Think about the changes a woman’s body experiences during pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. It’s remarkable and something that women who have children endure with a mixture of joy and exhaustion. For many women, though, the excess abdominal skin that remains is a nuisance that undermines their confidence. Post-pregnancy tummy tuck surgery at our Harrisburg, PA, practice offers a solution.
Exercising and eating a healthy diet are great habits to follow, but they can’t tighten skin stretched during pregnancy or minimize stretch marks. That’s only possible through tummy tuck surgery. In this blog post, I’ll briefly describe the tummy tuck options patients have and offer additional tips for women considering post-pregnancy tummy tuck surgery.
Tummy Tucks: Full vs. Mini
The choice of tummy tuck technique that I use depends on the extent of excess skin and whether abdominal muscles need to be repaired. I discuss the options with patients during their consultations and explain the reasons for choosing one or the other. A full tummy tuck is more common because a mini tummy tuck only addresses excess skin below the belly button. It’s an attractive option because the incision is shorter, but typically a mini tummy tuck isn’t enough for most post-pregnancy patients.
A full tummy tuck involves removing excess skin, re-positioning the belly button so it looks natural and, in some cases, treating a condition called diastasis recti that causes the belly pooch many patients have. The longer incision of a full tummy tuck is worth it to many patients because the changes are so dramatic. During the consultation, your surgeon will discuss which option is more appropriate for you.
Tips for Post-Pregnancy Tummy Tucks
Women considering a tummy tuck after having children should consider the following issues:
How long after having a baby should you wait before getting a tummy tuck?
The first factor involves whether you’re breastfeeding or not. Hormone levels while breastfeeding remain elevated, which causes significant weight fluctuations. I generally recommend waiting at least 3 months after you stop breastfeeding to schedule a tummy tuck. Hormone levels typically stabilize by then. If you’re not breastfeeding, it’s best to wait at least 6 months to a year after childbirth before getting a tummy tuck. That allows your body to fully heal before undergoing major cosmetic surgery.
Are you at a stable weight?
It can be difficult to reach and then maintain your ideal body weight after pregnancy. A tummy tuck is body contouring surgery and isn’t designed to greatly reduce your weight. It’s typically best to reach the weight at which your comfortable before getting a tummy tuck. I combine liposuction with most tummy tuck surgeries to sculpt smooth, contoured results and reduce fat in certain areas.
Do you plan to have more children?
A tummy tuck can produce pretty amazing results, but the outcome can be compromised by a future pregnancy. If you’re planning to have another child within a couple of years, it’s best to hold off on getting a tummy tuck because you may need to undergo another surgery to retain your results if you become pregnant again.
If you’re considering a tummy tuck, I encourage you to view before-and-after pictures of our actual patients to see the kinds of results you can expect. You can contact us using the online form to request a consultation or call us at (717) 728-1700 to schedule an appointment.