One of the unfortunate realities for many women who have children is the physical toll that pregnancy takes on their bodies. Even those women who exercise regularly and make healthy eating choices can’t do anything to tighten loose abdominal skin that’s been stretched by one or more pregnancies.
A tummy tuck (or abdominoplasty) at our Houston practice not only helps women regain their pre-pregnancy bodies, but also helps restore their confidence. In this blog post, I’ll explain the benefits of tummy tuck surgery and provide helpful information on what to think about if you’re considering getting this procedure.
Wait Until You’re Finished Having Children
If you’re considering having more children, I recommend waiting to get a tummy tuck. A tummy tuck doesn’t interfere with the ability to get pregnant, but the results of the surgery can be compromised by a subsequent pregnancy. That’s not always true, but I tell patients it’s not worth paying for a tummy tuck and going through the recovery if they might have more children.
You’re Finished Having Children. When Can You Get a Tummy Tuck?
Women who have had children get tummy tucks at various stages of their lives. Some are ready to reclaim their bodies as soon as possible, while other women decide to get cosmetic surgery after their children are adults. The choice is a highly personal one. For “the-sooner-the-better” group, there are some limits. Having a baby is physically taxing, and I recommend that patients wait at least 2-3 months after the birth to schedule a tummy tuck. We want patients to be in the best possible overall shape when they undergo elective surgery. If you’re breastfeeding, you should wait 2-3 months from the time you stop. A woman’s body continues changing during and after breastfeeding and waiting allows hormone levels to become steady.
A Tummy Tuck Isn’t Weight-Loss Surgery
Body contouring surgery such as a tummy tuck isn’t designed to reduce weight. If you want to lose weight after having a baby, you should get to within a few pounds of your target weight before scheduling an abdominoplasty. Some women hit a plateau and may need be ready for a tummy tuck. Remember, sometimes we do remove a few pounds of excess skin and fat with a tummy tuck. If you lose a significant amount of weight after a tummy tuck, you may again be troubled by loose skin. Minor weight fluctuations aren’t a concern.
What About a Mommy Makeover?
The stomach, of course, isn’t the only area of the body affected by pregnancy and breastfeeding. Women who get tummy tucks often combine the surgery with breast enhancement if their breasts have lost volume or are sagging—or both. Combining these procedures is often called a Mommy Makeover, and it’s popular among Houston moms. A breast lift combined with implants paired with a tummy tuck and liposuction can provide dramatic post-pregnancy results for women who look forward to wearing bikinis or tighter-fitting clothes again.
One of the first steps women considering tummy tuck surgery take is to look at the before-and-after photos in our gallery to see the types of results the procedure can produce. You can also contact us using the online form to schedule a personal consultation or call us at one of our 2 offices to schedule an appointment. Call (713) 799-2278) to reach our Houston office and (713) 799-2278 for Cypress.