While the immediate post-pregnancy period is not a good time for a tummy tuck, the surgery can often be considered after about 6-12 months after a C-section.

It is quite common for women who have delivered babies via C-section (or vaginally) to seek out a post-pregnancy tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty.

The thing that many Bergen County women find so appealing about a tummy tuck after one is finished having children is that it takes care of many post-pregnancy issues at the same time.

Healing from your C-section before a tummy tuck cannot be rushed. In today’s fast-moving culture, it may seem that women (especially celebrities) are bouncing back from pregnancy/C-section overnight.

In reality, that’s not the case. You can expect the best outcome from your tummy tuck after your C-section if you don’t rush into it. And if you’re planning to have more children, let the tummy tuck wait.

Post-Pregnancy Tummy Tucks Offer Multiple Benefits

For a healthy woman, who has completely recovered after her pregnancy and Cesarean section, a tummy tuck can:

  • Re-create the pre-pregnancy figure (or even improve upon it).
  • Do away with C-section scars and scar tissue.
  • Get rid of abdominal stretch marks.
  • Flatten the tummy by removing excess fat.
  • Trim away excess skin.
  • Contour the waist.
  • Tone and strengthen the tummy and waist.
  • Repair separated and stretched abdominal muscles.
  • Enable better posture due to a well-supported core.
  • Produce an easily hidden scar that sits just above the pubic area and below the underwear line.
  • Change from an ”outie” to an “innie” belly button.
  • Reveal a more youthful figure with a thinner waistline.
  • Help you fit into those skinny jeans again.
  • Be more confident in a bikini, at the gym, or the shore here in Northern NJ.
  • And more, depending upon each woman’s goals for her tummy tuck procedure.

My Tummy Tuck After C-Section — Why Wait?

Chances are you’ll understand the need to wait, once you are actually in the situation and have given birth. Medical advice aside, many women find that waiting for things to settle down physically, emotionally and logistically after having a C-section birth just makes the most sense for them.

First of all, it allows the new mom to regain her energy and enjoy bonding time with the infant. New moms need time to revert to pre-pregnancy weight before the tummy tuck, which may not happen until after you finish breast-feeding. Weight is important when considering the timing of a tummy tuck. This is because stable weight both before and after your tummy tuck makes the result last.

It’s also better, when recovering from your tummy tuck, if you’re not still caring for a newborn. Initial recovery from a tummy tuck takes only a week or two, but you need some more downtime to recover properly.

This is not the time to be lifting your child and caring for him or her on your own. If you’re tempted to do so too soon after your tummy tuck, you might pull out stitches or otherwise delay your healing process.

For Best Results, Don’t Rush Your Tummy Tuck

There are also clear medical reasons why it is impractical and even risky to do a tummy tuck immediately after or in conjunction with a C-section or vaginal birth. In the weeks and months after giving birth, your body is recuperating and going through changes.

With your body still changing and your skin and muscles still snapping back into shape somewhat, your surgeon won’t be able to plan your surgery properly.

It’s not only your weight, but also your hormonal levels that will be readjusting for at least the first few months after giving birth. If a tummy tuck is done too soon, it may need to be revised later.

Other body characteristics and processes will also need to normalize for best tummy tuck results. Your blood volume will need to return to pre-pregnancy levels as well before your body is prepared to undergo abdominoplasty safely and any anemia should be resolved.

In addition, any post-pregnancy stress should subside before undergoing a tummy tuck or any elective surgical procedure, because stress can delay healing. Since a dedicated Bergen County plastic surgeon wants the optimal recovery experience–and the very best outcome–for your tummy tuck, most of them will suggest you wait several months after giving birth. To find out the best timing in your particular case, consult your local NJ plastic surgeon.

Tummy Tuck Risks

Although many complications can be avoided by waiting until your body has healed from the C-section, and has returned to pre-pregnancy weight and normal metabolism, there are risks with any surgery.

These risks include: bleeding, blood clots, infection, delayed healing, scarring, anesthesia risks, diminished sensation, skin loss or discoloration, asymmetry, persistent swelling and more.

The possibility of complications can be minimized by:

  • Not rushing to have surgery or rushing the healing process.
  • Following all of your surgeon’s instructions when preparing for and recovering from tummy tuck surgery in Bergen County.
  • Choosing an experienced surgeon with meticulous surgical technique, a keen aesthetic sensibility and a clear understanding of your goals for the outcome.
  • Calling your surgeon immediately if you develop a fever or have any symptoms that worry you while recovering from tummy tuck surgery.

Tummy Tuck Timing: Things to Think About

Do a motivation check. Make sure you are considering a tummy tuck after a C-section for the right reasons—for yourself. Make sure the desire for “getting your figure back” is yours and not influenced by what you think your significant other wants or what your friends expect. If your motivation is external rather than internal, you will be disappointed with your results. Do what makes you happy.

Do a reality check. Make sure your expectations are realistic. Don’t get a tummy tuck thinking that it will solve all your problems or fix your life. Don’t get the surgery as a weight loss solution. You won’t really lose any weight with a tummy tuck. If you have any doubts, don’t have a tummy tuck, or reconsider it at a later date.

Get your support system ready. Get a couple of friends or relatives lined up to help you recover and care for your child. You need someone with you full time for the first day or two after surgery and you shouldn’t lift your child until you get the ‘ok’ from your surgeon.

Finding the Best Tummy Tuck Surgeon for You

  • Verify that your Bergen County plastic surgeon is board certified by the ABMS (American Board of Medical Specialties). Only this board is authorized to certify plastic surgeons.
  • Choose a surgeon with reconstructive plastic surgery experience. These surgeons have the most in-depth knowledge of the anatomy, characteristics and function of the skin, muscles, breasts and body tissues.
  • Ask how many tummy tucks your surgeon has performed this year.
  • Ask about the type of anesthesia that will be used and the anesthesiologist’s qualifications.
  • Ask about risks associated with tummy tuck surgery. The vast majority of tummy tucks are completely successful and patients are typically happy with their new body contours–but your surgeon should discuss your individual risk profile with you and answer any questions.
  • Explain your goals for the outcome of your tummy tuck. Talk about or show how you would like to look once it is completed. Your surgeon should take an interest in this and let you know whether the surgery goal is achievable.
  • Trust your gut feelings: Be sure to choose a surgeon who has earned your trust.

At Cohen/Winters Aesthetic & Reconstructive Surgery in Bergen County, we offer a no-charge consultation to help you determine if a tummy tuck is right for you—and if so, when. We’re happy to answer your questions and help you along the path to the body you desire.

plastic surgeons NJ

Dr. Winters

About Dr. Winters

Dr. Winters specializes in primary, revision, reconstructive, functional and teenage rhinoplasty surgeries. Dr. Winters is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and maintains active memberships in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery and others.