Pregnancy and childbirth by either a natural vaginal birth or caesarean C-section impact your body. One of the main changes that occur during pregnancy is the stretching of your stomach and abdominal muscles – diastasis recti. This can leave you with stretch marks, excess skin and separated abdominal muscles.
Having a caesarean or C-section can exaggerate these body changes. It generally tends to leave behind a caesarean “pouch” that hangs low in the abdominal region. Moreover, there is an association between a caesarean section and difficulty in losing weight post-pregnancy.
MEDICARE UPDATE – The Australian Government has reinstated a Medicare Item Number for an abdominoplasty for some post-pregnancy patients suffering from Diastasis Recti (split abdominal muscles) if you are eligible and meet the new criteria. This new 30175 Medicare Item Number is effective 1st July 2022. Read the 30175 Medicare Item Number factsheet.
If you qualify for the 30175 Medicare item number you may also get a subsidy from your Health Fund. There will still be a significant out-of-pocket GAP as abdominoplasty surgery is NOT FREE.
Can I have an abdominoplasty procedure after a C Section?
Yes, it is possible to have a full abdominoplasty with muscle repair after a C-section. Women who have undergone C-section/s may consider Abdominoplasty to address changes in their abdominal area, such as excess skin and separated abdominal muscles (diastasis recti), which can occur during pregnancy and childbirth. However, there are some important considerations to keep in mind:
Wait Until You’re Fully Recovered
It’s generally recommended to wait until you have fully recovered from your C-section before considering an Abdominoplasty. This often means waiting at least a year after your C-section, depending on your individual healing process.
Discuss with Your Surgeon
Consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has experience in both C-section scar revision and abdominoplasty procedures. They can assess your specific case, medical history, and goals to determine if you’re a suitable candidate.
Combining Abdominoplasty with C-section Scar Revision
In some cases, women choose to undergo an abdominoplasty with C-section scar revision, particularly if they are concerned about the appearance of their C-section scar. This approach can address both concerns simultaneously.
Consider Future Pregnancies
If you plan to have more children, it’s important to discuss this with your surgeon. While Abdominoplasty can provide excellent results, future pregnancies can impact the outcome, potentially necessitating further procedures.
Have realistic expectations about the results and recovery process. An Abdominoplasty can provide a flatter, tighter abdomen, but it is a surgical procedure with associated risks and downtime.
The recovery period after an abdominoplasty can be significant, and you will need to refrain from strenuous activities during this time. It’s important to have a support system in place to assist with childcare and household tasks during your recovery.
Ultimately, the decision to have an abdominoplasty after a C-section should be made in consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon who can provide personalized guidance based on your unique circumstances and goals.
Consult Dr Rubinstein to see if you meet the criteria and are eligible for the procedure.
What Can an Abdominoplasty Procedure After a C-section Achieve?
An abdominoplasty procedure performed after a C-section can address several points, depending on individual circumstances, including:
- Improved Abdominal Contour: An Abdominoplasty can remove excess skin, tighten abdominal muscles, and reduce localised fat deposits, resulting in a flatter, firmer, and more toned abdomen.
- C-Section Scar Revision: An abdominoplasty can sometimes include scar revision. This can help make the scar less noticeable.
- Restoration of Abdominal Strength: Pregnancy and C-section surgery can lead to diastasis recti, a condition where the abdominal muscles become separated. An abdominoplasty can repair these muscles, restoring core strength and function.
- Overall Body Proportions: Achieving a more balanced and proportionate body shape can enhance your overall appearance and improve the balance of other areas of the body.
- Reduced Skin Irritation: Excess skin folds in the abdominal area can sometimes lead to skin irritation and discomfort. Removing this excess skin may alleviate these issues.
- Long-Lasting Results: When maintained with a healthy lifestyle, the results of an abdominoplasty can be long-lasting.
It’s important to note that while an abdominoplasty can provide these benefits, it is a surgical procedure with associated risks and a recovery period. Additionally, individual results may vary. To determine if an abdominoplasty after a C-section is suitable for you and to discuss your specific goals, it’s essential to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has experience in these procedures. They can provide personalised guidance and recommendations based on your unique circumstances.
Candidates for an Abdominoplasty Procedure After a C-section
Candidates for an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) procedure after a C-section typically include individuals who have undergone one or more C-sections and are dissatisfied with the appearance of their abdomen. While each patient’s case is unique, some common characteristics of candidates for this procedure include:
- Excess Skin: Candidates often have excess skin on the abdomen, which can result from pregnancy, multiple pregnancies, or significant weight fluctuations.
- Separated Abdominal Muscles: Pregnancy can cause a separation of the abdominal muscles (diastasis recti). Candidates may have weakened or separated muscles that contribute to a protruding abdomen.
- Desire for Improved Abdominal Contour: Candidates seek improvement in the appearance of their abdomen. They often want a flatter, firmer, and more toned abdominal area.
- Stable Weight: Candidates should be at or near their ideal weight and maintain a stable weight before considering surgery. Significant weight fluctuations after the procedure can affect the results.
