Tummy tuck is the cosmetic procedure most requested by women who have had children. That’s because the abdomen is typically the area of the body that’s most affected by pregnancy, leaving behind an excess of loose skin and weakened muscles. These issues, which diet and exercise can’t typically remedy, can be reduced with tummy tuck surgery. The relationship between tummy tuck and pregnancy is close, so I want to address some of the most common questions I hear from my own tummy tuck patients here in Richmond, VA.
Timing Is Everything
Most women considering tummy tuck are curious about when is the best time for surgery. When I consult with prospective patients, I like to discuss the matter of family planning. In order to get the most from your surgery, you should be done bearing children. Getting pregnant and carrying that pregnancy to term at any point after your tummy tuck can significantly affect the results of your surgery, possibly even necessitating a second tummy tuck. However, I don’t want you to stress about this decision, either. If you’re not sure about your future family plans, but you’re certain that you want the surgery, it’s OK to have a tummy tuck as long as you understand there’s a possibility of a secondary surgery later on.
If you’re certain that you don’t want any more children in the future, I recommend waiting at least 3 months after you’ve given birth and after breastfeeding before moving forward with your surgery. This gives your body enough time to heal and recuperate, and also allows your hormones to normalize before surgery. This is vital to achieving a safe procedure and your desired results. Although 3 months is the bare minimum, postponing surgery until 6 months postpartum or post-breastfeeding is preferable. The increased time before surgery also allows you to settle into a comfortable routine at home, ensuring you’re well-rested and relaxed for your surgery.
“Weight” for It
Weight is another important factor between pregnancy and tummy tuck. Pregnancy can affect your weight in unpredictable ways, and after pregnancy many women take steps to lose the “baby weight.” However, tummy tuck isn’t intended to be a weight loss procedure. Rather, its primary focus is on the excision of loose, unwanted skin. Although you may see a slight difference on the scale after your surgery, don’t expect a noticeable weight loss after your tummy tuck.
In addition to waiting until enough time has elapsed after giving birth, you should also wait until you’re within 10 to 15 pounds of your ideal body weight before having a tummy tuck. Patients who are significantly overweight or in the process of losing weight aren’t typically eligible for surgery, as the procedure may not be safe or effective for them. If you’re at a healthy, happy weight but still bothered by unwanted fat deposits, liposuction might be a better option.
If you’re considering tummy tuck surgery but aren’t sure how the surgery will fit into your life and plans for pregnancy, I encourage you to schedule a consultation with me to talk more in depth. Please contact my office to get in touch.