What Can You Do About That Unsightly C-Section Bulge?

Posted on: 1 August 2016


If you had a Caesarean section childbirth, you certainly have a scar from the procedure. If you had a horizontal incision, you may also have been stuck with a C-section bulge. Read on to learn what that is, why it happens, and what you can do about it.

What is a C-section bulge?

A C-section bulge is a layer of fat and skin that accumulates above your incision line. It is also commonly called a "c-section shelf" or "mother's apron." A pronounced C-section bulge may be called a panicule in medical terminology.

Most women don't realize they have been stuck with a C-section bulge until months after their delivery, when swelling has gone down and weight begins to normalize. It can be frustrating for women who can fit back into their pre-pregnancy clothing, only to find an unsightly ridge across the tummy.

How does a C-section bulge occur?

In some surgical cases, when the incision is stitched closed after a Caesarean section, there may be adhesions to the most underlying muscle layer. This causes any excess lower abdominal fat to sit right above the scar line, rather than be distributed evenly across the lower abdomen. The skin tends to pucker there as well.

What can you do about a C-section bulge?

There are several treatments for a C-section bulge. The most effective, but the most radical, is a full tummy tuck or abdominoplasty. For most women who have had a C-section, this isn't an option because

  • A tummy tuck is major surgery under general anesthesia, which entails risk.
  • They have just recovered from major abdominal surgery.
  • They don't have the time with a baby or toddler at home to undergo surgery and deal with the limitations of the post-op period.
  • A tummy tuck can be very expensive, costing thousands of dollars.
  • Patients can't have a tummy tuck if they want to have more children, as it cannot accommodate pregnancy.

While a "mini" tummy tuck has a shorter scar and a somewhat lower price tag, it is still major surgery and therefore also not a realistic choice for most moms.

One option many women have embraced is laser lipo treatment, such as at Satori Body Contouring Day Spa. While laser lipo can remove fat from the abdominal area, it can also minimize the effects of a C-section bulge by using the lipo cannula (the suction tube) to break up the scar and any related adhesions while fat is being sucked out.

The beauty of a laser lipo procedure is that it can be done with local anesthesia (you don't have to be put to sleep), and there is virtually no down time. You wear a compression garment for a short while after the procedure, and while you can't compete in the Olympics, you can go about most of your regular activities right away. You can also have more children after having laser lipo, which is a big plus for many women.

If you're a busy mom who is tired of looking at that ugly C-section shelf, think about trying laser lipo to remove it. You'll feel good again about your body, and you'll be able to go back to parenting within hours afterward.