Tummy Tuck After Pregnancy
Tummy tuck after pregnancy? “Of course,” you say. “When else would you do it?” Well you’d be surprised about the number of questions we get related to this topic. Here are some of them:
“How soon after I have had the baby can I have a tummy tuck?”
We get this one a lot. The best answer (if you’re sure you’re done having children) is to wait until you’ve lost your “baby weight.” That usually takes 3-6 months depending on activity level, breast feeding, etc. But if you wait that long, you will give us (your surgeons) not only the best look at your body at it’s “baseline,” but also the most looseness in the tissues to work with. This will give us a shot at your best result.
“What if I get pregnant again?”
Well, that’s kind of “sub-optimal,” and it’s why we always ask if you think you’re done having children. Nevertheless, life doesn’t always go as planned (boy is that true!), and pregnancies do happen after tummy tucks. In my practice of over 20 years, it’s happened a handful of times.
What’s amazing to me is how well the abdomen stretches to accommodate the baby even after a tummy tuck. The tissues stretch so slowly during pregnancy, that they accommodate the loss of tissue and adjust very nicely.
I still don’t recommend it, but if pregnancy happens after tummy tuck, it’s not the end of the world.
“I’ve never been pregnant, but my tissues are loose and I think I need a tummy tuck. Why is that?”
A couple of reasons. First, If you’ve gained and lost a lot of weight a few times over the years (something like 20% of your ideal body weight is enough to do it), you can stretch out your tissues and they’ll need to be tightened (tummy tuck). Sometimes we can just tighten the skin (a “ skin-only” tummy tuck) and leave the muscles alone. If we can do that, it’s easier to recover from.
But some people carry a significant amount of fat under the muscles of the abdominal wall (google “omentum” if you’ve never heard of it. You’ll be shocked if you look at the images!).
If you’ve lost and gained weight under those circumstances, your skin will be loose and your muscle will be loose too. Tightening the skin and the muscles is a tummy tuck.
“How much time will I need help with my kids?” and “When can I pick up my baby?”
Short answer – a week. At the end of a week, you can usually get around pretty well off of pain meds. If you need to drive, you usually can. If you need to pick up a small child, that’s usually possible too. But during that first week, it’s really good to have a friend or (non-judgmental) relative around. Sisters are great and moms are too. Husbands can be useful, but are sometimes worthless.
These are just some of the questions we get most often when it comes to tummy tucks. To learn more about what’s possible for your own tummy, call us at 703-893-6168 and set up a free consultation!