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Tummy Tuck After Pregnancy: How Long Should You Wait?

People from all walks of life visit us for tummy tuck—from Sandy Springs to Williamsburg Park. But by far, mothers or moms-to-be are the primary group of people who consult with us about getting a tummy tuck, which is formally called abdominoplasty. Mothers frequently pursue this transformative procedure because pregnancy can have quite an impact on the appearance of the abdomen, leaving behind volumes of excess, empty skin, damaged abdominal muscles, and stubborn pockets of fat. If you’re considering tummy tuck to undo some of the effects of pregnancy, you may be wondering when the time is right.

First, it’s important to determine if you’re a candidate for this surgery. When I evaluate patients during the initial consultation, I look for a few key indications that the procedure is appropriate for them. You may be a good candidate for tummy tuck if you’ve returned to your desired pre-pregnancy weight but are still bothered by excess skin, weakened abdominal muscles, and stretch marks. These symptoms are unlikely to go away on their own, even with a stringent diet and exercise regimen. Also, before undergoing a tummy tuck, you should be at a relatively healthy weight that you can easily maintain. The weight element is important because losing a significant amount of weight (more than a few pounds) after your tummy tuck can undo your results and require revisionary surgery.

With that being said, the general rule of thumb that plastic surgeons use is to wait at least 6 months after birth before having abdominoplasty. Pregnancy changes the body in many ways—some we can see, and some we can’t. Giving yourself 6 months between birth and surgery allows your body to fully heal and return to normal. This also provides you with plenty of time to bond with your child and get used to the rhythms of motherhood. Of course, putting more time between birth and your surgery is great, but 6 months is the usual minimum. More time may be recommended depending on your own physical health and the specifics of your pregnancy. For example, if you dealt with complications during pregnancy or birth, it may be best to postpone your surgery a bit longer. During your personalized consultation, we’ll discuss your experience and work toward a suitable timeline. You can also learn more about timing your tummy tuck on our FAQ page.

In addition to improving the aesthetics of the abdomen after pregnancy, tummy tuck can also help mitigate other symptoms, too. Diastasis recti, which occurs when the major abdominal muscles separate, can be easily treated with tummy tuck. Additionally, there is some evidence that abdominoplasty can reduce occasional, “episodic” incontinence (such as that which occurs when laughing or sneezing) by strengthening the muscles of the core.

Tummy tuck is an invasive procedure and its results can last indefinitely. That’s why it’s so important to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon who has demonstrated experience with tummy tuck surgery. During a full, in-person consultation at our office, we can answer all of your questions and give you a clear path to the gorgeous midsection you want. Contact us to get started.

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