Can I Get Pregnant After A Tummy Tuck?

Q:  Dr. Eppley, Is it possible to have a baby after a tummy tuck and hip liposuction? I already have two children, and don’t think I want another one, but you never know. I am a single mom and in case I decide to remarry I might want another child. Can pregnancy occur normally after a tummy tuck and how long should I wait until it’s safe? Thanks for your time!

A: It is absolutely no problem to carry a normal pregnancy after a tummy tuck, whether the muscle is sewn back together or not. I have seen more than a dozen women over the years who have gotten pregnant after a tummy tuck and it has never been a problem. It may not be aesthetically desireable and is not a good way to protect your investment but it is perfectly safe.

Obviously getting pregnant is not the concern, but whether the abdominal muscles will stretch out as the fetus grows. Even if the rectus muscles have undergone midline plication, they will stretch out to accommodate the growing fetus. The amount of abdominal protrusion may be slightly less but there will be no risk of ‘compression’ of the fetus. This is because pregnancy is a slow form of tissue expansion that takes place over nine months. Such a slow rate of expansion can stretch out just about anything. Pregnancy might be a problem after a tummy tuck if the gestation period was just a month or two, but a nine month period of expansion allows it easily to happen. I don’t think there is any specific safe period for getting pregnancy after a tummy tuck. I recently had a patient who learned she was pregnant just six weeks after her tummy tuck!  

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana