Loose, hanging belly skin is a common problem after childbirth. Because of this, many moms ask for a tummy tuck in my Chandler-Mesa, AZ, practice. Tummy tucks are excellent surgeries for removing stretched, damaged skin and toning up the midsection. But, as with many popular treatments, rumors of a new, specialized procedure have popped up.
Pregnant women who are scheduled to give birth via C-section sometimes ask their OB-GYN if they can have a tummy tuck during the same operation. This request has become known as a “C-tuck.” There is plenty of appeal to combining two surgeries into one. But in this blog post, I’ll explain why this plan isn’t suitable for most mothers.
What exactly is a C-tuck?
As briefly described above, a C-tuck is when a woman undergoes two different surgeries in the same time frame: a c-section and a tummy tuck. After the baby is born, a plastic surgeon comes in to remove excess skin around the abdomen. Liposuction can be added into the process.
An average C-section takes around 30 to 40 minutes, with the tummy tuck adding on an additional 2 or more hours. The woman remains under anesthesia during this entire process.
Is a C-tuck safe?
It is important to remember that an OB-GYN isn’t trained in plastic surgery. Only a board-certified plastic surgeon should be performing any tummy tuck surgery—no matter the location or childbirth situation.
Another crucial fact is that all surgeries involve potential risks and complications. This risk is elevated when many surgeries are performed at once.
A C-tuck presents issues such as:
- Higher risk of complications during surgery
- More difficult recovery
- Less than optimal results, as the body will continue to change and settle post-childbirth
Even if you wish to have a plastic surgeon on hand during your labor, unscheduled C-sections can happen at any time (including the middle of the night). These details all end up creating a less-than-ideal cosmetic surgery scenario.
A Better Alternative
In reality, C-tucks are a very uncommon procedure. Few surgeons perform them, and they are only ideal for candidates who already have significant skin and fatty tissue that flaps down over the abdomen. Nearly all actual C-tuck patients are obese.
If you’re considering a tummy tuck, most surgeons recommend scheduling it well after you’ve healed from your C-section. It is best to wait at least 6 months after giving birth before undergoing surgery again. By following these precautions, your body has time to recover from labor and can better settle into a stable shape that your surgeon can sculpt and tone.
Tummy tucks are transformative procedures. But to achieve excellent results, it’s worth waiting a few months after your C-section!
If you have any other questions about body contouring treatments like a tummy tuck and you’re in the Chandler area, contact us online or call (480) 466-7355. Browse our before-and-after gallery to see results from our own satisfied patients.