When you’re pregnant, it’s normal to be a little nervous about what lies ahead. But once you’ve given birth and your baby is safe and sound in your arms, you can breathe a sigh of relief—right?
Not so fast. For many women, the real pain begins after they give birth. The abdomen stretching caused by carrying a child can lead to many months of discomfort, including abdominal muscle weakness and skin laxity. And that’s where tummy tuck surgery comes in: it helps to tighten up the abdominal muscles while removing excess skin in order to give you an improved appearance and reduced pain.
But there are some things you should know before you decide whether or not this procedure is right for you. First off all, it’s important to note that most surgeons will advise against having a tummy tuck if your pregnancy was complicated or resulted in any kind of complications (for example: high blood pressure). Second: the recovery time for both types of surgery is similar; however, because C-sections require stitches (which need to be removed at some point), they may take longer for those who have them than those who don’t
You may find it hard to access the right information on the internet, so we are here to help you in the following article, providing the best and updated information on is a tummy tuck or c section more dangerous, free tummy tuck after c section, and tummy tuck pain reviews.
Is Tummy Tuck Pain Similar To C Section
Surgery is a big decision. Patients have all kinds of questions for Dr. Bernard Beldholm when they come in for a consultation. Doctor Bernard always does his best to answer all questions. If you are still researching tummy tuck surgery, he wants to put your fears to rest. Knowing what to expect walking into surgery can be a huge relief.
So, is a tummy tuck similar to a c-section in terms of pain? That’s something many women want to know.
While patients have different experiences, most plastic surgeons would agree that a cesarean section is more painful than most tummy tucks. A tummy tuck without muscle repair just involves the top layers of the tummy. A c-section is also a major surgery, but the healing time is longer. We’re talking months for a c-section compared to 6-8 weeks for a tummy tuck. A c-section goes deeper into the abdominal cavity than a tummy tuck without muscle repair.
Is a tummy tuck really that painful?
The first few days are the hardest. Discomfort peaks within the first 72 hours, and then gradually begins to subside. There will be a lot of swelling at first. Swelling can persist for months, but it peaks during the first week. This is one reason the early days of recovery are more difficult. While uncomfortable, may women tolerate the initial discomfort quite well.
It’s important to remember that any pain or discomfort will subside in the coming days and weeks. Simply knowing that can help you push through it. Most women find the inconvenience well worth it in the end. After all, you have a beautiful new body to feel excited about!
When you remain still, whether reclined in bed or lying on the couch, you will not feel much discomfort. Most women say they notice discomfort only when they sit up, stand or shift positions in bed.
It may be tempting to stay in bed and rest 24/7, but that is not a good idea. It is vital that you begin walking the same day of surgery, and continue walking a bit more each day, especially in the first 14 days post-op. The health benefits of walking after tummy tuck are well proven.
Everyone experiences pain differently
No doubt you’ve researched the pain associated with abdominoplasty. That’s probably why you found this article, after all. You can read all sorts of patient experiences online, but the truth is that you won’t know what it’s like until you experience it for yourself. That’s not to say you should be fearful about getting surgery, although this is a natural reaction to the unknown.
The takeaway is, don’t be scared by what you read online. Every patient experiences pain differently. Be strong and stay positive — You can handle it! Many thousands of women around the world have had surgery and managed recovery quite well.
Accepting that you will experience temporary discomfort, swelling and limited mobility for a brief time after surgery makes it easier. It’s all about knowing what to expect and being prepared.
Tips to make tummy tuck recovery more comfortable
In the early phase of recovery, your mobility will be limited. Rest is important to recovery, but so is walking. You should walk for a few minutes every couple of hours, even on Day 1. Dr. Beldholm wants you to have a safe and comfortable recovery.
Here are some tips to reduce pain as you heal from abdominoplasty:
- Avoiding twisting and turning
- Walk bent over
- Remember, pain is only temporary
- Think positive! Your new body is worth it
- Do not attempt to lift groceries, etc.
- Follow aftercare instructions
- Wear compression garments to reduce swelling
- See more tips on preparing for tummy tuck surgery
Not all tummy tucks are the same
The pain may differ based on the type of tummy tuck you had. Some tummy tucks are more extensive than others. For example, one patient may have had a mini tummy tuck, while another had a body lift or fleur-de-lis surgery. A mini tummy tuck has a much quicker healing time and causes less tissue trauma, so the recovery is easier and less painful.
