Is it true that you can have a tummy tuck in conjunction with a C-section?
The allure of emerging from the hospital with a baby and a flat stomach is definitely tantalizing, especially with the media constantly showing images of celebrities that look no different before and after pregnancy. Many women turn to exercising and dieting immediately after pregnancy, while others who under go a cesarean section (C-section) may turn to a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) to restore the look of their abdominal area.
While a tummy tuck can take care of many post-pregnancy issues at the same time, the immediate period after having a C-section or a vaginal delivery is NOT a good time for the surgery.
I often encourage my patients to wait at least 6 months after childbirth before considering a tummy tuck.
Healing from a C-section before a tummy tuck cannot be rushed if you want to have the best outcome from the surgery. And if you are planning more pregnancies, I suggest letting the tummy tuck wait; there are lots more Mummy Makeover procedures that can be done even if future pregnancies are in the picture. (Find out more about the different Mummy Makeover procedures.)
BENEFITS OF POST-PREGNANCY TUMMY TUCKS
For the average healthy women who has completely healed from her pregnancy and C-section, a tummy tuck offers multiple benefits:
- Restore the pre-pregnancy figure (or even improve upon it)
- Remove redundant abdominal skin
- Remove abdominal stretch marks
- Remove abdominal fat through liposuction
- Contour the waistline
- Repair separated abdominal muscles (rectus diastasis)
- Treat umbilical hernia
- Improve posture through well-supported core
- Tone and contour the tummy and waist areas
- Replace C-section scar with an bikini-line scar that can be easily hidden
- Tighten the entire abdomen with a scar that is slightly longer than a C-section scar
- Improve the appearance of the belly button (‘outtie’ to ‘innie’)
- Provide certain degree of lifting and rejuvenation in the pubis and thigh areas
- Improve self-confidence with better figure and thinner waistline
SO, WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
The point of having a tummy tuck is to look the best afterwards, and in order for that to happen, the mummies should already by healthy and stable before the tummy tuck.
Having a tummy tuck right after or in conjunction with a C-section or vaginal birth is both impractical and risky. That is because the body is still recuperating from the strain of pregnancy immediately after childbirth; it takes time for the abdominal muscles and uterus to shrink naturally, which may not happen until after breastfeeding is completed.
It is not just that, but other bodily characteristics and processes such as hormone levels, blood volume and body weight are still readjusting for at least a few months after childbirth. And to have the best results from a tummy tuck, all of the above should be stable before and after the plastic surgery procedure.
MY ADVICE FOR YOU: DON’T RUSH YOUR TUMMY TUCK
I always encourage my patients to take the time during the recovery from the stresses of childbirth to enjoy and spend time with their baby. It is far more important to spend quality time with their babies to bond emotionally, and breastfeed (if they are), to deepen the soothing, boding and education relationship between mother and baby.
Here at my practice, I will want an optimal recovery experience for the best outcome. Safety always comes first for my patients and I want to advice my patients in the best way possible.
After the first 3-4 months of motherly responsibilities (also the time when your baby needs you most), come in fresh both physically and emotionally. When both mother and baby are stable and well, and all support is in order, I will welcome and even encourage mums to come for a consultation. When it is the right time for mums to focus on themselves and take care of themselves, combined with the right mindset about plastic surgery and have the right expectations before the procedures, they experience the most satisfaction from the final outcome!
Disclaimer: The information contained in this post is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your plastic surgeon or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Always speak to your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a procedure.