Pregnancy, despite all of the joy it brings to so many families, can be hard on the body. Many women find that their abdomens simply aren’t the same afterward, and they may consider a tummy tuck to repair the damage. However, for women who have had their babies by Cesarean-section (C-section), there may be additional considerations when planning a tummy tuck.
The body’s changes during pregnancy
During pregnancy, a woman’s body goes through a large number of changes in a fairly short period of time. This includes fluctuating hormones, engorged blood vessels, and enlarged breasts. As the baby grows, not only does the skin over the abdomen stretch, but for many women, the muscles of the abdominal wall may stretch or even separate -- resulting in a weaker stomach after pregnancy. When the abdominal muscles stretch and separate, they generally do not heal and return to their pre-pregnancy state without surgical intervention.
Timing your tummy tuck after your C-section to maximize healing
Several factors should be considered when timing your tummy tuck after your C-section, but perhaps the most important is that your body is ready for surgery. Most patients should wait at least six months before considering a tummy tuck to ensure that your C-section incision, the underlying tissues, and your body overall are well healed after the trauma of this procedure. In addition, your hormones should be back to normal and stable, and your uterus should have healed and gone back to its normal size. This process alone may take up to three months. If you breastfed, you will want to wait until you are done and the breast milk has dried up.
Make sure both you and the baby are ready
Newborns need a significant amount of dedicated care and attention at all hours of the day. Mom and baby also need time to bond after birth. In the first several months of your baby’s life, you may feel tired, constantly on the move, and like you simply don’t have time to relax. These are not the ideal conditions during which to undergo plastic surgery. Neither you nor your baby will reap the benefits of plastic surgery under such conditions. Instead, focus on healthy eating, exercise, and taking care of your little one. A tummy tuck will restrict your ability to care for your baby as you won’t be allowed to lift anything, including your child, for several weeks.
When you are ready for your tummy tuck?
Ideally, you should be at or near your ideal weight. During your tummy tuck, your surgeon may remove excess skin and repair separated or weakened abdominal muscles. Some women also elect to have liposuction done at the same time. Most women benefit from having their C-section scar removed during their tummy tuck after the excess skin has been removed and the remaining skin has been re-draped over the tightened abdominal muscles. For most women, the tummy tuck incision will be low on the abdomen, below the bikini line and thus easily hidden below the panties or bathing suit.To learn more about having a tummy tuck after a C-section, call Monarch Plastic Surgery today at (913) 663-3838 for our Leawood and Lansing locations or (816) 436-3262 for our North Kansas City location to schedule a consultation.