Pregnancy should be a time of celebration and joy, but for some women who have undergone a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) in the past, it can be a quite anxious time with a lot of thoughts and worries. We hope to address most of these worries and give a few answers in this article.
Pregnancy After a Tummy Tuck
- What happens if I get pregnant after I’ve had a tummy tuck?
- Is it risky for the child?
- Will I ruin the result of the tummy tuck?
- Will I have to undergo tummy tuck surgery again after the pregnancy?
These are common questions both from women who plan to do a tummy tuck and from women who have already done it and now wants to have another child or are already pregnant again.
The short answer is: Yes, you can get pregnant after you have had a tummy tuck. However, it is almost always recommended that you wait with the surgery until you have had all the children you want. On the other hand, life is not always following our plans and things change so that you may become pregnant later in life, after the surgery. Assuming that you have healed fully after the surgery, the procedure of abdominoplasty (the medical term for a tummy tuck), will not affect the baby’s development or growth in the womb.
Many women actually do become pregnant again at one time or another after they have had tummy tuck surgery and find that no complications arise as long as they have healed properly from the previous surgery. That being said, the reason that a surgeon would not recommend becoming pregnant again is that it most probably will affect the result of the tummy tuck surgery.
The surgery includes tightening the abdominal wall muscles and removing extra skin in order to give you a flat belly. According to Dr. Bottger, the pregnancy will stretch those very same muscles again as well as stretching the skin again. This means that after the pregnancy you might need to do a mini tummy tuck in order to restore the flat belly (more info on mini tummy tucks can be found here). However, it is almost impossible to foresee the effects in every case and many women will find that the stomach ultimately recovers when the excess weight from pregnancy is lost.
Unhealed Tummy Tuck and Pregnancy
In general, a tummy tuck will need a few months to fully heal. Women who are still recovering from the tummy tuck and discover that they are pregnant should immediately discuss the situation with the surgeon who performed the tummy tuck as well as the doctor caring for her though the pregnancy. Pregnancy after a tummy tuck that has not completely recovered can obviously lead to some potential complications, though most women will find that they are healed enough to avoid many risks.
One potential complication of an unhealed tummy tuck is the risk of reopening the wound. In most cases, this risk is minimal because the wound and stitches from surgery should end up healed and removed before the stomach begins growing larger. In most cases, the surgeon and the doctor caring for mother and child before delivery will be able to work around the still healing abdomen and minimize or eliminate risks associated with the stretching stomach.
For many women, discomfort due to the feeling of stretching as the baby grows is most common. For some, the feeling is more painful. It might even lead to a premature birth if doctors determine that the discomfort is turning into problems like heartburn or difficulty of breathing as the baby grows. This is more common if the baby is larger than average, because smaller babies will usually not cause the mother to feel much discomfort beyond stretching muscles.
Tummy Tuck After a C-Section
Women who have gone through a C-section to deliver their child might find that they feel uncomfortable with the scar and their stomach. A tummy tuck after C section can help improve the appearance of the stomach and eliminate the extra fat or skin from pregnancy.
In most cases, doctors will not suggest a tummy tuck and C section combined surgery because the risks of complications, infections and other problems are increased. Another reason to wait is because the tummy tuck will require using a liposuction to remove excess fat from the body at the same time.
The key to a successful tummy tuck after C section is allowing the body enough time to recover from the initial surgery. This helps reduce the risk of complications.
A tummy tuck can help improve a mother’s appearance after giving birth by reducing the excess skin on the stomach and tighten the abdominal wall. If you become pregnant too soon after the surgery, we recommend that you discuss potential complications with your surgeon and doctor (even though complications are rare).
Have you gone through the procedure? Do you have any tips for other women in this situation? Please use the comment field below.
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Here is a list of surgeons answering questions about pregnancy and tummy tucks.
Here you will find helpful information from The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery