Many women find that as they age, have children, and undergo weight fluctuations, their body changes in ways they wish it wouldn’t! One change that many find particularly bothersome is the development of loose, sagging skin on the abdomen. Oftentimes, this is the result of stretching of the abdominal skin and tissues due to pregnancy or weight changes. After pregnancy or weight loss, the stretched out skin is unable to recoil to its original shape, leaving behind sagging tissue. Unfortunately, this loose tissue cannot be toned with exercises to make it elastic and tight again. However, board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Traci Temmen is happy to offer a surgical solution – the tummy tuck! This surgery is a dream come true to women who have felt helpless as they watched their body change over time. However, many women considering this procedure ask, “What happens if I get pregnant again after a tummy tuck?” This blog post will introduce the tummy tuck procedure, as well as answer this common patient question.
In the past, plastic surgeons performed tummy tucks using a “one size fits all” approach, where sagging extra tissue was removed from the belly and the remaining tissue pulled together to create a tight, flat abdomen. While this surgery achieved a flatter stomach, it also left many women with an unnatural shape by removing tissue from the belly but leaving the back and sides untouched. Today, board-certified plastic surgeons like Dr. Traci Temmen have adapted their approach to flatten the tummy while also slimming the overall silhouette and accentuating the woman’s natural curves. To accomplish this, first liposuction is performed of the abdomen, back and sides. Through this technique, Dr. Temmen is able to start sculpting a smooth hourglass shape before she even starts on the “tummy tuck” portion. Liposuction also slims down the back and sides, ensuring the finished look will look natural and proportional with the abdomen. Next, excess sagging skin and loose tissue is surgically removed from the front of the abdomen, and the remaining healthy tissue is neatly pulled together to create a flatter, more toned tummy. In addition to pulling together the skin and superficial tissue, Dr. Temmen may also tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall if she sees that they have drifted apart as a result of pregnancy and weight changes, helping to further cinch in the waist. Altogether, this approach to the tummy tuck results in a flatter belly, smaller waist, and silhouette that highlights a woman’s natural curves.
Now that we’ve introduced the tummy tuck, let’s answer the common patient question, “What happens if I get pregnant after a tummy tuck?” The short answer is, pregnancy after a tummy tuck is not recommended, but is unlikely to pose a danger to the mother or child. As we discussed above, a tummy tuck’s main purpose is to remove excess sagging skin and tissue, which is usually created by pregnancy, weight fluctuations, aging, or some combination of these. As the pregnancy progresses, the abdominal tissues will be stretched out again, negating the tightening and slimming effect of the tummy tuck. Along similar lines, plastic surgeons recommend that women also try to maintain their stable ideal weight after a tummy tuck and avoid big fluctuations for the same reason. While pregnancy can have aesthetic consequences on tummy tuck results, there is no impact on fertility or the safety of a pregnancy as the tissues targeted in a tummy tuck are superficial, and have no effect on the uterus or reproductive organs. The main difference a woman may notice is that her belly feels tighter as her pregnancy progresses. Nevertheless, most plastic surgeons strongly recommend that women wait until they are done with childbearing to pursue a tummy tuck, in order to give them the best chance of a beautiful and long-lasting result. However, as we all know, life is full of surprises! In these cases, please expect that pregnancy will alter your result and increase your chance of desiring a revision or repeat tummy tuck in the future.
A tummy tuck can be a rewarding and transformative procedure, removing excess skin from the belly and sculpting a smooth hourglass figure. However, it’s important to think about the best time in your life to consider having a tummy tuck. Ideally, patients should be done having children and at or near their ideal, stable weight. These conditions maximize the chances of having a stunning result that stands the test of time, and decreases the chance of later desiring a revision. Dr. Traci Temmen recognizes that plastic surgery of any kind is a big decision, and is committed to working with each patient to find the best option for them. As a woman herself, she understands her patients’ questions about how childbearing may affect their result, and is happy to discuss these concerns one-on-one. To learn more about if you may be a good candidate for a tummy tuck or any other cosmetic plastic surgery you’re interested in, please call 813-771-6393 to book your personal consultation with Dr. Traci Temmen today!