Why Do I Have to Wait to Have Children Before Getting Tummy Tuck?

I've recently lost a significant (>50lbs) amount of weight and have loose skin around my stomach. I'm contemplating a tummy tuck, but have been advised to wait until after having children to do so.

As I'm 35 yrs old and not necessarily looking to be pregnant within the next few years, but am not necessarily ruling it out. Can anyone please help me understand why I am being advised to wait?

Doctor Answers 11

Tummy Tuck before pregnancy

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Would you want to have a very expensive dress custom fitted for your body knowing that you will gain weight and stretch it out?

Your body is the most precious garment you own. A significant portion of the abdominoplasty involves repairing the muscle to enhance and create the impression of a waistline. Pregnancy will undoubtedly undo the muscle repair. Why waste the time, money effort, healing and surgery if you know you will intentionally damage it? You can do this if you want to enjoy the temporary nature of the results but realize that it will only be short term. It is very likely you will have to repeat the tummy tuck after the pregnancy.

I have performed this procedure on young adults who have experienced masssive wieght loss in their late teens or early 20's but only after having a long discussion about the inevitability of having to repeat the procedure and only if they have long term intentions of getting pregnant

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Pregnancy and Tummy Tucks

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Thanks for the question -

Typically patients may be asked to wait on tummy tucks if they have immediate plans to get pregnant.

The reason why is that pregnancy may undo the effects of the muscle plication and skin excision. This can leave patients with a similar appearing abdomen prior to the surgery. The concept is to provide a long lasting improvement.

I hope this helps.

Tummy Tuck Before Children Consideration

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You can definitely have a tummy tuck before children, but it is recommended that you wait until you are done being pregnant as it will out your abdomen and reverse the results of the tummy tuck. Seek a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who can examine you and give you more information about the best course of action. A tummy tuck will help you with sagging skin, while liposuction targets the fat around that area. Both procedures can also be performed at the same time.
Typically, candidates for a tummy tuck are patients who are healthy but have EXCESS SKIN OR FAT that does not respond to diet and exercise. Patients who have undergone SIGNIFICANT WEIGHT LOSS and have hanging skin, like in your case. Women with loose skin and stretch marks FOLLOWING PREGNANCY. Anyone with LOSS OF SKIN ELASTICITY.
Patients who are unable to tighten the abdominal wall with exercise. If you have loose or sagging abdominal wall skin; often associated with relaxation of the anterior abdominal wall muscles (frequently secondary to multiple pregnancies).

Why Do I Have to Wait to Have Children Before Getting Tummy Tuck?

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Thank you for the question.

If you are planning on having a pregnancy in the near future, it will be in your best interest to delay undergoing the tummy tuck procedure.

However,  generally speaking patients who do become pregnant after undergoing tummy tuck surgery are able to have normal pregnancies afterwards.    
Depending on weight gain/loss,  changes in skin elasticity,  genetics etc. revisionary surgery may be necessary after the pregnancy.   
Best wishes.

Why You Should Wait

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Pregnancy can reverse your effects, which means that it may be a waste of time and money to have the surgery now. It can also cause complications with your incision - your incision will probably be healed but there is a risk of separation. 

Tummy tuck and pregnancy

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It usually is recommended to wait to have a tummy tuck until after pregnancy.  Howver, with  massive weight loss patients I have always offered this procedure and in many cases before having children. It really is a personal choice, but remember, the skin and tissue will become a bit more lax after getting pregnant.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

The effects of pregnancy on a tummy tuck

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As you know, pregnancy can significantly alter a woman's body and figure. Many women wait until they are done with childbirth before re-contouring their abdomen. This can be an effective strategy to wait and see if their body will react from the pregnancy with stretch marks or abdominal loosening that can easily be addressed with a tummy tuck.

To learn more about tummy tucks, see photos, and help you decide which one is best for you, please visit us at the link below:

You don't...

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Obviously patients who get pregnant often are the ones who seek abdominoplasty so you wouldn't want to do an abdominoplasty and then immediately get pregnant. However, it really is an individual choice and prioritization of your quality of life. You have to ask yourself how important is it to have the results an abdominoplasty will provide you for the length of time you have it. Only you can answer this. If you do not have any plans to get pregnant and you really feel committed to correcting your abdomen, then you would seem to be a reasonable candidate to do it. You can also ask yourself how disappointed would you be if you had the abdominoplasty and then became pregnant within 6 months, or 1 year, or 3 years, etc.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

You can have tummy tuck prior to having children

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The simple answer is that you can do a tummy tuck prior to having children, many women do however after having children another tummy tuck may be require to deal with the excess skin created while pregnant.

Charles Perry, MD
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon

Just so you don't have to do it twice

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There is no physical reason you can't do a tummy tuck before having children and it wouldn't hurt your pregnancy either.  It is just that the stretching caused by pregnancy could ruin the result and make you need to repeat it.  But that's just a choice you can make.

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.