If you have already gone through one or more pregnancies and childbirth, you may have decided to get a tummy tuck to regain a flatter and firmer stomach like you had before. As you imagine how good you will look after the procedure, you may also think of potential risks, outcomes, or other situations you’d like to know more about. One consideration that comes to light for many women is the question of what happens if you have a pregnancy after a tummy tuck.
Dr. Leo Lapuerta is a triple-board-certified plastic surgeon with more than two decades of experience in many plastic surgery procedures, including the tummy tuck. He will address any issues or concerns you may have about the procedure when you meet for a consultation. However, you can get some basic information here about whether you can get pregnant after a tuck (yes) and what will happen in that case.
What is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure, also known as an abdominoplasty, that helps tighten the muscles of the abdomen and removes excess skin. The plastic surgeon will make incisions in the abdomen and may use liposuction to remove any excess fat. They will repair any muscles that have separated and remove the loose skin. They will stitch the remaining skin together to achieve a flatter, firmer appearance in the abdomen.
It’s best to wait until after you have finished having children to get a tummy tuck. Getting pregnant after a tuck runs the risk of undoing the hard work you and your surgeon put into achieving great results. Many women choose to have this surgery as part of a Mommy makeover, which is actually a series of procedures designed to contour the body to a pre-pregnancy shape. It may include breast augmentation, breast lift, liposuction, and a butt lift to help the woman regain her pre-pregnancy appearance.
Recovery time for a tummy tuck can take a few weeks. In the beginning, you will wear a compression garment to help with healing. You can expect the abdominal area to have swelling and bruising along with some discomfort that may be alleviated by pain medication. Most patients can expect to return to work within two to three weeks following surgery. They will still have restrictions such as avoiding exercise and other strenuous physical activity until four to six weeks after surgery.
Pregnancy After a Tummy Tuck
Having a baby after a tummy tuck is possible. The procedure won’t prevent you from getting pregnant after a tummy tuck or even make it more difficult. A tummy tuck has no impact on your fertility, but most doctors recommend waiting to have the surgery until your family is complete. The risk isn’t with being able to get pregnant or to having a healthy baby – it’s more about how your body will change and impact the results achieved during your prior surgical procedure.
Risks of Pregnancy After a Tuck
Once you have had a tummy tuck, there is still the risk that you will get pregnant again as long as your body is able, and you do not take precautions such as sterilization or contraceptives. Doctors aren’t concerned about any risks to the baby or even to your health if you do get pregnant after having the surgery.
The main risk that worries doctors is that the skin and muscles will stretch out and shift again during pregnancy. Even though the loose skin was removed during the tummy tuck, the remaining skin will need to stretch out with a new pregnancy. It may end up sagging after childbirth and require another surgery.
Will the Pregnancy Have Complications?
Doctors don’t expect complications with a pregnancy after a tummy tuck. However, the woman may experience pulling on her abdominal muscles as the baby grows. She may notice sensations of stretching while the stomach may not protrude as much as with previous pregnancies. Neither of the issues is cause for concern.
Some women require a C-section for delivery of the baby. Having had a tummy tuck has no bearing on the need for a C-section. However, the doctor may take advantage of the scar from the tummy tuck and make any new incisions along the scar to prevent further scarring.
What Will Happen to the Tummy Tuck?
You shouldn’t assume that the results of your tummy tuck will be undone if you get pregnant. You may not lose all the results from the procedure. Even if you notice some sagging of the skin, it may not be as extreme as it was previously. If a repair is needed after pregnancy, you may be able to have a mini tummy tuck or an abdominoplasty revision. A mini tummy tuck focuses solely on the area below the belly button and doesn’t require as much recovery time.
Many women find they don’t need another tummy tuck after being pregnant if they stay active and exercise during their pregnancy. Others will end up with loose skin no matter how healthy they try to be. It’s hard to predict which will be the case, so if possible it’s better to plan a tummy tuck for after you are done growing your family.
However, if you know you want more children in the future but don’t want to wait for a tummy tuck, you should explain your plans to your doctor. They may alter the plan for the surgery such as not repairing the abdominal muscles to allow for more stretching with a future baby.
Schedule a Free Consultation
If you’re considering having an abdominoplasty and aren’t sure you are done having children, you can schedule a free consultation to speak with Dr. Lapuerta about a tummy tuck and pregnancy. You can discuss your situation and goals with him, and he will provide answers and guidance to help you make the right decision for you.
Dr. Lapuerta has over 20 years of experience in plastic surgery and has performed thousands of procedures for patients, including tummy tuck and breast surgery. He also stays up to date on the newest trends and information on surgical procedures to ensure optimal results for his patients.
Contact us today at 713.489.0169 if you want to know more or are ready to schedule your free consultation.