Can A C-Section Scar Be Used For A Tummy Tuck?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am a 32 year old African-American female who is in need of a serious tummy tuck. I have had three children, the last two by c-section. I have a large amount of lower stomach skin with a lot of stretch marks. It makes my belly button look odd and almost buried with the loose skin around it. If I get a tummy tuck will they be able use my c-section scar? I need a tummy tuck so bad that if I had to have a new scar above the c-section scar I could live with it. But I would like if possible to keep it low and just have a longer c-section scar.

A: This is a common question and concern and one I think about when doing a tummy tuck in every women that has a c-section scar. I always want to use the c-section scar whenever possible for two reasons. The first is the one which concerns you and that of the unsavory cosmetic issue of adding another scar to the one you already have. But a more important consideration, and the one that I am most concerned with, is the survival of the skin between the two scars if the c-section scar could not be used as part of the tummy tuck. The intervening skin between these two scars may not have a good blood supply and could either not heal well or actually die…which would obviously create a significant after surgery complication. For this reason every effort is made to use a c-section scar in a tummy tuck and if you have as much loose skin as you describe this would not be a problem to do so.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana