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Abdominoplasty and Pregnancy

Two of the most common questions I hear from women considering abdominoplasty (tummy tuck surgery) include: “Can I have a tummy tuck before having kids?” and “Are there any risks if I become pregnant after abdominoplasty?” While both of these questions need to be answered on a case by case basis, the following information generally applies to the majority of patients.

Undergoing tummy tuck surgery prior to having children is certainly a possibility for many women seeking to address excess skin, fat buildup, and/or lax musculature in the abdominal region. That said, if the patient is planning on starting a family in the near future, most board-certified plastic surgeons would recommend that they wait until after they are done having kids before receiving treatment. (This advice also applies to women who currently have kids and are considering having more at some point in time.)

The underlying reason for delaying a tummy tuck is due to the potential for negative effects a pregnancy can have on the outcome of a previous abdominoplasty. For example, the expansion of skin and stretching/thinning of abdominal muscles that typically occur during pregnancy can essentially recreate the aesthetic issues the individual initially sought to resolve. Depending on the extent of these concerns, a revisional procedure—or even a second tummy tuck—may be needed to restore the results of the original treatment.

In regard to whether or not becoming pregnant after abdominoplasty poses any risks, the answer is generally no, but this too has a caveat. From a medical standpoint, a future pregnancy should not cause harm to the developing child or mother. However, the issue again relates to how the physical changes associated with pregnancy can affect the results of a previous procedure. As mentioned earlier, pregnancy may compromise the outcome of a previous tummy tuck, resulting in the need and/or desire for a secondary treatment.

Ultimately, all of this information is simply meant as a general rule of thumb, and the answers to these specific questions (and any other inquires a prospective patient may have) will need to be provided on an individual basis by a board-certified plastic surgeon.

– Lawrence Tong, MD, FACS, FRCSC

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