- Good General Health: Being in good overall health is essential for surgical candidates. Candidates should not have any underlying medical conditions that could increase the risks of surgery or interfere with the healing process.
- Non-Smokers: Smoking can impair the body’s ability to heal and increase the risk of complications. Candidates are encouraged to quit smoking before surgery and remain non-smokers during the recovery period.
- Emotional Readiness: Candidates should have realistic expectations about the procedure’s outcomes and be emotionally prepared for both the surgery and the recovery process.
- Completed Family Planning: Women considering Abdominoplasty should have completed their family planning, as future pregnancies can affect the long-term results of the procedure.
- Understanding of the Procedure: Candidates should have a clear understanding of the abdominoplasty procedure, its associated risks, and the recovery process. They should also be committed to following their surgeon’s post-operative instructions.
It’s important to note that candidacy for abdominoplasty is determined on a case-by-case basis, and individual circumstances may vary. A consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon is essential to evaluate whether an abdominoplasty is the right choice for your specific needs and goals. The surgeon can provide personalised recommendations and discuss the most appropriate surgical approach based on your unique situation.
FAQs – Questions about an abdominoplasty after C-Section
How long after C-section can I get an abdominoplasty?
The timing for getting an abdominoplasty after a C-section can vary based on individual circumstances, but there are some general guidelines to consider:
- Healing from C-Section: It’s essential to allow sufficient time for your body to heal after a C-section. Typically, this means waiting at least a year after the C-section before considering surgery.
- This timeframe allows your body to recover, and it gives your scars time to mature and settle.
- Stable Weight: Before undergoing an abdominoplasty, it’s advisable to achieve and maintain a stable weight that you are comfortable with.
- Significant weight fluctuations after surgery can affect the long-term results.
- Family Planning: If you plan to have more children, it’s generally recommended to postpone surgery until after you have completed your family.
- Consultation with a Plastic Surgeon: The best way to determine the appropriate timing is to have a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon.
- During the consultation, the surgeon will assess your individual circumstances, medical history, and the condition of your abdominal area. They will provide personalised recommendations and discuss whether you are a suitable candidate for the procedure at that time.
- Medical Considerations: If you have any underlying medical conditions or complications from your C-section that may affect your candidacy for surgery, these need to be addressed and resolved before considering an abdominoplasty.
It’s crucial to remember that the decision to undergo an abdominoplasty should not be rushed. Take the time to fully recover from your C-section, and consult with a qualified plastic surgeon to determine the most appropriate timing for your abdominoplasty based on your unique circumstances and goals. Your surgeon will provide guidance on the best approach to achieve the results you desire while ensuring your safety and well-being throughout the process.
Can you ask for an abdominoplasty during C-section?
- Yes, you can ask for an abdominoplasty during a caesarean section however, that does not mean that it is recommended or that you should definitely do so.
- In fact, most surgeons will tell you to refrain from doing so. There are quite a few side effects associated with the procedure.
Does the C-section pouch go away?
- Right after the caesarean section, there is quite a bit of inflammation and swelling that makes your lower abdomen hang lower.
- While this swelling may subside gradually during the recovery period, it is important to know that this excess skin will not flatten completely or go away permanently.
- It will likely persist as it consists of scar tissue or subcutaneous tissue that is bound to form anywhere you have had a surgical incision. The ‘pouch’ is a marker of scar tissue formation and hence a marker of healing.
How do I get rid of my belly after a C-section?
- Pregnancy stretches your uterus and abdominal muscles, and after the birth is complete, this stretched skin begins to form an overhang, which may impact the aesthetics of your abdominal region.
Does an abdominoplasty lift your pubic area?
- An Abdominoplasty removes excess skin from your abdominal region and enhances the natural contours of the abdomen.
- It has the ability to lift your pubic area or enhance the contours of the region, especially when combined with liposuction of the mons or FUPA (Fatty Upper Pelvic Area).
Does health insurance cover an Abdominoplasty after a C-section?
- Insurance, in general, does not pay for procedures that fall under the cosmetic procedures category, and abdominoplasty is currently considered to be a cosmetic procedure. This is because it aims to improve the aesthetics of the abdominal region rather than being a medical necessity.
- However, health insurance providers sometimes will pay for a panniculectomy after weight loss. A procedure performed with the purpose of removing the lower abdominal skin hanging like an apron.
- This reimbursement or coverage is dependent on you meeting the strict Medicare criteria and having the right level of coverage. Call your health insurer and ask about coverage for Medicare Item Number 30177.
- 2014 Plastic surgery statistics report. (2014)
- Kwon YJ, et al. (2014). How different modes of child
delivery influence abdominal muscle activities in the active straight leg raise.
About Dr Craig Rubinstein
Dr Craig Rubinstein FRACS (Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons) is an experienced Melbourne Specialist Plastic Surgeon for breast and abdominoplasty surgery.
Dr Rubinstein offers women personalised abdominoplasty surgery and all forms of cosmetic breast surgery.
BOOK A CONSULTATION 1300 599 990
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