A friend of mine was at her OB/GYN the other day. She was told that she was carrying her baby low and therefore she may be more likely to have a c-section. When my friend objected -- she is aiming for a vaginal birth -- the doctor said to her, "Don't worry. I'll throw in a tummy tuck when I do the surgery."
My first instinct was to switch doctors with her! How genius! I could get a new baby and a new body to boot! But then I started to wonder. Is this really possible? I asked Dr. Andrew Ordon, plastic and reconstructive surgeon and host of the Emmy Award winning syndicated talk show, The Doctors, if this is common and more importantly, is this safe?
Dr. Ordon told me that even if the mother is in great shape, the uterus is still swollen at the time of birth. There is no way any doctor could accurately know how much skin and muscle to remove. If the doctor is saying they'll just remove a little extra skin, there's still no way of knowing how much skin is the right amount at that moment. Even a trained plastic surgeon shouldn't be performing a tummy tuck during a c-section.
He went on to explain, "No OB/GYN should be giving a tummy tuck. It is not in the patient's best interest to do it at the same time." He also pointed out that this isn't what an OB/GYN is trained to do.
"I have a problem with any doctor who is saying this. I think any mainstream plastic surgeon would say the same thing. There are nuances to giving a tummy tuck. This would be just asking for problems."
When is the right time to have a tummy tuck after birth?
"If you're breastfeeding, you certainly don't want to do anything with anesthesia," Dr. Ordon, who has performed thousands of tummy tucks, explained. "You can consider it when you are back to your original weight again AND if you do not plan on being pregnant again. You don't want to do all of this if you are just going to stretch out again by having another baby."
When I asked if having a "C-Tuck" is common, he told me that this must not be happening very often as it would be on record at hospitals.
I guess I won't be switching doctors after all.
Have you heard of the C-Tuck? Has your OB ever suggested something like this?
Image via SarahMcD/Flickr