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Okay, I have been reading on some of the discussion forums on here about getting tummy tucks on the NHS for those that have the dreaded c-section overhang.

I had my baby 12 months ago. Im 5 ft 3 and had a v large (for me), 9lb 1oz beautiful baby boy. I was stretched to the limit so to speak and was huge, with the everyday comment of 'are you sure there is only 1 in there?'.

Anyway, I have worked hard and sensibly lost almost all of the 5st that I put on in pregnancy, but have been left with an awful ad quite big overhang. My stomach has completely no tone to it at all and all the skin is baggy and loose (a bit like you see when these obese people on TV lose a massive amount of weight, and all the skin is baggy)....I have been doing sit ups which has lifted my tummy a little and made a small bit of difference, but the overhang is there to stay. No amount of sit ups is going to get rid of it because there is no muscle there, just skin.

I plan to have another child in the future so at the moment there really is no point in doing anything drastic to get rid of it.

Anyway the point I wanted to get to was can you really get a tummy tuck on the NHS for an overhang caused by a c-section?? I was under the impression this was just a myth, but so many people on here have mentioned it, im wondering if it is actually something you can have.

Do you have to prove that you really are psychologically scarred by it to get it?? I would have thought that as it is non emergency surgery, that only exceptional cases would be considered, and that you would have to pay privately if this wasn't the case??

If anyone can share their knowledge on this it would be something to bear in mind for the future.




  • I jut thought they did cosmetic surgery on the nhs if you were very psychologically damaged or there was a medical reason. For example an ex anorexic having a boob job or breast reduction for back pain.

    There must be limits to what they will do on the nhs otherwise there would not be private companies that do it. You would be best speaking to your GP.
  • Hiya I would like to share my story. I have 3 boys, in my 2nd pregnancy I was very big for my size and after the birth my stomach muscles had ripped to a hand width apart. I did exercises to try and bring the muscles back together which did help but never fully repaired them. I went on to have another baby but wasn't as big but still had the hanging skin and bulging belly afterwards to live with. My confidence dropped after a number of people asked if I was pregnant again on various occasions. I dreaded summer as it meant my tummy would be easier for people to see and the walk into town left me constantly looking into windows at my reflection to see if I 'looked pregnant' My husband who loved me as I was suggested going to the doctors but I refused as I feared they would just laugh at me. 5 and a half years after the birth of my 2nd son a friend said I shouldn't have to live like it and told me about a friend of hers that had just been accepted for a tuck, I was still sceptical about going to the docs so didn't, then 12 months later for the first time in a long time someone asked me if I was pregnant. I had had enough, I was sick of explaining how it was just from my pregnancy, why should I have to keep explaining?! So I went to the doctor. When I first explained to him he said that any surgical procedures were not done on the nhs but he would have a look. After he had looked at my disgusting tummy he said how things could be done but it was very difficult to get funding, he was going to refer me to a plastic surgeon anyway and I was over the moon though he did warn me not to get my hopes up. 3 weeks later I received a letter saying I had an appointment in 8 weeks time, I was so excited. The 8 weeks seemed to fly by and I went to the appointment. I was asked to explain my situation and was told not to be upset if he couldn't help me. He then asked to look at my tummy and he examined it thoroughly. I got dressed again and he asked me to sit back down for a chat. He said he that the muscles were torn and no amount of exercise or dieting would ever help them, he said that he would be able to help me and explained in detail the procedure etc. He then asked if I would like to go ahead with it to which I replied yes of course! He said I would hear from them with in the next month and the op would be done within the next 3 months. I left there the happiest i'd been for a long time. My husband and friends were happy for me but I was also worried that they may decide I couldn't have the funding or something. I waited and waited for a letter and was actually worried one had not come but then it did. It had an appointment for a pre-assessment and also had another letter with the date of my op, true to his word it was within the 3 months. Now I was relieved, it was going ahead!!! I attended the pre-assessment and it went really well, I had various tests done and they also took pics of the area for my records, only ten days to wait and I would be back there having the op!!! Well I now have two days to wait, I go in on thursday and yes of course I am nervous but I am also excited. I didn't have to go through any counselling though my doctor had written me a very good letter. I feel like the luckiest girl at the moment, I have read many various stories some not as lucky as me, but I would say, keep trying. Yes it is cosmetic but it is also corrective surgery, you were not born like it so why should you live like it??? And not everyone will agree with the decision either but that is their opinion. It is your life and you deserve to live it happily image
  • Hiya thought you might like to read my reply to your post on the forum image x
  • That sounds to me that you had the muscle repaired and they removed the skin whilst they were at it so as to speak. I would say that is different from a simple tummy tuck op.

    I wonder if you would have had the surgery on the NHS if only the skin and not the muscle was stretched?
  • i very much doubt it, i think in some areas u can have it tucked during a cs, but no one has ever mentioned it to me, and after one emcs and elcs i have a a large 'apron'...hate it! but it's not somehting i think the nhs would pay for, nor do i think they should...the nhs is a vital sevice providing life saving operations and treatments, if u can't have a cs on nhs without very good reason then why would the do a tummy tuck? surely it would be a waste of funds from an alreday overstretched budget....there are things u can do (like wrapping) that can help to shrink it back so i've heard, but not yet tried it myself, but will be giving ita go once i've lost my flab. hth x
  • I've been thinking about this and I am very pleased that you feel better now but.....

    Quote "Yes it is cosmetic but it is also corrective surgery, you were not born like it so why should you live like it???"

    Yes and i wasn't born with saggy boobies, stretch marks, crows feet, scars, too much bottom, tummy and hip fat, grey hair and thread veins, but i don't expect it to be removed on the NHS.


    Quote "It is your life and you deserve to live it happily"

    Yes, but i don't want to pay for it!

    I have no issue with you having a bit of excess skin trimmed during your muscle repair op but i do not agree that people should get tummy tuck ops on the NHS.
  • Hiya, I haven't actually had it done yet just to clarify for those that think I have. I know it's a controversial subject, and that a lot of people have the view that they don't want to pay for it, I do get that. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and my intention is not to start a debate but merely to let people know my experience regarding this type of thing. I do work, I do pay taxes and I do believe that they don't just hand out these procedures without good reason (there is a budget for them in the first place) I also appreciate hearing peoples points of view though thank you x
  • my sister had a tummy tuck on the NHS and it was the best thing that could have happened to her. she had 5 boys (3 c-sections) and after her last, went on to loose 5st. she was left with an awful overhang of skin which ruined her day to day life. she lost all of her confidence, became very depressed, couldnt even bare looking at herself, let alone let her husband even touch her. after she had the surgery she was like a different person, regained her confidence and was so much happier. I totally agree with tummy tucks under circumstances like this.
  • I had a 10lb baby and was 10stone overweight at the time of getting pregnant. I've lost the baby weight plus 3 stone and can see already that I am going to be left with a huge apron of skin from both pregnancy and weightloss if I go on to reach my goal weight. I have mixed feelings about getting skin removed on the nhs. I know it was my fault for getting so fat. I know it was my choice to get pregnant. But it really depresses me to think that even after working so hard to loose weight, my body will still be disgusting and I will be paying the price of compulsive overeating in my 20's for the rest of my life.

    It is getting harder and harder to get these no essential ops on the nhs. I was due to get a gastric band to help with binging but it was cancelled at the last minute because funding was withdrawn. A freind of mine who had lost a lot of weight keeps getting repeat infections in her apron fold and the docs have said nothing will help except removal of the skin but she has been turned down at appeal level.

    I have resigned myself to the fact that it will take me around 3-4 years to get to goal weight. At that time Jason will be in school and I won't be paying as much childcare so I will get a loan or sign up for a payment plan for a full body lift and upper arm lift.
  • I have suffered for well over a decade with a form of eating disorder and completed treatment for it 1 month before i got my bfp (15 months ago), i am not completely well again, but in recovery still. After having my baby i have lost 3 stone and want to lose another 4, i KNOW that when i finish my tummy will be a mess and right now i can't even begin to think about it as i really fear it will plunge me back to where i was and wreck my recovery process, which terrifies me.

    I would hope that in this circumstance they would put my mental health first and do the op, but i don't know what my doctors would think... if i really felt my mental health was at risk and they wouldn't do it on the nhs i WOULD probably be prepared to save up and pay privately, once i was finished having babies!
  • i think it depends on your area and how funding is distribted but yes it does have to have a severe impact on your mental wellbeing and would probably have to undergo a mental health assessment as well as you case being severe in terms of overhang.

    i totally understand about how it must effect self confidence being a section mummy myself but i do find it hard to accept it is the responsibility of the NHS, when we dont have enough budget for doctors and nurses to give patient care esp in the mental health sector not to mention acute services like a and e, and that all non emergency ops are being given the chop i doubt it would be something that you would get, esp in a few years time as i doubt budgets will get bigger. but i suppose it certainly worth trying depending on your doctor and area,

    its not an easy op though, and not really something to consider whilst you have small children in my opinion as the precations following surgery are a lot stricter than a section, well in the private sector anyway, its certainly not something i would consider knowing the surgery
  • I agree with piggypops. When IVF is being cut for people who can't even have a child naturally I think resopurces have to be prioritised.

    I'm not minimising the upset of having bad body image (I have very bad body image btw) but that compared to not being able to ever have your own child without help that isn't there is incomparable x
  • G/C from DIS.

    Where I live you can only have tummy tuck if you are having a c-sec, its your last baby and you are being sterilisd. My friend has just had one and she says although its made a difference and a big one, you will never loose the whole over hang as the muscles are not strong enough. I wouldn't even consider it until you are 100% sure you have finished having children
  • I had a complicated 3rd pregnancy where a lost one of my twins at 6 months gestation due to twin to twin transfusion and having laser surgery to try and correct the proplem, my surviveing twin was born via an emergency c section after a tramatic labour (my baby was breech and unable to turn around due to the other twin being stuck in position). I was alot bigger with this pregnancy due to carrying both babies untill 6 months and then carrying the surviveing baby plus he deceased baby untill 35 weeks. Im now left with an overhang which reminds me on a daily basis the trauma i went through and is a constant reminder that I have lost a baby. I had two natural labours prior to my 3rd pregnancy so had never experienced a c-section before....when I found out i was having twins i was told a c-section was my only option due to them shareing a placenta and it causeing complications. At first I was happy about this but was not told of the way my tummy would look afterwards. It makes me feel sick and its heartbreaking enough to look at my baby every day knowing I lost the other twin but I also have the constant reminder when i look in the mirror, if i could have something done to take away the overhang I would (its only small compared to other peoples but it makes me feel sick) Its too expensive to do it privately my only hope would be to have the nhs give me a chance
  • I too have an overhang caused by an unusual pregnancy. My boy was born 9lb 10oz and I had severe polyhydramnious and oedema, all of which piled onto my 5'4" frame to make me 16.5 stone. I was huge! My little boy was born severely poorly and needed 3.5months in Great Ormond Street before he was able to come home. I actually had him naturally but was very swollen.

    I am now less than 10.5 stone and have been left with an overhang. I got my first infection in the belly button last week and had to wash it several times a day plus use nappy cream to relieve it.

    Do I like the look of it in the mirror? No! Is it a reminder that I am the luckiest mum in the world that I am able to pick up my gorgeous little boy and hold him rather than him being an angel? Yes!

    I think tummy tucks are available on the NHS but only if the psychological need is enough to justify the cost. I know babies that have waited weeks or even years for the beds, care, operations and medication that they need to live a decent, pain-free life. I'm afraid they will always come first in my eyes.

    H xx
  • I had a C section in 1991 due to twins and about 12 years later i had another opp to remove a dermoid cyst which ment cutting me again on the same scar and in 2004 i had another child and had an emergency C section, so you can imagine my tummy has a flap of skin which looks awful and i hate it ...would it be worth me going to my GP and talking to them about the possiblities of having some sort of tummy tuck ..I have put up with this look for over 20 years and i just want to feel normal again ...diets dont work they just make it look worse ...i would be grateful of any advise you could give ..J G

  • Hi there! I had the same awful experience too. TTTS and an emergency c section. I've struggled with eating disorders for 15 years and my overhang causes awful problems in all areas of my life. Have you tried anything to get rid of it? I've tried everything, I'm paranoid about it it's awful. 

    So sorry for your little angel ❤️❤️

  • Hi, I see its been 5 years since you posted do may not see this!

    Did you have successful correction surgery?!

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