If you had torn abdominal muscle repair (diastasis recti repair), that is a more involved surgery than a tummy tuck without muscle repair. This can affect post-op discomfort.
Some patients also add liposuction to the procedure. All these factors can affect how much discomfort you feel after surgery.
Extensive tummy tucks like a body lift or fleur-de-lis abdominoplasty are more involved procedures. Therefore, the incision, discomfort and recovery time are different. Even still, some women tolerate the discomfort and pain better than others. Not only that, but there are different techniques that cosmetic surgeons may use.
The latest tummy tuck techniques are less painful than the past
Abdominoplasty is always improving. Newer tummy tuck techniques aim to reduce pain and downtime, speed healing and minimize surgical risks.
Dr. Beldholm is constantly studying the latest and greatest tummy tuck techniques to improve the experience for his patients and make recovery easier. Today’s methods are designed to be less invasive, so there is often less tissue trauma than techniques of the past. Dr. Beldholm uses a technique known as VASER lipo-abdominoplasty, aka the Sculpt Tummy Tuck.
In his experience, patients experience less pain with this method. This is a drainless procedure, which also reduces pain, inconvenience and infection risks. Other surgeons still perform tummy tuck with drains. Be sure to ask!
If you heard horror stories about pain from someone who had surgery a long time ago, this could be why. The tummy tuck your mother-in-law had 20 years ago is probably very different from the tummy tuck you will have today. Thus, you can’t really make a precise comparison of the pain. With the old type of tummy tuck, the abdominal flaps are lifted all the way to the ribs, creating a much bigger area of pain.
Why does a tummy tuck hurt?
Pain and discomfort is a normal response to surgery. Dr. Beldholm provides non-narcotic pain medication to ease your pain. When you wake from surgery, local anesthetic blockers make it so you won’t feel much discomfort at all on Day 1. This lasts for about 24 hours. You will just wake up groggy and probably tired from anesthesia.
Surgery, by nature, is controlled damage to skin and underlying tissue. That is how we remove excess body fat and unwanted loose skin, giving you the beautiful, slim tummy of your dreams. Temporary discomfort is to be expected. This usually peaks in the first few days after surgery, then subsides. Every day, you will feel a bit more comfortable. The discomfort does not last forever.
Over the next few days and weeks, you will start to feel much more comfortable. However, some patients report occasional minor shooting pain as the nerves and tissue repair themselves. This is not usually so much painful as it is surprising. You may feel a slight burning sensation. This is nothing to be concerned about.
Reducing swelling can also make you feel more comfortable. Compression garments are used for this purpose. However, some women find them uncomfortable. Doctor Bernard provides high-quality compression garments that are more comfortable to wear than ordinary garments.
In fact, you will wake from surgery with the compression garment already in place when you see Doctor Bernard for a tummy tuck, so there is nothing you need to do. Compression garments also help stabilize your body so there is less tension on the wound as it heals.
Healing from abdominoplasty
Doctor Bernard wants every patient to be comfortable, so you will be closely monitored after surgery. You will be back to feeling like yourself in no time. In just a few short weeks after surgery, most patients can even start exercising again.
So, which hurts more, a c-section or a tummy tuck?
A standard tummy tuck (without ab muscle repair) tends to be less invasive than a c-section since it only deals with the surface of the abdominal cavity and skin.
However, your mileage may vary. If you had abdominal muscle repair, liposuction or a more extensive tummy tuck (ex. fleur-de-lis, body lift, extended tummy tuck), there may be more discomfort. Again, each patient experiences pain differently.
With standard tummy tuck, most patients report the usual initial pain and soreness, noting that is it mainly just difficult to get comfortable in bed and walking at first…but that the tummy tuck results are still totally worth it.
The skill of the tummy tuck surgeon, type of tummy tuck, surgical method, how gentle or aggressive they perform surgery, individual pain tolerance and following aftercare instructions at home can make a big difference.
Is A Tummy Tuck Or C Section More Dangerous
A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is one of the top five cosmetic surgical procedures in the United States for women ages 30 to 39.
