After giving birth, your body doesn’t automatically go back to your pre-pregnancy shape. You’ll lose weight within the first week—your newborn made up most of it, plus, you’re shedding water weight—but your stomach may appear saggy.
You may want to rectify this and return to your pre-baby body. The first thought? A tummy tuck. Also known as an abdominoplasty, this cosmetic procedure removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen and tightens connective tissue with sutures. The leftover skin is repositioned to create a toned, flat abdomen.
However, it’s best to keep this separate from your Cesarean delivery (C-section), and wait until you’ve had all your children.
Some women opt to have a C-tuck, the simultaneous completion of a C-section and tummy tuck. Once the baby is born, the obstetrician removes him or her from the room while a plastic surgeon conducts the abdominoplasty, which can take anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours—meaning, you may not be able to hold your child until the procedure is over.
That’s not the only downside to having a C-tuck. There’s a higher risk of complications such as infection, blood clots, and fluid retainment during the procedure.
Recovery can be rough, too, because you’re recuperating from two procedures. After a C-section, it’s recommended you refrain from walking for 12 to 15 hours after surgery. You may experience severe gas pain and constipation, and there may be swelling and pain around the incision. In the days after a tummy tuck, you’ll have limited mobility, difficulty bending and lifting, swelling, and discomfort.
Post-C-tuck, you’re also discouraged from strenuous activity for at least six weeks, which isn’t compatible with caring for a newborn. You’ll need to assemble furniture and carry baby seats from cars to strollers to the home.
You may go through all of this for a less-than-great outcome. Because your abdominal skin and muscles have been stretched significantly throughout the last nine months, it can be tough for a plastic surgeon to accurately determine the amount of tightening needed for the perfect abdominoplasty. This can leave you with extra skin, bulging, and issues with the belly button.
Pregnancy involves weight gain and abdominal skin and muscle stretching, and can cancel out the results of the abdominoplasty.
While a C-tuck doesn’t garner the best results, it’s not advisable to run out a few months after giving birth to get an abdominoplasty if you plan on getting pregnant in the future. Although a tummy tuck doesn’t affect your ability to become pregnant, a future pregnancy can negatively impact the procedure’s results, potentially requiring you to undergo a second.
Pregnancy involves weight gain and abdominal skin and muscle stretching, and can cancel out the results of the abdominoplasty. That means you’ve just paid thousands of dollars on a procedure that may have to be redone two or three times, depending on the number of children you want to have. If you wait until you’ve finished building your family, your abdominal area will remain firm and taut, and you’ll be able to reap the long-lasting benefits.
If you wait to have your tummy tuck, you can address Cesarean scars or stretch marks. You will also have the option of combining the procedure with tubal ligation, so you don’t have to put your body through two separate procedures.
For those who decide to get a tummy tuck after pregnancy—whether you’re planning on having more kids or not—you should wait three to six months to schedule your surgery. You need to give your hormones time to stabilize, and wait until you’re finished breastfeeding, because the procedure involves anesthetics and pain medications. In addition, you should arrange to have help with the baby for approximately two to three weeks after surgery due to your limited mobility.
For more information on pregnancy and tummy tucks, contact Buglino Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery today. Dr. Anthony Buglino has years of experience and expertise completing abdominoplasties.