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Is It Safe to Perform Tummy Tuck Surgery Right After a C-section?

Can I get a tummy tuck right after I give birth via c-section?

Doctor Answers (40)

There are multiple reasons to NOT have a tummy tuck...

+5

There are multiple reasons to NOT have a tummy tuck right after a c-section:

  • Your skin and muscles are stretched from the pregnancy. They will contract down significantly on their own - how much and how quickly is different in everyone, and this will dictate the type of procedure you would need.
  • You will have just undergone a major operation in the C-section, and we don't want to add the risk of complications by performing another one at the same time.
  • You will have just given birth, and will likely not only be exhausted from the pregnancy, but will now have to dedicate a tremendous amount of your time and effort to caring for your child - this is not a good time to have an elective procedure.

So I would wait, usually a minimum of 6 months after your C-section, before the tummy tuck. A little bit of patience early on will give you the best chance at an excellent, safe result.


Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

It is not safe to have a tummy tuck immediately after C-section

+3

Wait a year before having a

tummy tuck

after a c-setion and it is best to wait until you are done having children.

It takes a year for your tissues to return to normal after childbirth. Your result will be much better after a year.

My opinion is that it is not safe to do the tummy tuck at the time of childbirth.

For a list of important factors to consider when considering Tummy Tuck after C-section visit the link below

Brooke R. Seckel, MD, FACS
Boston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

No

+3

A tummy tuck, if not "mickey moused" is a big procedure, one of the biggest cosmetic procedure we routinely do as plastic surgeons.

To combine that with a C-section and childbirth, by themselves very significant physiologic events, invites problems. Imagine the mother had a blood clot , a significant risk with pregnancy and C-section, and died... because they had a tummy tuck at the same time! Or the patient had a suboptimal "quickie" tummy tuck because the surgeon was nervous about the patient already being compromised from childbirth.

Structurally, the tissues after childbirth are very soft. They eventually shrink back and become firm again, and hold sutures much better after 6 months.

So I would avoid the temptation, the risk... and the substandard results.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 92 reviews

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Not a good choice

+3

Thanks for the question.

There are many reasons that this isn't a great idea.

First - having just given birth you're still carrying a significant amount of your pregnancy weight. A good abdominoplasty requires a patient be at their ideal bodyweight. You will absolutely get a substandard result.

Second - combining procedures (especially procedures as different as a C-section and a tummy tuck) can increase complications.

Third - and something people don't think about a lot - is the post-op period doesn't work well with a new baby. An abdominoplasty involves more than just cutting the skin. Muscle plication itself will require additional recovery and possibly narcotic pain medication that may make breast feeding more complicated.

You should wait until you're at your ideal bodyweight and have time to focus on your recovery.

I hope this helps.

Steven H. Williams, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

ABSOLUTELY NOT! Any plastic surgeon who did this...

+3

ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Any plastic surgeon who did this combination during their American Board of Plastic Surgery exams would be immediately flunked and sent home as an unsafe surgeon. The tummy tuck surgery should be reserved for the right time - and it is not at the time of delivery.

Your life is at a very unstable point at delivery and needs to settle and stabilize before taking on the tummy tuck. Also your tissues need to shrink after pregnancy to know exactly how much extra you really have that needs to be removed.

Finally, please don't let your Ob/Gyn doctor try to do a tummy tuck on you - some do this and they are not properly trained to do this surgery.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Tummy Tuck right after c-section delivery - Don't consider it!

+3

There are multiple reasons not to consider an abdominoplasty right after giving birth:

  • You have just delivered a baby! You will be spending a lot of time nursing your child and you want to be in as good a shape as possible during the early bonding time, rather than recovering from the tummy tuck.
  • Your abdominal skin and musculature is stretched out. A lot of the laxity will resolve on its own as your skin regains its natural characteristics. If you were to remove all of the excess skin present right after delivery, you would end up with a much longer tummy tuck scar than you really needed! Wait 6 months to a year and let your body get back to normal. Your surgeon will then have a better understanding of the dynamics of your skin and can give you the optimum result with minimal scar at that time.
  • A tummy tuck is a major operation that requires a lot of your body's reserves to heal. Right after delivery, your child really needs that energy (in the form of milk, love, affection, etc.) to start growing. Don't spend it on your stomach.
  • You might be thinking that you are already undergoing anesthesia for the c-section, so why not do the tummy tuck? True, but not quite. For almost all c-sections, regional anesthesia techniques (spinal or epidural) are used to help protect your child. The zone of effect of these techniques is generally not adequate for a tummy tuck, so general anesthesia would be needed. As a rule, for 6 weeks after delivery, general anesthetics are performed only for emergency surgery!! (So even the anesthesiologists would think this is a bad idea...)

Michael A. Bogdan, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Tummy Tuck after C-Section

+2

Although it may be tempting to do a tummy tick at the time of a Cesarean Section, the convenience or seeming efficiency is not in your best interests. The tissues are a bit swollen and you won't get nearly as good a result as you would, if you wait at least 6 months.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Wait and you will get a better result

+2

There are several reasons not to get a tummy tuck at the same time as your C-section:

  1. Circulating estrogens will generally result in a less favorable scar
  2. You will regain some skin tone and elasticity in the coming months after delivery. This would give a more accurate and tighter result.
  3. You will regain some muscle tone as well.
  4. You need to focus on you and your newborn baby. Not the time to be recovering from a tummy tuck
  5. C-section is arguably a less sterile procedure than a tummy tuck
  6. I would question the judgment of the PS doing the tummy tuck at the time of a C-section.
  7. It may not save you money anyway, particularly if the procedure could be done in an office operating room.

York Jay Yates, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Tummy Tuck Immediately after a C-Section

+1
This idea sounds very appealing to many women. The idea of just one recovery, one hospital stay, and the immediate correction the unwanted effects of pregnancy sounds great. However, it's not safe and not a good idea for many reasons. In fact, most hospitals would likely not permit a tummy tuck immediately post c-section.

Wait at least 4 months for consultations and at least six months after giving birth before having a tummy tuck.

You can use this time to start researching plastic surgeons. 

Enjoy this special time with your baby. 

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Tummy Tuck Isn't Recommended Immediately Following C-Section

+1

Abdominoplasty isn’t recommended immediately following a C-section for a variety of reasons.  These include the inability to make aesthetic judgments immediately following pregnancy, the mothers overall health status, and the demands of a newborn child on the mother. 

                  The timing of surgery following pregnancy is important and several issues should be considered before proceeding with surgery.  It takes time for a new post-pregnancy body to reach its new baseline following pregnancy, and during this transition it’s impossible to make aesthetic judgments.  During this period, stretched skin may contract, a swollen uterus may shrink, and the weight gained during pregnancy may gradually disappear.  This process takes 3-6 months and needs to occur before abdominoplasty is performed. 

                  Ideally, patients should be within 10% of their ideal body weight and in good health otherwise.  The majority of women who have undergone C-sections aren’t in good physical shape and are therefore not optimal candidates for surgery for a variety of reasons.  These may include severe fatigue, a depressed immune system, possible blood loss, an increased potential for infection and elevated estrogen levels which can increase the risk of blood clots. 

                  Finally, the demands of a newborn would make the recovery from these combined procedures very difficult.  For instance, the use of post-operative pain medications would prevent you from breast feeding.  In other words the abdominoplasty might impact your developing relationship with your newborn child. 

                  For all these reasons, it’s obvious that C-section and abdominoplasty shouldn’t be performed together.  If you’re considering abdominoplasty it’s important to give yourself time to fully recover from your C-section.  Once this has occurred it’s appropriate to consult a board certified plastic surgeon.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.