomen and tightens the abdominal muscles to restore a tighter and flatter tummy after pregnancy.
Tummy tucks are usually performed after pregnancy, but as you know, pregnancy isn’t always intentional. What happens if you get pregnant after a tummy tuck? Learn how pregnancy will affect your tummy tuck results.
Pregnancy and Your Tummy Tuck Results
If you don’t want to become pregnant, take active steps to reduce the likelihood of conception. Your gynecologist can help you find effective birth control for your lifestyle and situation. Tummy tuck surgery does not reduce your ability to conceive.
Pregnancy is safe after a tummy tuck, but we don’t recommend it. As the baby grows, it will stretch the skin and muscle of the abdominal area. Many of the effects that are reversed by a tummy tuck can reoccur.
A tummy tuck may increase your chances of stretch marks. During pregnancy, the skin stretches and pulls to accommodate your growing baby. When the skin stretches too far or too fast, stretch marks occur. After a tummy tuck, patients have less skin. The remaining skin must stretch further, often leading to stretch marks.
Many women with a previous tummy tuck find that they don’t “show” as early and that their stomachs never look as large during pregnancy. Your muscles are tighter after a tummy tuck and don’t expand as much.
What Should I Do if I Get Pregnant After a Tummy Tuck?
If you get pregnant after a tummy tuck, there is no need to worry. Pregnancy after tummy tuck surgery is very common, and most women have a healthy pregnancy and uneventful delivery.
- Let your obstetrician know that you’ve had a tummy tuck.
- Contact your plastic surgeon and let them know that you’re expecting. They may have tips for preserving your tummy tuck results and can offer advice on revision surgery after pregnancy if needed.
- Watch your weight gain. Gaining more weight than is needed can negatively impact your tummy tuck results. It is generally recommended that women gain 25-35 pounds during pregnancy. You may need to gain more or less, depending on your pre-pregnancy weight.
- The baby can be delivered vaginally or via C-section. If you’re having a planned C-section, having your plastic surgeon present can reduce scarring and help to preserve your tummy tuck results.
After your baby is born, touch-up surgery can be performed if needed to remove excess skin and tighten the abdominal muscles. Many women opt for a mommy makeover to restore their breasts and body after pregnancy.
Each year, thousands of women undergo Tummy Tuck surgery to help them reclaim their pre-baby bodies. Although no one can argue that the birth of a child is a joyous occasion, the long-term effects of pregnancy on a woman’s abdomen can make her feel anything but celebratory. As a result, many women pursue Abdominoplasty surgery, or Tummy Tuck, to improve the tightness and tone of their midsections after they have decided their families are complete. Even so, not all pregnancies are planned, and sometimes a woman may decide that she wants another child, even after having had a Tummy Tuck. Although most plastic surgeons will encourage a woman to wait until she is finished having children before scheduling surgery, getting pregnant after having had a Tummy Tuck is still considered reasonably safe for both mother and baby.
“As Plastic Surgeons, we generally advise women to wait until they are done having children before considering Tummy Tuck surgery,” says Dr. Robert Wilke, a board-certified plastic surgeon with Edina Plastic Surgery. “A Tummy Tuck removes loose, sagging skin in the abdominal area, tightens the midsection, repairs muscles when needed, and restores a more youthful, sculpted shape to the stomach. It is often combined with other procedures like Breast Lift, Breast Augmentation, and Liposuction to complete a true Mommy Makeover. Getting pregnant after a Tummy Tuck is not ideal, but it, of course, happens. Here are some things a woman needs to consider if she intentionally or unintentionally gets pregnant after her surgery.”
#1 – Pregnancy after Tummy Tuck Surgery is safe for both mother and child.
Most surgeons’ concern about pregnancy after Abdominoplasty surgery is an aesthetic one – not one based on function or safety. Pregnancy stretches out the muscles and skin of the abdominals. If this excess skin has already been excised via a prior Tummy Tuck, the remaining tightened skin will need to stretch once again during the new pregnancy. This can lead to loose, sagging skin all over again that a woman may find frustrating and unattractive. Regardless, a woman should be able to enjoy a safe and uneventful birth irrespective of whether she has had a prior Tummy Tuck.
#2 – Your pregnancy may feel and look differently after Tummy Tuck Surgery.
“It’s vital that you communicate with your OBGYN that you have had Tummy Tuck Surgery in the past, as they are the best ones to advise you about any concerns and to track and monitor your progress,” says Dr. Wilke. “Even though a woman should be able to carry her baby to a healthy term, her pregnancy may feel differently than it did before. If abdominal muscles were significantly tightened during her Tummy Tuck, she might experience heightened straining and stretching sensations as her baby grows. A woman may also notice that her baby bump does not protrude as much as her last pregnancy. In both cases, there should still be enough room for her baby to grow, move, and thrive.”
#3 – If a C-Section is required, previous Tummy Tuck incisions may be utilized.
Plastic surgeons strive to make Tummy Tuck scars as undetectable as possible. This includes placing them low on the abdominals, so they are easily hidden inside swimsuit bottoms. In the event that a C-section is needed, an OBGYN may be able to make their incision along the scar of a woman’s Tummy Tuck surgery, avoiding the need for additional scarring.
#4 – Tummy Tuck results may or may not be compromised by a new pregnancy.
“Just because a woman becomes pregnant after having had a Tummy Tuck doesn’t mean that she will lose all of the results from her surgery after her baby is born,” says Dr. Wilke. “Every woman’s body responds differently to pregnancy, and I find that many women, especially those who diligently control their weight throughout their pregnancy, maintain most of their results. If abdominal muscles are damaged in pregnancy, or some sagging of the skin on the stomach does occur, a woman may simply consider an Abdominoplasty Revision or Mini Tummy Tuck to address these changes in the future.”
#5 – There are options for women who want a Tummy Tuck now and more children in the future.
In some cases, your plastic surgeon may be able to make slight changes to how they perform your Tummy Tuck surgery if they know you still want to have more children in the future. This includes repairing less abdominal muscle or avoiding repair to allow for more stretch to accommodate a developing baby. A woman must communicate all of her preferences, concerns, and future plans for pregnancy with her plastic surgeon.
“During my patient consultations for Tummy Tuck surgery, I strongly recommend that women wait until they are done having children before pursuing surgery,” advises Dr. Wilke. “This will not only preserve their results but also cut back on any additional expenses for future revisions or surgeries. That being said, life is life and can come with many curveballs, surprises, and changes, including the blessing of a new baby! It’s important to understand that a woman can still have a safe pregnancy and maintain many of her results even if she becomes pregnant after Tummy Tuck surgery.”