Abdominoplasty, or a tummy tuck, is a popular body contouring surgery which tightens abdominal muscles and removes excess skin to slim the waistline and smooth the abdomen. As a result, it is frequently requested by women who have recently given birth and is a common component of a ‘mommy makeover.’
Although pregnancy is safe following a tummy tuck, it is recommended that women wait until they have finished expanding their families before undergoing this procedure because the results may be impacted by further childbirth.
Tummy tuck does not affect pregnancy
While it is preferable to undergo a tummy tuck after pregnancy, abdominoplasty does not affect development of the baby or pose a threat to the mother’s health. The skin, which is tightened during the procedure, can still stretch to accommodate a growing baby. Since abdominal muscles are tightened during a tummy tuck, however, patients may feel their stomach tightening or pulling as it grows and stretches throughout their next pregnancy. Although uncomfortable, this feeling is not dangerous to the mother or baby.
Pregnancy may impact the results
Because pregnancy and childbirth will stretch the abdominal tissue and result in significant weight gain, it is important to be aware that the results of your previous tummy tuck may be negatively impacted. In some cases, the resulting changes to the abdominal anterior wall may necessitate a future revision surgery in order to restore your appearance. Each individual’s experience, however, is unique and in some instances, the results of a tummy tuck may be unaffected with childbirth.
In order to reduce the risk that future pregnancies will impact your results, it is important to ensure that you have fully recovered from your tummy tuck before becoming pregnant again, as the abdominal muscles, which are repositioned during abdominoplasty, need a minimum of six months to fully heal. Becoming pregnant too soon after a tummy tuck may mean that the muscles, which stretch significantly during pregnancy, do not return to their desired position.
There is a risk of unwanted side effects
Although your pregnancy will not be impacted by your tummy tuck, there is a risk of unwanted side effects. When the anterior abdominal wall is stretched again by pregnancy after abdominoplasty, it may increase the likelihood of the development of stretch marks or deformations on the abdomen. In addition, patients may experience heartburn, urinary incontinence or constipation because surgery hinders the muscle’s ability to disperse.
If you are considering a tummy tuck before you have finished expanding your family, it is important to discuss this with your surgeon prior to undergoing the procedure. Abdominoplasty does not negatively impact pregnancy, however, the reverse may be true as pregnancy stretches the skin and muscles that are tightened during a tummy tuck.
To learn more about whether it is the right time to undergo this procedure, please do not hesitate to contact our clinic to schedule a consultation with one of our board certified plastic surgeons who will listen to your concerns and answer any questions you may have.
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