Rumor Patrol: The C-Tuck - Should a C-Section and Tummy Tuck be Performed in Combination?
By Danielle Briones
Published on December 18, 2007
Celebrity Post-Pregnancy Super Slim-Down
Do celebrity moms schedule combined C-sections and tummy tucks to ensure a speedy return to their pre-pregnancy figures? Online gossipers claim they do, but we're not so sure. DocShop's Rumor Patrol calls this story in for questioning!
The "C-Tuck" - Combined C-Section and Tummy Tuck
Rumor has it that celebrity moms-to-be are scheduling C-sections during their eighth month of pregnancy to avoid the extra bulging and stretching that occur during the ninth month of baby-bearing.
Of course, delivering a baby early can limit some of the weight gain resulting from pregnancy. Diet and exercise can take care of the rest. But what about the excess skin marred by the appearance of stretch marks?
According to Internet buzz, some of today's starlets undergo a tummy tuck procedure immediately after C-section to trim off this excess skin and ensure that stretch marks don't see the light of flashbulbs. Celebrity bloggers claim that Britney Spears, Denise Richards, Jaime Pressly, and Gwen Stefani all used the "C-tuck" method to regain their famously photogenic figures.
However, not a single celeb has 'fessed up to undergoing the C-tuck. And it is important to note that obstetricians and plastic surgeons do not recommend combining a cesarean-section with a tummy tuck. So is the C-tuck rumor completely false? Or is there nip of truth to this gossip?
We decided to ask San Diego breast augmentation surgeon Scott Miller, MD, to shed some light on the C-tuck for us. Can the procedure be performed at all, let alone safely? Does Dr. Miller believe that celebrities use this method to shape up after pregnancy?
The Skinny on the C-Tuck
"I would not recommend people undergo C-section and tummy tuck in combination because I think it leads to more surgery than is necessary with a higher risk of infection than is appropriate," says Dr. Miller.
According to Dr. Miller, the C-tuck procedures would result in a number of added risks for the patient. As it is, most obstetricians will not perform a C-section more than one week before the woman's scheduled due date in order to minimize these risks, he says.
"Most OB-GYNs won't do that without an amniocentesis, which is an extra procedure and puts the child at risk, so I think that's very, very uncommon."
Another problem the C-tuck poses is the increased risk of infection.
"The fact is that there's a lot of contamination at the same time as the C-section with the different fluids and different cavities exposed." Dr. Miller warns. "That would really increase the potential for risks combined with that little tummy tuck."
Dr. Miller also notes that a C-section leaves a telltale scar, one that could be avoided if the woman has a vaginal delivery. Further, if a woman undergoes a tummy tuck immediately following C-section, she will end up with a larger scar than is necessary.
"What you'd be doing in many cases is cutting and tucking a lot of tissue that was going to shrink all by itself."
Dr. Miller says that patients should wait at least six months after child birth to schedule a consultation for a tummy tuck to allow enough time for the body to heal from pregnancy.
"The less tissue you have to tuck, the shorter that scar can be. So you'd really want to give that skin a chance to shrink and contract."
Then How Do Celebs Slim Down So Quickly after Pregnancy?
"The best thing you can do is control weight gain during your pregnancy with appropriate exercise," says Dr. Miller.
But what about shaping up after giving birth?
"[It’s important to get] back to your exercise program soon after pregnancy," Dr. Miller advises. "Certainly youth and a personal trainer can help."
Like all women, celebrity moms will benefit most from a steady diet and exercise routine, especially if they are young and in good health.
"Many of these people that we're talking about are younger, they're very healthy, have very good skin," Dr. Miller notes, adding that these factors likely help the celebrity moms snap back into shape after pregnancy. "Especially since they do have all the advantages of having personal chefs and personal trainers. And I think that probably explains that phenomenon better than early C-sections combined with tummy tucks," Dr. Miller says.
And the Rumor Patrol Verdict Is…
DocShop's Rumor Patrol called this story in for questioning, got expert testimony from Dr. Miller, and found the celebrity C-tuck rumor to be complete hearsay on the part of celebrity bloggers.
"I think many people assume that the celebrities resorted to secrets and gimmicks because that makes them feel a little better," Dr. Miller says. But "the fact is that having a C-section involves having a post-operative recovery and a limitation of activities that would be very counterproductive to getting back into shape as fast as you can."
Plus, as Dr. Miller adds, a C-tuck would only create further distraction for new mothers at a time when they will have more important things to consider.
"You're giving them healing issues and recovery issues in a period of time where they really should be bonding with their baby."