Is C-Tuck Surgery a Good Idea?

Every woman wants to get in shape fast after giving birth. This desire has given rise to the idea of c-tuck surgery, which combines a c-section and tummy tuck into one procedure. Many celebrity moms are suspected of having had a c-tuck. After all, how do they seem to lose weight and get a flat tummy so fast after baby? 

Combining two surgeries into one procedure sounds like a good idea. In theory, you will only go under the knife and deal with the recovery period once instead of twice as you would with two separate surgeries. But is c-tuck surgery safe? 

What is a c-section?

A Cesarean delivery (c-section) is a surgical procedure that allows a pregnant woman to deliver her baby through an abdominal incision rather than having a vaginal delivery. Incisions are made in the abdominal area and uterus to create an opening through which the baby can be delivered. 

A c-section is major surgery and has a longer downtime, pain and recovery period than traditional vaginal delivery. In some cases, a c-section becomes necessary due to special circumstances related to the pregnancy.

Reasons to get a c-section

Some women have pregnancy complications that make a vaginal birth difficult or impossible. Stalled labor is one of the top reasons to get a c-section. This usually happens when the cervix does not open enough during labor to allow for a vaginal delivery. Another reason for a c-section birth is when the placenta blocks the cervix, a condition known as placenta previa. 

Cesarean delivery may also be the best option if the baby is in distress, for example, if the fetus is in an abnormal position or the baby has an irregular heartbeat. Women carrying twins or multiples may also find vaginal birth difficult, making a c-section preferable. 

Finally, elective c-sections are also sometimes a possibility for women that prefer it, if their health care provider agrees.

Nearly 30 percent of births involve a c-section. While c-sections are common, it is important to remember that a c-section is major surgery. C-section downtime and recovery can take longer than recovery from a vaginal birth, and c-section scars will remain on the abdomen permanently. C-section risks and complications can involve hemorrhaging, blood clots, infection and delayed recovery.

Cosmetic concerns from a c-section

A c-section also changes the way the abdomen looks. Not only will there be a c-section scar on the lower abdomen, but a small flap of skin often remains. This skin flip hangs down over the lower abdomen, which can make some women feel self-conscious. Plastic surgery is an option for women that want to remove excess skin after a c-section.

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What is a tummy tuck?

A tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty) is a plastic surgery procedure that removes excess skin on the tummy. This is often the case for women who are post-pregnancy. Pregnancy stretches the skin, and weight gain may also result from pregnancy. Hormones and diet come into play when it comes to pregnancy weight gain. 

The best time to get a tummy tuck is when you have reached a stable weight after giving birth. This usually takes at least several months post pregnancy. A commitment to dieting, certain exercises and an overall healthy lifestyle are the first step to getting in shape quickly after pregnancy.

There are many different kinds of tummy tucks. Women who have had a c-section can benefit greatly from a mini tummy tuck. This procedure removes the loose flap of skin that hangs on the lower tummy after a cesarean delivery. 

For women with additional cosmetic concerns after birth, there are other options available. A full tummy tuck is a more extensive surgery that removes loose skin anywhere on the tummy, not just the lower abdomen. By trimming away loose abdominal skin, some pregnancy stretch marks will also be removed. 

A tummy tuck with muscle repair is also possible for women with torn abdominal muscles after pregnancy. This condition is known as diastasis recti. As an alternative to muscle repair surgery, diastasis recti exercises can also help.

What is a c-tuck?

Here is where things get interesting. Both a c-section and a tummy tuck are major surgeries. Combining the two procedures into a single surgery seems like a no-brainer. This is known as a c-tuck, or c-section.

It seems like a good idea, but it’s not

Combining surgery seems like a good idea. After all, you only have to go under the knife (and general anesthesia) once, potentially saving money and recovery time in theory. Combining multiple cosmetic surgery procedures at one time can be safe, but with the c-tuck procedure it is not something most doctors recommend. 

Ask any qualified plastic surgeon or specialist surgeon, and they will tell you it is not a good idea to get c-tuck surgery. According to Doctor Bernard, there are many reasons not to get a c-tuck.

Is c-tuck surgery safe?

C-tucks are a scary trend. Keeping reading to find out why.

C-tuck complications

Both surgeries carry risks. While some types of cosmetic surgery can be safely done at the same time, combining a c-section and tummy tuck greatly increases the risk of potential complications. Operating on the uterus and abdomen at the same time may result in a significant amount of blood loss, especially for more extensive tummy tucks. Post-pregnant women often need abdominal muscle repair in addition to removing loose skin.

Studies show that a c-section with tummy tuck has significantly higher rates of infection, wound dehiscence and necrosis (dead tissue). Further, a pregnant woman already has a lot going on with her body. She is at a higher risk of forming blood clots and fluid retention, making it dangerous to perform cosmetic surgery at the same time as a c-section.

C-tucks have poor results

Of course, the main reason to get a tummy tuck is to look better. However, c-tucks often give disappointing results. 

