I am considering after my next child to have a tummy tuck after birth. Is this a plausible procedure?
Can I Have a Tummy Tuck After C-Section Delivery (At the Same Time)?
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Doctor Answers 14
Not advisable to have tummy tuck immediately after childbirth
I agree with the other doctors. You should not have an abdominoplasty immediately after childbirth. I would advise waiting approximately 1 year, assuming you are not planning any more children. Also, you have to consider that after surgery you will be advised not to lift heavy things, including a baby, so you will need to have help, family and/or friends, at home when you do have the procedure. You will get your figure back, it is only a question of timing. Hope this helps and enjoy the baby.
Tracy M. Pfeifer, MD, MS
Tummy Tuck After C-Section
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 judgements. 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 to 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 fatique, 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.
Can I Have a Tummy Tuck After C-Section Delivery (At the Same Time)?
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Tummy Tuck After a C-Section
While it is possible to have a tummy tuck after childbirth, the surgery should be reserved for the appropriate time.
As seen by the ever-growing number of Mommy Makeover patients at my plastic surgery office near Phoenix , more and more women are ready to look and feel their best after having kids. Additionally, these women are busy with so many things that they want to get multiple surgeries done simultaneously in order to minimize recovery time and time off work.
While combining breast surgery and abdominoplasty has been shown to be safe (a topic I have researched and presented extensively in plastic surgery journals), not all combination surgeries are appropriate.
Patients will frequently call my office to ask if I can combine a tummy tuck with a planned C-section. While the idea of having a child and leaving the hospital with a flatter, tighter abdomen is appealing, this is a bad idea for multiple reasons.
Abdominoplasty is major surgery that should be performed on patients when they are in peak health and are on a good diet and exercise program in order to get the best results. At the end of a pregnancy, most women are nutritionally depleted, as so much of their energy is going to support their developing baby. Also, many women are sleep deprived and physically exhausted by the long pregnancy. This is not an ideal time to perform an elective surgery.
Additionally, at the end of pregnancy, women are very edematous (swollen), and the abdominal skin and connective tissue is very stretched out. It can often take women 6 to 12 months to return to a normal baseline weight and tightness. This is the appropriate time to perform a tummy tuck in order to get the best result.
Finally, during a C-section, the baby is delivered through an abdominal incision. This is accompanied by amniotic fluid, and possible meconium (stool from the baby). It is important when performing an abdominoplasty to have a sterile surgical field, and this would be severely compromised by the fluids in the uterus.
Although convenience is important, safety and good results are much more critical. This is why I always recommend that patients undergoing a C-section allow themselves to heal, recover nutritionally and get in the best shape possible after their delivery before they consider abdominoplasty surgery. If the proper precautions are taken, I can achieve the best, most aesthetic results in the safest way possible.
C-section at the time of delivery
I have heard to local physicians performing this procedure and was intrigued. When I questioned him further, he stated that it is not the same type of tummy tuck that is performed when a patient has fully recovered from the effects of pregnancy. There are concerns with perfroming this at delivery due to the questionably sterile enviroment of the delivery as well as the hyperphysiologic state with underlying anemia.
Abdominoplasty After C-Section Not Advisable
It generally is not advisable to have a tummy tuck at the same time as a c-section. The reason is two fold - the process of a c-section delivery is often a "dirty" procedure - meaning bacteria are present that can lead to infections during c-sections, leading to wound problems in the c-section scars. The last thing you want to do is go through a big surgery and have some type of infection. Second, with your abdomen so distended from pregnancy, it is really hard to know how much tissue really needs to be removed and how much will bounce back on its own. This is something that is generally frowned upon by the plastic surgery community. I hope this helps.
Out of the question
Tummy tuck at the same time as a C-section would be ludicrous. I think that I can safely say that NO board certified plastic surgeon in this country would even consider it. There are too many risks and unknowns as to whether you even need a tummy tuck.
Abdominoplasty should NOT be done at time of c-section
It would definitely not be in your best interests to attempt a tummy tuck immediately after the delivery of your baby.
Please remember that taking unreasonable risks to look good doesn't make sense.
C-Section and Tummy Tuck Not Recommended
Simply answered. NO!!! There are numerous reason why, mainly in my mind your body has undergoing changes in that need to return to normal before an abdominoplasty is considered. One example, your uterus is large, swollen and bleeds readily after surgery. It needs to shrink back normal. This will affect how flat your abdomen is or is not.
Tummy tuck with a C-section is a poor plan
The idea seems attractive to take advantage of a single recovery, if there is such a thing as a recovery with a new baby at home. The truth is that the stretched condition of the abdomen and abdominal wall make the post partum period a poor one for predictable tummy tuck outcomes. Best to recover from the C-section, assess the damage, and complete the tummy tuck at a later date.
Best of luck,
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.