Working as a plastic surgeon in Toronto, I see a large number of moms seeking cosmetic surgery procedures like a tummy tuck after childbirth. A common question among women who have a scheduled c-section is, “Can I have a tummy tuck right after my delivery?”
Although this may seem like a logical idea in theory – the doctor is already “in there” and can presumably tighten things up after the baby is born – an immediate tummy tuck is not advisable. In general, it’s best to wait about 6 months before having a tummy tuck after a c-section. There are several reasons for this, including:
- Your body needs time to recover from childbirth. Pregnancy and childbirth put a tremendous amount of strain on your body. Adding another elective surgical procedure on top of that will make your first few weeks of motherhood very difficult. Give yourself plenty of time to recover so that you can keep up with the demands of your new baby.
- You should give yourself time to lose the baby weight before a tummy tuck. It’s best to be at a stable, healthy before surgery. This is generally true for any body contouring procedure since subsequent weight gain or loss can affect the results of your procedure.
- The final shape of your abdomen will not appear for about 6 months. Your skin and muscles will take some time to shrink back down to their original state. It’s best to wait and see how your body responds to pregnancy before undergoing surgery. In some women with good skin elasticity, a tummy tuck may not even be necessary.
Had an emergency c-section (vertically) 18 years ago and just recently on Feb 31/13 did a hysterectomy (cut vertically) and revision of scars. Since the hysterectomy I noticed that my scar as broaden and stomach is even more looser, could a mini tuck still be performed with an vertical cut existing. I am a person of dark complexion and my scars did not heal very well. I am also a smaller person so did not need to loose any more weight.
Thanks for your inquiry on our blog. It is of course always difficult to be specific regarding your question without seeing you in person, however, I can make a few comments that may be helpful. You mention that you are a “small person and do not need to lose weight.” I take this to mean you are close to your ideal weight for height, and you would therefore likely be a candidate for some sort of tummy tuck procedure to reduce a bulging tummy with loose abdominal skin. The fact that you have a previous vertical C section scar should not typically, in and of itself, be a contraindication to tummy tuck surgery. In fact it may make you a better candidate for a full tummy tuck as you may wish to have this vertical scar completely removed.
Whether you would be best with a conventional tummy tuck, or whether you might be able to have a “mini tuck” really depends on many factors, including the amount of skin and fat to be removed, and the condition of your abdominal muscles, so the only way to really determine that is to see you personally for a consultation. If I can be of any further help, please feel free to book an appointment with me for a personal consultation by contacting my patient coordinator at (905) 273-3045.
Yours very Truly,
Dr. Michael J Weinberg, Chief of Plastic Surgery, Trillium Health Partners, Mississauga, Ontario