What You Need to Know about Pregnancy after Tummy Tuck

March 31, 2014 Scott Newman

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There’s no denying that a baby is a blessing to a family, offering as many joyous, exciting moments as sleepless nights and lifestyle changes. Moreover, many women are all too familiar with the long-term effects pregnancy can have on the abdomen following the birth of one or more children. Many women opt for a tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, to improve the tone and tightness of their midsections at the end of their childbearing years or when they’ve decided their family is complete. Still, everyone knows not all pregnancies are planned, and sometimes people simply change their minds about wanting more kids. It is important to know that pregnancy after tummy tuck is possible and is considered reasonably safe for both mom and baby.

If you believe you have completed your family, it might be a good time to start thinking about tummy tuck surgery. Abdominoplasty can help you transform a post baby bellyback into a flat tummy like you had before your children were born. The tummy tuck eliminates loose skin in the abdominal area, tightens the tummy, and sculpts a more beautiful, youthful shape to the stomach. More and more women are opting for a tummy tuck together with a breast augmentation or breast lift procedure to regain a more complete post baby body.

What happens if I get pregnant after a tummy tuck?

You may think you are done having kids, but months or years down the road you may find that you’re expecting again. Not all pregnancies are planned, so there’s often that chance. I’ve never had a patient who had a tummy tuck and then wasn’t able to carry a baby to term. Safety of mother or baby should not be a concern in pregnancy following abdominoplasty. You should be able to enjoy your pregnancy and an uneventful birth of a healthy baby.

Will the tummy tuck survive the pregnancy?

Many patients who become pregnant after abdominoplasty continue to love the results of their surgery even after the baby’s birth. I’ve only ever had one tummy tuck patient come back for a touchup following pregnancy. However, pregnancy can alter the results of a plastic surgery procedure like a tummy tuck. Weight gain, presence of stretch marks, separation of the muscles, and other factors may determine if revision surgery is needed, and the true outcome may depend a great deal on how much muscle repair your surgeon did during your tummy tuck. Everyone’s body responds differently to pregnancy as well as to surgery, so it’s important to consult your plastic surgeon as well as your OBGYN when you find out you are expecting. Controlling your weight gain during pregnancy can help to preserve the results of your tummy tuck. You may wish to come back for abdominoplasty revision surgery or a mini tummy tuck if you find that your post-pregnancy before and after tummy tuck results do not align.

Will the pregnancy have any complications following a tummy tuck?

All pregnancies have the potential to experience some degree of complications for known or unknown causes. Your OBGYN can best advise you on any concerns you may have regarding pregnancy complications. However, when it comes to your tummy tuck’s effect on your pregnancy and your unborn child, in almost all cases you should be able to carry your baby healthily to term. If your abdominal muscles are very tight to begin with, you may experience tightening or pulling sensations as your belly grows and stretches, but this is not dangerous. You may also feel that your baby bump doesn’t stick out as far as you expect, but your child should still have plenty of room to grow and thrive.

What if I need a C-section after my tummy tuck?

I work with my patients to conceal the tummy tuck scar inside the bathing suit bottom styles they tend to prefer. This typically produces a fully undetectable result. When a birth by cesarean section comes into play, the main concern centers around scar tissue. The issue with c-sections after tummy tuck isn’t much different than a repeat c-section. In this case your OB/GYN is working in an area of a previous procedure. You should be sure to tell your doctor that you already had a tummy tuck as sometimes the scar isn’t so obvious. It is true that your OB/GYN may not close your new c-section incision with the skill of a Plastic Surgeon and that could affect the appearance of your scar afterward. In many cases I have been present in the delivery room to re-close the incision. Your OB/GYN may be able to use the very same tummy tuck scar or a low pelvic incision, also easily concealed by a swimsuit.

How long should I wait to get pregnant after a tummy tuck?

If you are contemplating pregnancy in the near future, I would advise you to wait on your tummy tuck. You can certainly have a successful pregnancy after tummy tuck, but due to the expense and possible need for touchups following the pregnancy, it makes sense to wait until you are fairly certain you’re done having kids. That said, some patients may wish to have a tummy tuck done when they feel there would be a large gap of time between their children, for example, after having a first child in their late teens and not planning any more children until late twenties or early thirties. It is important for you to feel confident and happy with your body, so it is understandable that you may wish to consider a tummy tuck with an open ended possibility of having more kids in the future.

Sometimes women may become pregnant unexpectedly within a year or two of a tummy tuck, or even just a few months after surgery. If you are still going through yourtummy tuck recovery, you may feel anxious about how the pregnancy will impact your body’s healing process. In most cases, you should still expect to make a full recovery without complications. If you have any concerns, be sure to speak with your plastic surgeon and your OBGYN for professional guidance.

What if I think I want more kids, but I still want a tummy tuck now?

If you feel strongly that you may want to have more children in the future, be sure you speak with your plastic surgeon about pregnancy after tummy tuck before undergoing any procedures. I have had patients express this wish to me, and that insightful knowledge has allowed me to perform less muscle repair or perhaps no muscle repair at all, leaving the body in a better state to accommodate a growing baby. Discuss your wishes and your concerns with your surgeon to ensure your best interests are kept in mind, whether you have your tummy tuck now or a few years down the road.

If you are considering abdominoplasty, check out our tummy tuck before and afterphoto gallery to give you an idea of the results you can expect with Scott E. Newman MD, FACS, a qualified, board certified plastic surgeon at your service.

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