How Long Should I Wait to Get a Tummy Tuck After Pregnancy?

Doctor Answers 62

Tummy Tuck after pregnancy

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First of all, congratulations on your new baby! While you are enjoying the new addition your body will be returning to its normal state. I will occasionally get a call from a patient that wants to have a tummy tuck immediately after having a baby. This is not a good idea since the hormones will affect the elasticity of skin not to mention the increased risks of bleeding including from the uterus.

The best amount of time to wait depends upon whether you are breast feeding or not. Breast feeding will keep your hormone levels higher than normal even well after pregnancy. If you choose not to breast feed my recommendation is to wait a minimum of three months after delivery. This will allow your body to return to close to normal and give you time to shed your pregnancy pounds before surgery. If you find that you gained a lot of excess weight and still have more weight to lose at three months, simply wait until you reach your goal. If you choose to breast feed your baby I would wait for three months after you stop breast feeding. This may be a bit conservative, especially if you breast feed for many months (or years), but it will ensure that you have very little hormone effects at the time of surgery.

Lastly, there is the question of future pregnancies. If you are not planning on having more babies you can proceed with a tummy tuck without a worry. If you know you will be having another baby within a couple of years you would be best advised to wait. If you might want to have another baby but aren't sure when, the choice is basically to have the tummy tuck now and enjoy the results until you have another baby (an unknown period of time) or choose to wait. That is a personal decision, and there is no wrong answer. I'd recommend discussing your thoughts with your surgeon and allow him/her to help advise you of the best options.

I hope this information helps!

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Wait until your weight is back to normal, at least 6 months after pregnancy to have tummy tuck

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The most important thing is to loose most or all of the pregnancy associated weight gain before a tummy tuck.

Your body needs at least 6 months before considering tummy tuck surgery.

Wait 6 months for tummy tuck surgery, for many reasons

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There are many reasons to wait six months before having a tummy tuck.

The deep layer, or fascia is both ripped and stretched. The stretching is largely recovered by 6 months; the ripping of course is not. That is what the deep layer of the tummy tuck improves. The hormones that cause the deep fascial layer to soften to accommodate the baby are no longer active by six months. The tissues literally hold stitches better. This is one of the many reasons most plastic surgeons won't perform a tummy tuck at the same time as a C-section.

Women who are breast feeding give whatever is in their bloodstream to the nursing child. There are also risks to the baby to giving an anesthetic to a woman who is actively breast feeding. This can be overcome by pumping and discarding the milk during the period the woman has anesthetic or pain medication in her bloodstream, but it is a disruption.

Many women are still struggling with their baby weight after the birth of their child. It is hard work, but well worth it to become as active as possible after childbirth to lose that baby weight.

Women who are shortly postpartum have to lift their babies frequently. Frequent heavy lifting can damage the results of a tummy tuck, especially if a hernia repair is performed at the same time. By six months, most moms have their routines down and are more efficient with lifting their babies.

The goal is of course to return to a pre-pregnancy weight. While this is often possible with a great diet and lifestyle, occasionally it is not. Women are often demoralized by their post-baby appearance and, despite very hard work, reach a stubborn plateau. If this is the case, it is generally acceptable to have tummy tuck surgery. Many women find that after their tummy tuck surgeries they now are able to see the results of their efforts better, and are structurally better able to work out without having the loose skin and loose fascia hampering them.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Waiting for a tummy tuck after pregnancy

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Thanks for the great question Fallon - In my San Francisco area practice there are several things we look for when performing a tummy tuck after pregnancy in order to insure a great result. The first is that you are at or close to your ideal body weight. Many times pregnancy pounds take some time to come off. Patients get a better result when most of this weight is gone.

Second - a new baby can be a big strain on the household. Surgery can make that more difficult. Issues like having enough help around the house, having an alternative to breast feeding (pain medication and anesthesia may cause your breast milk to be unsafe for a newborn) and other issues all need to be factored into the timing.

Find a board certified plastic surgeon who will take the time to discuss all of the issues with you. If you're still packing some of those pregnancy pounds your surgeon can talk about ways to slim down safely so you get your best result. I hope this helps!

Tummy Tuck After Pregnancy

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I generally advise patients to wait until after having children to get a tummy tuck. I usually have them wait at least 6 months after pregnancy to let the abdominal wall muscle structure absorb and a year would be preferable before getting an abdominoplasty. This will allow for normal restoration of the abdominal wall and this will allow for the patient to lose a lot of their pre and post partum fat and get in optimal shape for abdominoplasty.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon

Wait a year before tummy tuck

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I tell most of my tummy tuck patients to wait at least a year until they have surgery. This allows your weight to normalize and stabilize, and it also allows the abdominal skin time to naturally retract as much as possible.

I have had patients who had either abdominal or breast surgery 6 months or so after having a baby, and although they thought that they were down to their "pre-pregnancy" weight, they continued to lose weight after the surgery, and it definitely led to worse results than if they had waited.

In general, I tell all my patients the importance of losing weight and staying there BEFORE surgery, rather than after, when possible.

I hope this helps.

Eric Chang, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

It is important first to be as sure as possible that...

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It is important first to be as sure as possible that this is going to be your final pregnancy.

Secondly, at least 6 months are necessary to have your body reach its own final improvement after delivery.

Finally, remember that while a tummy tuck in the hands of a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon is an excellent way to improve your abdomen, there are risks involved, even the very rare fatality. So while it is great to do this operation, do not take it lightly and go to the right doctor!

How long should you wait to get a tummy tuck after pregnancy?

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Most people tend to undergo a tummy tuck after they have completed their family.. That is not planning on having any more children and this is certainly my recommendation. 
I recommend my patients to wait at least 12 months after thier last pregnancy before undergoing a tummy tuck procedure. This allows enough time for the body to reach its pre-pregnancy state and for the hormone levels to return to normal.

Eddy Dona, MBBS, FRACS
Sydney Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

Post Pregnancy Body Contouring

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Thank you for your question and congratulations on your new addition.  As many of other physicians pointed out, you really want to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight, or your goal weigh to get the best result.  This may take 6-12 months for some women. Also, you should make sure you have stopped breast feeding at least 4-6 months before any surgery to allow your hormone levels to return to normal.  Some women will combine their tummy tuck with a breast augmentation/lift (mommy makeover) and you want to make sure the breast has recovered from the associated stretching due to milk production and breast feeding.  Good Luck!

How long to wait to get a tummy tuck After Pregnancy?

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You want to wait several months after pregnancy before you have a tummy tuck inorder to let your uterus size return to normal. this will enable the plastic surgeon to really tighten your abdomena and thus give you the best result. Also, you can not breast feed after anesthesia, so you should also be done with breast feeding.

Sean Younai, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.