Every year, the Dr. Lapuerta performs many tummy tuck and mini tummy tuck procedures. Some of our clients go on to have babies later — which, inevitably, means they come back to Dr. Lapuerta with questions about how pregnancy might impact their results.
Though having a pregnancy after tummy tuck can feel like a complicated decision, many women do go this route. Whether you’re considering tummy tuck surgery and want to know how getting pregnant later on will affect your procedure results — or if you’ve already had one and are trying for a baby — we can help.
A tummy tuck is a form of plastic surgery which reduces the size and appearance of one’s abdomen. This is achieved by surgically removing excess tissue, fat, and skin, as well as tightening the muscles of the abdominal wall. As a result, patients enjoy a flatter and trimmer tummy without any excess or loose skin. Tummy tuck patients choose this procedure for a number of reasons, including noticeable bulges under clothing, bloating after meals, or excess skin following a weight loss.
Some patients also find that, despite losing weight, certain stubborn pockets of fat remain on their body. This problem is often reported by women following a pregnancy. After childbirth, many women find that their body has changed significantly from pregnancy — but their busy schedule and sleep deprivation doesn’t allow for them to get back to pre-baby shape. A number of these women choose tummy tuck surgery (or a mini tummy tuck) for this reason. But what if, in the years following their tummy tuck, they want to have another baby? This is where questions can crop up and women aren’t always sure how to proceed.
Common Questions About Pregnancy After Tummy Tuck Surgery
Will a Tummy Tuck Make it Harder For Me to Conceive?
Though this is a valid worry, tummy tuck patients can rest assured that pregnancy after tummy tuck is achievable. Fertility is not impacted by the procedure; patients will still be able to conceive.
Will a Post-Tummy Tuck Pregnancy Compromise My Results?
This is one of the most common questions we get about tummy tucks and pregnancy. After all, some of the trademarks of pregnancy — weight gain and an expanding belly — directly contradict the purpose of a tummy tuck. The truth is, there is a high possibility that a pregnancy will compromise or alter tummy tuck results. Do know, however, that there are no safety concerns associated with a pregnancy after tummy tuck. Dr. Lapeurta recommends patients schedule a tummy tuck procedure after they are finished planning their family to preserve the procedure results, but it will not compromise your health if you do happen to get pregnant later. Should this occur, a revisional tummy tuck procedure can correct these postpartum changes.
Will a Post-Tummy Tuck Pregnancy be Safe For my Baby?
Yes. Though we recommend that women wait until their family is complete to have a tummy tuck, that is for results-based, aesthetic reasons rather than medical ones. In terms of safety, a post-tummy tuck pregnancy is perfectly fine. During pregnancy, a woman’s stomach muscles will still expand and create space for her baby — even if she’s had a tummy tuck in the past.
Can Previous Tummy Tuck Patients Have C-Sections?
Yes, definitely. In fact, the process surrounding a post-tummy tuck C-section is similar to having a repeat cesarean procedure. In both these cases, a surgeon will work with the patient’s previous abdominal scar to operate. Because of this, it is important for pregnant patients to inform their OB-GYN about their entire medical history, especially plastic surgeries like a tummy tuck. Often, tummy tuck scars heal so well that they are barely noticeable — that’s thanks to the work of a good plastic surgeon. However, near-invisible scars can easily be missed by a doctor who doesn’t know to look for them. In that case, they would make new incisions rather than work with the existing scars, which is not ideal.
It is important to note that plastic surgeons like Dr. Lapuerta are known for producing results with minimal scarring. Though an OB-GYN will, of course, safely and effectively perform surgery, scarring on the belly might be more noticeable than it was before.
How Soon is “Too Soon?”
Timing is everything, especially when it comes to major medical events like surgery or childbirth. When it comes to planning a pregnancy following a tummy tuck surgery, the general advice is to wait for a while.
For the safety of both mother and baby, Dr. Lapuerta asks that any woman considering pregnancy waits until her tummy tuck has healed before trying to conceive. Generally, this happens 4-6 months after surgery. However, if possible, Dr. Lapuerta does recommend that patients take even more time to recover before becoming pregnant. Schedule a consultation to discuss and get a recommendation tailored to your goals, medical history, and body.
Pregnancy After Tummy Tuck: Risks and Considerations
Although a pregnancy is likely to alter the results of a prior tummy tuck surgery, we’ll emphasize again that pregnancy after tummy tuck is not considered to be a health risk to either the mother or baby. However, it is always wise to speak with a GP about one’s personal history before trying to conceive, or undergoing any form of surgery. This will allow the doctor and patient to assess any potential for risk or complication. Below are other important considerations regarding tummy tucks and pregnancy.
When is the Best Time to Have a Tummy Tuck?
For women intending to bear children, the best time for a tummy tuck is after her last child has been born. This is for a number of reasons. First, as we’ve already discussed, a post-tummy tuck pregnancy will likely alter results by stretching the stomach and adding pockets of fat back to the abdominal area. Furthermore, some patients purposely wait to have tummy tuck surgery so they can address all at once any cesarean scars and stretch marks from their pregnancy.
Pregnancy After Mini Tummy Tuck Surgery
Though a mini tummy tuck differs slightly from a full tuck, most of the same rules apply when it comes to pregnancy. A mini tummy tuck patient can absolutely conceive and deliver a healthy baby, but she might find that her surgical results are no longer noticeable. In these cases, a revisional surgery may be desirable.
The ideal timeline is to have a mini tummy tuck following pregnancy. Mini tummy tucks are often the perfect postnatal procedure for those hoping to reduce C-section scarring as well as extra fat in the lower belly. Postnatal patients who wish to tackle larger problem areas or with excess stomach skin are advised to choose a full tummy tuck over a mini.
Find the Support You Deserve
Is it time for your tummy tuck? Dr. Leo Lapuerta has been performing plastic surgery for over 20 years, and has over 20,000 successful surgeries to his name. Get in touch today to book a consultation at your local clinic; we operate in Houston, Katy, Pearland, and Piney Point. There, you can discuss any questions or concerns you have about your potential tummy tuck surgery with Dr. Lapuerta.
We can’t wait to meet you and help you meet your goals!