Summary: While many women consider getting a tummy tuck after completing their families, some might think about abdominoplasty before they have any children. Technically, any woman in good overall health who is unhappy with her midsection might be a good tummy tuck candidate. However, if you think you might become pregnant in the future, there are some important things to consider before getting a pre-pregnancy tummy tuck.

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Reasons for a Tummy Tuck

There are several reasons why a woman may want a tummy tuck to tighten and shape the contour of her stomach. The procedure removes loose abdominal skin, repairs separated abdominal muscles and trims away excess fatty tissue. A tummy tuck can be useful for a person who has lost a substantial amount of weight, a mom who has had her skin, tissue and abdominal muscles stretched by multiple pregnancies or someone who simply wants to transform a flabby stomach into a trimmed and toned midsection. A tummy tuck can also be needed after a gastric bypass surgery due to the excess skin that is left behind.

When to Consider a Tummy Tuck before Pregnancy

For a woman who has just lost a lot of weight, either naturally or by gastric bypass, and has excess skin hanging down over the pubic region, it may be impractical to wait until after pregnancy to have a tummy tuck. Excess skin can make your clothes fit uncomfortably or lead to feelings of embarrassment about your figure. If a pregnancy is not currently in the plans or will not occur for 2 to 3 years, then it may be the right time to move forward.

Why Women May Choose to Wait

Although there are many reasons to consider a tummy tuck before pregnancy, the majority of women choose to wait to get their procedure. Muscle tension, skin and fat contours are changed during pregnancy and this can impact your tummy tuck results. Some women may find that their initial results are undone by a future pregnancy. Waiting until after you’ve finished completing your family can help ensure that you can enjoy your new, sleeker midsection for many years to come.

Touching Up Your Results

Women who do choose to move forward with abdominoplasty before having children may consider touching up their results after their pregnancies are complete. Your surgeon can re-contour the abdomen to remove any excess skin or fatty tissue that accumulated during pregnancy. For some people, a mini tummy tuck may be enough to regain their initial results. Some women may also find that their abdomen doesn’t drastically change during pregnancy. Maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise routine can minimize your chances of requiring a second procedure.

A Personal Choice

As long as you are aware that getting a tummy tuck before pregnancy may mean you will need a touch-up later on, whether you move forward with your procedure now is entirely up to you. Abdominoplasty does not affect your ability to become pregnant and carry a child to term. However, it’s important to plan your time well. The timeline for a tummy tuck recovery is upwards of 18 weeks and your final results may not develop for up to 1 year. If you do choose to get a pre-pregnancy tummy tuck, it’s best to avoid getting pregnant for at least the first year after your procedure so your abdomen has adequate time to adjust to your new shape.