If you are a woman, during your consultation for a tummy tuck your surgeon will likely ask you if you plan to have any or more children. This question is asked because a tummy tuck is major surgery that often requires restructuring and tightening of the abdominal muscles, which can cause issues for those considering future pregnancies. During the consultation the surgeon may also inquire about lifestyle and overall health to determine if you can maintain the results after surgery. Like all surgeries, there are risks involved in a tummy tuck procedure, whether you choose a mini tummy tuck or a full tummy tuck. A good surgeon wants to avoid having a patient return to redo a major procedure, like an abdominoplasty. In providing optimal care, your surgeon wants to minimize the number of times you have to undergo surgery and be placed under anesthesia.
For some patients, life happens, and they want to consider having an additional tummy tuck procedure either because of weight loss or gain, natural body changes, additional pregnancies or to repair a prior unsatisfactory procedure.
What is a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck, formally known as an abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure that can remove loose skin, tighten the abdominal wall and get rid of unwanted fat on the abdomen.
What are the different kinds of tummy tuck procedures?
Mini Tummy Tuck
A mini or partial tummy tuck is the less invasive of the two options and is often paired with abdominal liposuction. This procedure works best for those who only have excess loose skin below the belly button. For those who have loose skin and stretch marks above the belly button, this may not be the right tummy tuck procedure as it will not correct that area.
The recovery time for the mini tuck is shorter than a full tummy tuck.
Full Tummy Tuck
For those who need more repair to their abdominal walls and have loose skin, fat and stretch marks above the belly button, a full tummy tuck may be the right option for you. During a full tummy tuck, abdominal muscles are tightened, excess skin is removed, and liposuction is performed to the flank areas. The belly button can also be repaired, which may require repositioning and total reconstruction. The results are a more snatched and contoured appearance.
Recovery is longer than a mini tuck and the scar can be longer depending on the amount of excess fat and skin removed during surgery.
When to consider having another tummy tuck procedure?
You may consider having an additional tummy tuck if you:
- are in good health
- have had significant time lapse from the previous tummy tuck
- have had a child and significant weight gain around the abdomen post tummy tuck that cannot be lost through exercise
- have skin issues in upper and lower abdominal area
- have damaged abdominal muscles due to pregnancy after the initial tummy tuck
- have fat deposits around abdomen
How many tummy tucks can you have in a lifetime?
There is no set limit to how many tummy tucks one can undergo over a lifetime, but it really should not be over two (2). After the second tummy tuck, the patient should not be having any further children or major lifestyle changes.
Is recovery easier after a second tummy tuck?
Surgery results and recovery experiences vary. Some patients note that having more than one tummy tuck was an easier experience because they knew what to expect. Some felt it was more difficult because they were older, or their lifestyles had significantly changed. All patients are required to follow aftercare instructions provided by the surgeon and to avoid significant weight gain as it may alter the results.