Can I Have a Tummy Tuck Immediately After my C-section?

Woman touching stomach

Many women considering a tummy tuck in Phoenix or Scottsdale are new moms who want a flatter abdomen after pregnancy. 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.

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