One fairly common question that women ask when they consult with me about tummy tuck surgery in Sacramento is whether they can get pregnant after having the procedure. The simple answer is yes, women can get pregnant after an abdominoplasty. The more complicated answer is that ideally, a patient is finished having children before undergoing a tummy tuck.
That’s because the physical changes addressed by a tummy tuck—loose skin, separated abdominal muscles, and stubborn pockets of fat—likely will occur after a subsequent pregnancy. So, what should you know about getting pregnant after a tummy tuck?
Does the Risk of Complications Increase?
The risk of complications during pregnancy after a tummy tuck is not higher than during previous pregnancies. It’s safe for both you and the baby. You may feel more uncomfortable as you get closer to your delivery date because tension is created as the baby grows and you gain weight, stretching skin that was tightened during your tummy tuck.
Of course, the cosmetic changes created by abdominoplasty likely will be lost after having a baby. Another tummy tuck will be needed if you want to regain your flatter stomach because pregnancy will again stretch the skin and potentially separate the abdominal muscles. This is why plastic surgeons ask women considering tummy tuck surgery if they plan to have any more children before moving ahead with the procedure.
Don’t Stress If You Get Pregnant
As I mentioned above, it’s safe to get pregnant after a tummy tuck. People’s lives change, and unplanned pregnancies happen. Stress won’t help and it definitely can take a toll emotionally and physically during pregnancy. You can control some things that help maintain some tummy tuck results. For example, try to strengthen your core muscles during pregnancy and don’t gain weight rapidly.
What If I Need a C-Section Delivery?
If your OB-GYN determines a C-section delivery is appropriate, it’s important that they know you’ve had a tummy tuck. The presence of scar tissue can complicate the procedure because it takes more time to get to the fetus. It could be even more complicated if you had previous C-section deliveries. Because tummy tuck and C-section incisions are both made very low on the abdomen, it’s possible that the OB-GYN could use the tummy tuck incision for the C-section.
Will Pregnancy Make My Tummy Tuck Scar Worse?
Not necessarily. If your pregnancy occurs a year or more after your abdominoplasty, your scar should be completely healed and softened and not be affected as your belly expands. Scar tissue that’s too firm may not stretch evenly. That could result in the scar appearing irregular if the pregnancy is less than a year after a tummy tuck. Scars could also become raised after a subsequent pregnancy or discolored because of hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy.
The decision to get a tummy tuck involves an investment of both time and money. Ideally, abdominoplasty patients I see in Sacramento don’t plan to get pregnant again, and they can enjoy the results of their procedures for years to come. If you’re considering a tummy tuck and have finished having children, request a consultation using the online form or call our office at (916) 929-1833 to schedule an appointment.