A “C-tuck” is an uncommon combination surgery that incorporates a tummy tuck immediately after a cesarean section birth. For women who are scheduled to have a baby via C-section, it may seem like a good idea to have a tummy tuck at the same time. But there are several problems with this concept. As an experienced plastic surgeon who’s performed tummy tuck surgery in the Austin, TX, area for many years, I wouldn’t recommend having any body contouring surgery performed immediately after a C-section delivery.
In this blog post, I’ll explain why the C-tuck concept isn’t sound and why it’s vital to have a board-certified plastic surgeon perform abdominoplasty. Even the best tummy tuck surgeons in Austin wouldn’t suggest that they perform a C-section because they don’t have the expertise for such a procedure. Similarly, OB/GYN physicians don’t have the training to perform plastic surgeries like abdominoplasty.
Here are some additional reasons it’s not advisable to have a tummy tuck immediately after a C-section:
- It’s not possible to know the extent of skin that needs to be removed. Even if a trained plastic surgeon was in the OR alongside the OB/GYN, the uterus remains swollen after delivery, and it’s not possible to determine with any accuracy how much skin to remove.
- Hormones released during delivery can affect the healing of soft tissues. When a child is born, the mother’s body undergoes tremendous hormone exposure. It takes about 8 weeks for a woman’s hormone levels to return to a baseline and the uterus to recover to its pre-pregnancy size. A woman’s experience of labor and birth can have an enormous effect on hormones and healing, and a C-section is major abdominal surgery that will increase the time needed to heal.
- Recovery would be more difficult. As I just mentioned, a C-section delivery is major surgery; it involves incisions and trauma that aren’t present during most vaginal births. Performing a tummy tuck on top of that C-section would require additional incisions and would generally make the recovery more difficult. This is probably the last thing the mother of a newborn would want.
- You’ll most often have better results by waiting. A mother’s body experiences dramatic changes during the post-pregnancy period, and it makes sense to schedule an elective tummy tuck after careful planning and a full recovery from giving birth.
Our practice always makes patient safety the top priority and having a tummy tuck at the time of a C-section poses unnecessary risks. We also want to provide excellent results because we believe we’re establishing lifetime partnerships with each patient we treat. The optimal tummy tuck results are achieved by waiting until you’re entirely healed after childbirth.
Women considering a tummy tuck also often consider combining it with other procedures such as a breast lift with implants—commonly referred to as a mommy makeover. If you’re thinking about a tummy tuck, browse through our gallery of before-and-after photos of actual patients to see the dramatic transformation created by the procedure.
You can also contact us using the online form to request a consultation or call us at (512) 288-8200 to schedule an appointment.