Immediately after pregnancy, the abdomen is still distended. This can cause abdominal muscle distortion that makes cosmetic surgery not work so well. It is very difficult for the surgeon to see how much skin and muscle tightening needs to be done, leading to a poor cosmetic result. Many women are also interested in a tummy tuck with liposuction, only adding to the potential risk of complications.

Experts recommend that patients should reach a stable weight before getting a tummy tuck. It comes as no surprise that many women gain weight during pregnancy. Giving your body a chance to recuperate after giving birth ensures you will get the best tummy tuck results possible. 

Exercise and healthy eating can help you reach a stable weight. A tummy tuck gives the finishing touch, sculpting your body to perfection by removing all that hanging skin on your tummy.

When it comes to perfecting your body, a rush job is not what the doctor ordered. A c-tuck is likely to disappoint you, whereas waiting a bit longer to get a tummy tuck leads to higher patient satisfaction. It is best to wait at least a few months after giving birth to get abdominoplasty. 

Not only does that give you time to reach a stable weight, it also allows the skin and muscle to retract as much as possible so the cosmetic surgeon can see how much tightening and skin removal is truly needed.

The scheduled surgery time can be hard to plan

Let’s say you are not in need of an emergency c-section. In some cases, a c-section date can be scheduled in advance. However, anything can happen during pregnancy. You could go into early labor or have some other situation arise that delays or speeds up the c-section surgery date. If you are thinking of getting a c-tuck, you may find that these carefully laid plans don’t work out well in real life.

The c-section operating room is not the ideal place for a tummy tuck

Picture this: You are in the operating room, after just having delivered your newborn baby. The operating room is set up for a c-section surgery. Unfortunately, that can make performing a tummy tuck surgery difficult for the plastic surgeon or specialist surgeon, especially if the hospital you have chosen to give birth is not somewhere that your cosmetic surgeon is familiar with. 

Additionally, emergency c-sections happen all the time. It is unlikely that your tummy tuck surgeon can be “on call” to perform a tummy tuck anytime of the day or night. Even if they were willing to accommodate, do you really want the surgeon arriving to perform your c-section when they are unexpectedly woken up in the middle of the night? Of course not! Having a plastic surgery date planned in advance is better for all parties involved. 

There are also a lot of people in the room during a c-section. From the c-section surgeon, operating room nurses and obstetric team, it is not exactly ideal conditions for a cosmetic surgeon to do the job well. Again, to ensure that you are satisfied with tummy tuck results, scheduling the procedure separately is a better idea.

You may miss out on bonding time

You will be awake during a c-section and numbed from the waist down with local anesthetic. When your baby arrives, you get to be awake to experience the joyous moment! On the other hand, a tummy tuck requires general anesthesia. Getting both procedures done at the same time means you may miss out on being the first to meet your newborn baby. 

Giving birth is an important event in your life. Cosmetic surgery should not get in the way of that.

Rough recovery

Tummy tucks and cesarean sections are both major surgeries with significant downtime. Recovering from both at the same time proves even more difficult. After giving birth, that time and energy healing would be better spent bonding with your newborn. Scheduling the surgeries separately is the right choice in most cases.

C-tuck surgery is less common than you think

For all tummy tucks, less than 3% occur at the same time as a c-section delivery. Because it is so unsafe, most trained cosmetic surgeons don’t recommend it. Like most mothers, you will likely need to wait at least a few months after giving birth to get a tummy tuck.

But what about celebrities that had c-tuck surgery?

You may think celebrities can get away with just about anything, but this is not always the case. Even celebrities are advised against getting c-tucks. Yet celebrities seem to bounce back to their “pre-baby” body so fast after giving birth it can make your head spin. What gives? 

A big reason is that they may have access to expert nutritionists, personal trainers and a dedicated team working hard to get the celebrity’s body back on track for their next movie or red carpet event. With all this money and expert help on their side, it may explain why the celebrity baby bump flattens so quickly after giving birth.

 What about a mini c-tuck?

This is a misnomer. Removing a small flap of skin while closing the incision or removing an old c-section scar during a c-section is NOT the same as a tummy tuck. 

During a c-section, the surgeon may offer to nip away a bit of extra skin to close the abdominal incision in what is known as a mini c-tuck. This is not the same as a full-blown tummy tuck surgery, which removes much more loose skin by a cosmetic surgeon that is trained in aesthetics. 

Who is a good candidate for c-tuck surgery?

Now that you know the dangers of c-tuck surgery, hopefully you will agree that it is not the best way to get the tummy tuck results you want. 

For women that simply have a distended tummy and stretched skin due to a recent pregnancy, it is difficult to judge how much skin removal and tightening is needed until months later when the skin and muscle return to a more normal position. There is no good candidates for c-tuck surgery. Don’t do it!

A better option is waiting to get a tummy tuck after a C-section

For the best results, it is Doctor Bernard’s medical opinion that it is best to wait to get a tummy tuck at least a 6 months after giving birth by c-section. If you have your mind set on getting multiple procedures at once, a mummy makeover may be the right choice.