Can A Tummy Tuck Be Done At The Same Time As A C-Section?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have had two c-sections over ten years ago and a tummy tuck with hernia repair five years ago. Then to my surprise I found out I am pregnant again. I am obviously going to need a c-section but am concerned as to whether the scar tissue from my tummy tuck will cause problems for this procedure.

A:  It is actually not rare that pregnancies happen after a woman has had a tummy tuck, even though they may have gotten the tummy tuck under the premise that they were done having children. I see at least one or two cases a year of the identical circumstances. A tummy tuck scar presents the incisional guideline for the c-section and provides the obstretician with unparalleled access for the c-section if they desire. The scar tissue from the tummy tuck poses no problem for the c-section and does not cause any more scar tissue than that which would normally exist from a prior c-section.

One of the interesting issues that a c-section poses after a tummy tuck is the potential for simultaneous excision of redundant skin during the closure of the c-section. Some women are curious about or desire a simultaneous tummy tuck at their c-section. A traditional tummy tuck that incorporates a muscle repair can not be done very well due to the enlarged uterus from the pregnancy, but the loose abdominal skin can be removed. The existing tummy tuck scar provides an opportunity, without adding additional scar, to remove any obvious skin overhang at that time. This combined c-section abdominoplasty adds nothing to the mother’s recovery and can also be done under the same epidural anesthetic.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana