After nine months of pregnancy and hours of labor, all you really want in the delivery room is that baby out of you. Whether by choice or necessity, sometimes that means having a cesarean section and unfortunately, a scar. It’s not uncommon at all; celebrity moms like Kate Hudson, Jennifer Lopez and Molly Sims all had C-sections.
Most C-section scars heal well and are barely noticeable six months later, says Northbrook, IL, plastic surgeon Karol Gutowski, MD. However, in some patients, the scar may become raised, wide, depressed or cause pain and discomfort. Because of that fact, celebrities, as well as “body-conscious women or those who have bad scarring issues, elect to have their plastic surgeon on hand to sew up the wound [after cesarean],” says New York and Chicago plastic surgeon Julius Few, MD.
This isn’t to say that your OB doctor isn’t a proficient surgeon; it’s just that when focusing on delivering a healthy baby, the aesthetics of a potential scar is less imperative. “The OB is focused on the most important object, the new addition to the world—your baby,” says Dr. Few. “The advantage [of having a plastic surgeon] is having an expert in skin and wound closure focused on one thing—making the scar look as good as it possibly can look,” says Dr. Few.
If it’s an emergency, you may not think or even care about the scar that results from a C-section, however, now that elective C-sections are becoming more common, women can now consider what their scars might look like. “Plastic surgeons close the incision in multiple layers using various sutures to achieve a beautiful, almost invisible scar,” says Beverly Hills, CA, plastic surgeon Ritu Chopra, MD, and who doesn’t want that? Actress Patricia Heaton, who had multiple C-sections, reported that she had a tummy tuck later to get rid of the scars that were haphazardly sewn: “I had four babies and four C-sections,” she said. “And my stomach looked like the map of the world.”
While it sounds like a dream to have a board-certified plastic surgeon at your bedside on the day of birth, it may be easier said than done. Getting a busy, board-certified plastic surgeon to leave his office to come scrub in at your hospital might only be possible if you’re an A-lister. But, it’s always worth a try.
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