Medically Reviewed April 2023, by Pundrique Sharma - Consultant Aesthetic Plastic Surgeon
Tummy tuck surgery, or abdominoplasty, is popular among women as a solution for excess abdominal fat and loose skin. Unfortunately for many, even the most dedicated lifestyle changes in diet and exercise cannot remove loose skin or stubborn pockets of fat.
Unsurprisingly then, tummy tuck surgery is an option that is considered by many women after pregnancy who are struggling with some of the associated aesthetic changes.
However, not all women who decide to undergo tummy tuck surgery do so after pregnancy and may either intend to continue having children after surgery or change their mind years later regarding a previous decision to stop having children. This, of course, gives rise to questions around the safety of pregnancy post tummy tuck or how previous results will be affected by pregnancy. Here we will cover many of the common questions and concerns.
Perhaps the most commonly expressed concern relates to how abdominoplasty might affect future pregnancies and women commonly ask, ‘Can you have a baby after a tummy tuck?’ or ‘Is it safe to get pregnant after a tummy tuck?’. Although all pregnancies are associated with risks, tummy tuck surgery has not been linked to additional pregnancy risks provided that adequate recovery time has been allowed before the pregnancy. In the early months following surgery, the tightened skin and underlying fascia are less amenable to the changes that occur during pregnancy. Therefore any imminent pregnancy is heavily discouraged.
Providing that at least 6-12 months of recovery time is allowed, the most likely impact of tummy tuck surgery on a subsequent pregnancy is the feeling of a tighter sensation when compared to previous pregnancies.
Another important consideration is how a pregnancy will affect the aesthetic results of abdominoplasty. In some cases, women report satisfactory results following pregnancy. However this will depend on the nature of the pregnancy, the extent of muscle repair prior to pregnancy and the nature of the birth. In many cases however, it is likely that a revision procedure will be required following pregnancy to maintain a woman’s desired results. This is because the natural changes that occur during the pregnancy process will cause stretching of the skin and separation of the abdominal muscles once again.
Consequently, the safest and most cost-effective course of action when it comes to abdominoplasty is for a woman to be as sure as possible that she no longer intends to become pregnant before undergoing abdominoplasty.
Despite the fact that becoming pregnant after abdominoplasty is not an ideal scenario, at The Harley Medical Group we understand that life is not always predictable, so patients need to have the answers to questions such as this. Fortunately, providing that adequate recovery time is allowed, caesarean section surgery itself should not be affected by previous abdominoplasty surgery. The Obstetrician may even be able to use the tummy tuck incision site to perform the caesarean section, so it is important to discuss all previous surgery during your pregnancy appointments. That being said, it is likely that any subsequent scarring is likely to be more prominent than it was before the C-section.
If you are considering abdominoplasty, you can find out more about the procedure, view results and explore the costs here. You can also discuss any questions relating to your personal circumstances during a free no-obligation consultation with a Patient Advisor at The Harley Medical Group.