For mothers who are scheduled to have a baby via cesarean delivery, it may seem like combining the birth with a tummy tuck would be ideal. Instead of two separate surgeries, you’d only have one round of anesthetic, one operating room, and one period of recovery. This combination is informally known as a “C-tuck” and it sounds ideal, right?
Well, not exactly. Most doctors would tell you that rolling both surgeries into one isn’t wise. But that doesn’t mean a tummy tuck after you’ve had time to fully recover from a cesarean delivery is out of the question.
Here’s what you should know about getting a tummy tuck after a cesarean delivery, including the best time to consider it.
What’s a tummy tuck?
It sounds deceptively minimal, but a tummy tuck is actually major surgery. The cosmetic procedure involves cutting and sculpting of muscle, tissue, and skin.
Excess fat and skin is removed. The goal is to restore weakened or separated abdominal muscles. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, a protruding abdomen, or one that is loose or saggy, can be a result of:
- a previous surgery
- major changes in weight
Learning more about what’s involved during and after a tummy tuck (and keeping in mind that it will piggyback your cesarean delivery) is a good way to highlight why combining procedures can be problematic.
What to expect during a tummy tuck
Before a tummy tuck, you’re given intravenous sedation, or a general aesthetic. A horizontal incision is then made between your bellybutton and the pubic hairline. The precise shape and length of this incision will vary from patient to patient, and it’s related to the amount of excess skin.
Once the incision has been made, the abdominal skin is lifted so that repairs can be made to the muscles below. If there is excess skin in the upper abdomen, a second incision may be necessary.
Next, the abdominal skin is pulled down, trimmed, and sutured together. Your surgeon will create a new opening for your bellybutton, push it through to the surface, and suture that into place. Incisions are closed, and bandages are applied.
You may also have a compression or elastic wrap that’s designed to reduce swelling and provide support to your abdomen during the healing process. In some cases, drainage tubes are also placed beneath the skin to drain blood or fluid.
A full tummy tuck can take anywhere from one to two hours, or longer.
Recovering from a tummy tuck
Recovering from a tummy tuck usually involves medications to facilitate healing and to reduce the possibility of infection. You’ll also be instructed in how to care for the surgical site and drains if you have them.
There will be required follow-up appointments with your doctor. You’ll also be instructed to minimize any lifting and rest as much as possible.
Problems with combining a tummy tuck and cesarean delivery
1. Disappointing results
The goal of a tummy tuck is to help you look your best. To make that happen, you should be in good physical condition before surgery. After carrying a baby for nine months, both your abdominal skin and your uterus have been impressively stretched. That makes it difficult for a surgeon to accurately determine how much tightening needs to be done. This can lead to disappointing results after you’ve healed.
2. Difficult recovery
Recovering from a tummy tuck or a cesarean delivery is difficult. Recovering from both surgeries at the same time, on top of caring for a newborn baby, is complicated and exhausting. You’ll be very restricted physically, making things difficult.
3. Surgeon logistics
There’s also the matter of finding a plastic surgeon who will agree to perform your tummy tuck immediately after your cesarean delivery. Keep in mind that anything can happen during labor and delivery, and you may find that your carefully scheduled plans don’t work out.
Both procedures have risks, and combining them can increase the potential for complications. A woman may be at an increased risk of blood clots and fluid retention. There’s also a greater chance of infection when the uterus is undergoing surgery, as well as the abdominal wall.
What’s the best time for a tummy tuck after a C-section?
If a tummy tuck is something you’re considering after a cesarean delivery, speak with a certified plastic surgeon. For the best results, you should be back to your original weight and be in good physical condition.
Plan a tummy tuck only if you aren’t planning on becoming pregnant again. Otherwise, you may go through the cost and aggravation of the surgery and recovery only to find your abdomen stretched out again.
Keep in mind that the procedure involves anesthetic and medications. These can be a problem if you’re breast-feeding. Talk to your doctor about what you should and shouldn’t be taking.
There may be benefits to getting a tummy tuck after having a baby. You may be a candidate if you’re physically healthy and your weight has stabilized. But it’s important to allow your body time to heal from both your pregnancy and your cesarean delivery.
You won’t want to miss out on enjoying that early bonding time with your new baby with the added stress of recovery from a tummy tuck.
What is the best time to explore whether a tummy tuck is a good decision for you? After you’re done having children.