There are a large percentage of women who choose to have plastic surgery before getting pregnant, but most doctors believe this doesn’t have much of an effect on how quickly, or well, the body will recover.
- If you had liposuction, you may have a better chance of not gaining weight in the treated areas but you still can gain weight in other parts of the body—liposuction removes fat from a specific area and it can’t return there. For example, if you had your inner thighs treated, you probably won’t regain weight there. “Liposuction is not a guarantee that you won’t gain weight in certain areas of the body during pregnancy nor does it mean that the body will return to normal any quicker. It really depends on what part of the body was treated—saddle bags should remain the same (after pregnancy) and not be affected but the stomach is not void of experiencing changes,” says Orange County, CA, plastic surgeon Al Aly, MD.
- If you had a tummy tuck, your stomach may, or may not, bounce back into shape quicker. “A tummy tuck should really be saved for after pregnancy to get better, longer-lasting results,” says New York plastic surgeon Elie Levine, MD. Pregnancy puts stress on the abdominal wall and muscles, which may need to be tightened surgically again. Also, during a tummy tuck, excess skin is removed and it’s likely that the increase in weight and stretching of the skin can cause more laxity. “When a woman has a tummy tuck and then gets pregnant, the muscles stretch and the skin will sag potentially causing the results of the surgery to become partially undone.”
- If you had a breast augmentation, your breasts may not ‘deflate’ as much post-delivery but they also may not retain their shape or size. The breasts naturally increase in size during pregnancy and breast-feeding and then deflate afterwards, all to accommodate the milk, and this happens with or without implants. “If you had no breast tissue before implants, then the growth probably won’t cause post-partum sagging. But if your breasts were rather large to start with, and then you had implants, and the breasts grow a lot during pregnancy, there may be some volume retention at the upper part of the breast (because of the implant) but sagging can still occur,” says Dr. Al Aly. Implants themselves aren’t affected by pregnancy but the skin and glandular tissues will be. “Having an augmentation prior to pregnancy is like starting off at a different point than where you would be naturally,” says New York plastic surgeon Alan Matarasso, MD.
- If you had a breast reduction, it’s pretty fair to say that your breasts will adhere in size but they may need to be lifted back up into position. “About 50 percent of breast lift and breast reduction patients, that have the procedure done before they have a child, are not able to breast feed because the ducts have been surgically interrupted,” says Dr. Alan Matarasso. There are, however, patients who cannot breastfeed and have never had breast surgery.
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