What Can I Do About My C-Section Scar and Pooch?
C-section, or Cesarean delivery, is a common option for childbirth. In 2016, CDC reports that 31.9% of all deliveries in the U.S. were by c section. In some cases women have this type of delivery because it is safer, even medically indicated for them. A Cesarean childbirth involves cutting of abdominal skin and muscles to deliver your baby. After the procedure, you might be left with a C-section scar where the surgical incision took place.
C-section or a Cesarean childbirth is a surgical procedure that is performed on expectant mothers to deliver their babies. Although it is a safe and common option for childbirth, it can sometimes leave behind a C-section pooch or bulging belly that won’t go away. That shelf of tissue, “pooch” or belly bulge hangs over the C-section scar. It bulges over the waist of your pants. It sticks out when you try and put on snug camis or sweaters. Each time you look in the mirror you grab the pooch and wish it weren’t there.
In this blog post, we will discuss the causes of the C-section pooch and scar and how you can get rid of them.
⬇ YouTube Video on Treating Your C-Section Scar and Pooch ⬇
Why Do I Have a C-Section Pooch?
First, let’s talk about the causes of the C-section pooch. The C-section pooch occurs when the C-section scar is anchored down to your core abdominal muscles. That makes the stretched out skin of your belly and the fat above it more noticeable. When the layer of fat between the skin and the muscle is disrupted during the surgery, the scar is not able to move freely. As a result, the pooch or bulging belly appears.
The C-section pooch does not mean you had a problem with surgery or that your scars are healing poorly. Rather, it means that your scar is stuck down to the muscle below. Usually there is a layer of fat between the skin and the muscle. When a scar forms it tethers the skin to stick directly down to your muscle, and this creates the bulge of fat over the scar, or the C-section pooch.
The C-section scar is anchored down to your core abdominal muscles. As a result, the stretched out skin of your belly and the fat above it are more noticeable. The scar stops them from sliding around like the rest of your skin. Learn more about what causes the C-section pooch here.
How Can I Get Rid of the C-Section Scar and C-Section Pooch without Surgery?
Sometimes all your C-section pooch needs is time and regular massage of the scar. After 6-12 months, if that C-section shelf is still there, chances are high that it will always be there unless we treat it. Here are non-surgical ways to try to minimize and possibly get rid of the C-section pooch:
- Losing weight. If you are overweight or obese, losing weight can help to reduce the amount of skin and fat that is present in the area of your c-section scar. Don’t lose heart if you have plateaued in your weight loss journey. This is a great start and it may get you there part of the way. However, the anatomic structure of scar may make it hard to remove the bulging fat without redraping it in surgery.
- Exercising. Exercise can help to tone the muscles in your abdomen and improve the appearance of your skin. Be sure to check with your OBGYN before you begin a rigorous workout routine. Also we recommend you use an abdominal binder to support your back as you return to exercise after delivery.
- Massaging the area. Massaging the area around your c-section scar can help to break down scar tissue and improve the appearance of the skin. Massage is great for many scars after they are strong and supple, usually no sooner than 6-8 weeks after surgery.
How Can I Get Rid of the C-Section Scar and C-Section Pooch with Plastic Surgery?
If you are unhappy with the appearance of your c-section scar and pooch after trying to lose weight and massage your scar, you may want to consider plastic surgery. There are a number of procedures that can be used to improve the appearance of the area, including:
- Tummy Tuck: A Tummy Tuck removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen and tightens the abdominal muscles. This is the most definitive procedure to get rid of the C-section scar and pooch.
- Liposuction: Liposuction removes fat from specific areas of the body. Lipo debulks the amount of fat in the area of your c-section scar and pooch.
- Bodytite: Bodytite is RFAL or radio frequency assisted liposuction used to remove fat and tighten skin with a minimally invasive probe inserted at the time of liposuction. The technology will help get rid of fat and stimulate new collagen formation to tighten your skin.
The good news is that Tummy Tuck surgery to remove the C-section scar also gives your board-certified plastic surgeon access to cut out the extra skin of the shelf. We tighten your muscles at the same time when we do a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty. We will remove the skin and fat and redrape it so there is no longer a bulge of fat and skin.
How do I know if I need a Tummy Tuck to get rid of my C-section Scar and Pooch?
Your C-section shelf or pooch may frustrate you each time you try to wear a dress, jeans, low-rise pants, a bikini, or a tank top. High rise pants might make you feel even worse. It could be affecting your everyday life. Many women work out as much as they can and still having that residual belly pooch. This pooch from separated muscles can shift your center of gravity causing lower back pain or some stress urinary incontinence.
If you find yourself thinking about this pooch multiple times a day, then we recommend meeting with someone who can help you. You have worked too hard to become a mother to let this pooch bring you down. You deserve to look as young as beautiful as you feel. It is important to see someone qualified in all the available options so they can recommend what is best to suit your particular needs.
Now, if any of the above describe you, then it is worth considering a consultation for a tummy tuck. When you come in for your consult, you will meet with me, your female board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Tannan. I will show you how much of your C-section pooch is from loose, stretched out, separated core muscles. I will show you how much of the C-section shelf is from fat and skin. When we do a Tummy Tuck, the scar will be a little wider than your C-section scar. I will show you where you can expect your scar to be during the consultation.
What can I expect at a Consultation for a Tummy Tuck to get rid of my C-section Scar and Pooch?
When you come in to discuss your C-section scar and Pooch, I will talk with you and your partner, show you both before and after pictures and examine you. We will talk about the differences between a Full Tummy Tuck and a Mini Tummy Tuck. I will show you how we tighten your waistline with the muscle repair. I include liposuction to contour your love-handles when I do a Tummy Tuck.
We will talk about the recovery after a Tummy Tuck, and you will meet with our Patient Care Coordinator to go over scheduling and the cost of a Tummy Tuck in our on-site, fully certified all-female operating room. Still have questions? That is perfectly normal! We should meet in person to discuss whether a Tummy Tuck is right for you.
Be sure to tell me where you live when you come in to see me. We happily take care of locals from the Triangle (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary, Morrisville, Apex, Wake Forest) and the surrounding areas like Knightdale, Garner, Graham, Henderson, Oxford, Roxboro, Roanoke Rapids, Fayetteville, Greensboro, and going up and down the east coast. We like to plan out your recovery so if you driving up from Myrtle Beach for plastic surgery or coming down from Danville, we want to make sure we plan out every step of the way.
Tummy Tuck – Before and After
Tummy Tuck Before and After pictures are a great way to see the profound impact this procedure can have on a c-section belly pooch or shelf. Slide the cursor to see the amazing difference with a Tummy Tuck performed by Dr. Tannan. During your consultation, we explore the possibility of a Mommy Makeover along with the tummy tuck to make sure we meet all your body contouring goals. Don’t fret about a C-section scar or pooch any longer – contact us today.
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