Abdominoplasty isn’t recommended immediately following a C-section for a variety of reasons. These include the inability to make aesthetic judgments immediately following pregnancy, the mother’s overall health status, and the demands of a newborn child on the mother.
The timing of surgery following pregnancy is important and several issues should be considered before proceeding with surgery. It takes time for a new post-pregnancy body to reach its new baseline following pregnancy, and during this transition, it’s impossible to make aesthetic judgments. During this period, stretched skin may contract, a swollen uterus may shrink, and the weight gained during pregnancy may gradually disappear. This process takes 3 to 6 months and needs to occur before abdominoplasty is performed.
Ideally, patients should be within 10% of their ideal body weight and in good health otherwise. The majority of women who have undergone C-sections aren’t in good physical shape and are therefore not optimal candidates for surgery for a variety of reasons. These may include severe fatigue, a depressed immune system, possible blood loss, an increased potential for infection and elevated estrogen levels which can increase the risk of blood clots.
Finally, the demands of a newborn would make the recovery from these combined procedures very difficult. For instance, the use of postoperative pain medications would prevent you from breast feeding. In other words, the abdominoplasty might impact your developing relationships with your newborn child.
For all these reasons, it’s obvious that C-section and abdominoplasty shouldn’t be performed together. If you’re considering abdominoplasty it’s important to give yourself time to fully recover from your C-section. Once this has occurred it’s appropriate to consult a board-certified plastic surgeon.