How will pregnancy affect the results of the tummy tuck?
When it comes to different types of plastic surgery, you will notice that the surgeon will always ask you right from the start whether you have plans to have more children. This is a common question when it comes to plastic surgery on the breasts and especially on the tummy. The plastic surgeon needs to make sure that you understand even before scheduling your tummy tuck that an ulterior pregnancy can affect the aesthetic results achieved.
Many patients want to know how pregnancy will affect the results of the tummy tuck. Before anything else, we should mention that it is not recommended to get pregnant in the first two years after getting a tummy tuck. The body needs time to heal and restore after the surgical trauma it received during abdominoplasty, and pregnancy that would occur shortly after this can interfere with the healing process. Your plastic surgeon will advise you to wait at least one year before getting pregnant again after the tummy tuck surgery.
During pregnancy, the uterus grows as the baby inside develops. This means that on the outside, the tissues of the abdominal wall need to stretch as well to accommodate the growing uterus. The abdominal wall is made out of muscles, skin and an underlying layer of fat. During pregnancy, all these tissues can be affected. The muscles can get distended due to the growing uterus and even get loose as a result of overstretching. At the same time, the skin that is overstretched can develop stretch marks and the elastin fibers can break. The subcutaneous fat tissue can grow in size as well if the patient will gain a considerable amount of weight during pregnancy.
This means that after childbirth, the muscles can be loose and distended, and the skin becomes saggy as it is unable to retract on the new contours of the body. The fat tissue also becomes thicker than before getting pregnant. In other words, a potential ulterior pregnancy can completely alter the results achieved with the tummy tuck and trigger an unsightly appearance of the abdominal area before undergoing the initial procedure. For many patients, having an ulterior pregnancy after a tummy tuck usually translates to a need to undergo additional plastic surgery after childbirth.
Make sure to discuss your future plans with the plastic surgeon during the pre-operative consultation. It is important for the patient to understand the factors that could alter the results achieved with the tummy tuck to be able to sustain these results for as long as possible. It is also important to mention that it is only the aesthetic results that could be impacted if a pregnancy occurs after the tummy tuck. Otherwise, there is no other risk for the mother or the baby.