Q: Dr. Eppley, I have an unusual tummy tuck question. Can a tummy tuck be performed at the same time as when one is delivering a child? I have never heard of this before but it just seems to make sense to me. I have had two children by c-section and am thinking about having a third and with the excess skin already present this just seems like a perfect time to do it. Is this a crazy time to do a tummy tuck? Or should I just wait and do it after? How much weight should I lose before doing it after delivery?
A: Having performed three tummy tucks at the time of delivery I can speak to the fact that it can be done. While a tummy tuck can be done at the time of delivery, it is not going to be the traditional or full tummy tuck procedure. Because of the enlarged uterus, muscle repair is not done in the traditional fashion (hard to close over a big uterus) and the tummy tuck is limited to the amount of skin that can be easily removed without too much tension. The scar will end up being much longer than that of the c-section scar you have now. While producing a significant improvement, it is never as good as a tummy tuck that is done six months or later after delivery. When done well after pregnancy, it is a good idea to lose as much weight as possible to get the best benefit from the tummy tuck procedure.
Dr. Barry Eppley