Abdominoplasty and Pregnancy
Depending on their stage of life, two common questions I hear from women considering abdominoplasty – also referred to as tummy tuck surgery – are as follows: “Is it safe to get pregnant after my tummy tuck procedure?” and “How will pregnancy affect the results of a previous abdominoplasty?”
The answer to the first inquiry is relatively straightforward – yes, for the vast majority of patients, it is safe to become pregnant after tummy tuck surgery. During the abdominoplasty procedure, excess skin is removed, loose abdominal muscles are tightened (if needed), and the remaining skin is pulled taut and secured for a slimmer, more toned abdominal contour. When the procedure is performed safely and effectively by a board certified plastic surgeon, a subsequent pregnancy should not affect the patient’s health, or the health of her developing child. That said, the effects of pregnancy will often impact the results of the tummy tuck procedure, which brings us to the next question.
When women become pregnant following abdominoplasty, the skin and muscle tissues of the abdominal region typically re-stretch as they did originally as the pregnancy progresses and the baby grows in size. As a result, the outcome they achieved from their previous tummy tuck surgery usually becomes compromised, often leading to a need and/or desire for a revisional procedure, or even a “second tummy tuck,” to help restore the aesthetic attained after the initial procedure. I have performed a number of “second tummy tucks” and revisional abdominoplasties, and they do well.
Ultimately, the exact answers to these two questions will depend on the unique individual, but the information above applies to most abdominoplasty patients. If you are interested in a tummy tuck and also plan to have children in the future, it is important to discuss this with your plastic surgeon prior to surgery in order to determine the best course of action for your specific situation.
– James F. Boynton, MD, FACS