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!