Addressing the Remnants of a C-Section

Mommy Makeover Bryn Mawr, PAThey say that motherhood is a blessing and, even on hard days, most mothers would not argue (too much) with that. Amidst all the joys and accomplishments a mother experiences with her family, she may also struggle with feelings of dissatisfaction at how her body has changed. Pregnancy, on its own, can significantly modify body structure. When pregnancy ends in a cesarean birth, or C-section, these changes may feel much more dramatic.

Let’s Take it Off the Shelf

If you have had a C-section, you may have heard the term C-shelf. This phenomenal side-effect of cesarean birth occurs due to the methodology of the delivery procedure. When a C-section is performed, an incision is made through the skin and fatty tissue, and through the fascia, a wide band of fibrous tissue that support abdominal organs. No muscle is incised, interestingly enough.

At the completion of surgery, the incision is sutured, but not entirely. The tough fascia is left incised to heal naturally, as it will over time. The problem is, there is no predictable pattern of healing. Scar tissue may be quite uneven and puffy beneath the skin. This can result in a rigid surface scar, a low-lying belly shelf, or, in some cases, no obvious signs at all. If you’re reading this, we are going to guess you are not shelf-free.

There is widespread confusion that a C-shelf may go away with diet and exercise. Some women do report that, once they have lost their baby weight and tightened and toned their tummy, their shelf is less noticeable. That may not be the norm, though. That is why many women turn to their cosmetic surgeon for abdominoplasty.

How and When

Tummy tuck surgery is often incorporated into Mommy Makeover treatments customized to address specific pregnancy-related concerns. The tummy tuck removes slack skin and tightens muscles against the abdominal wall in order to create the desired contours, which means no shelf. The method of “tucking” varies from one person to another, and may involve only the lower abdomen, or the entire surface. Also, abdominoplasty often improves the appearance of the original C-section scar.

Would you like to know more about a Mommy Makeover or tummy tuck surgery? We’d love to speak with you. Call our Bryn Mawr office to schedule your consultation.

Posted in: Mommy Makeover

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