Contemplating a Abdominoplasty/Tummy Tuck
An Abdominoplasty is performed to remove excess loose sagging skin and fat in the abdominal area, which creates a tighter and smoother abdomen. Dr. Anton’s signature Triple Tuck Abdominoplasty technique can apply to either a full or modified tummy tuck. After childbirth, weight gain or with age, the fascial wall, which acts as a corset around the abdominal muscle, can stretch and become loose. No amount of exercise or diet will tighten the fascia and women often complain of a having a“pooch” where they once had a flatter stomach. Additionally, skin becomes loose and saggy.
In the Triple Tuck Abdominoplasty Dr. Anton imbricates the fascial wall and places one suture down the mid-line of the abdomen. He then adds a suture on either side of the mid-line to further support and strengthen the fascial wall around the muscle. This procedure allows for a tummy tuck with less pain, no drains, and a more natural abdominal contour as a result.
Most commonly, a good candidate for this procedure has one or more of the following concerns:
- Excess loose skin in the abdominal area.
- The abdomen seems out of proportion to the rest of the body and in some cases protrudes.
- Muscles and skin in the abdomen have been weakened by pregnancy and/or aging.
- A healthy diet and exercise does not change your abdominal area enough or at all.
Preparing for the Procedure
During your consultation with Dr. Anton, the quality of your abdominal skin as well as any existing abdominal scars will be discussed. When a C-Section scar is present, it can often be used as the incision site, elongating the incision on each side. The location of the incision is partially based on personal preference in regards to how low one prefers the incision to be. Incisions are strategically placed and very well concealed in a bathing suit or undergarments.
The amount of skin and tissue will determine if you are a candidate for a full or modified Triple Tuck Abdominoplasty. A full Triple Tuck Abdominoplasty has an incision in lower abdomen area that runs from hip to hip. Another incision is also made around the navel to reposition the belly button and remove any loose skin around it. This incision heals well and is deep inside the belly button and is almost impossible to see once the area has healed. A modified Triple Tuck Abdominoplasty requires a smaller incision in the lower abdomen area and often does not require an incision around the belly button. Some stretch marks are removed in a both types of procedures.
About the Procedure
The procedure may take anywhere from 2 1/2 to 4 hours under general anesthesia. The length of the procedure depends on how much tissue and fat need to be removed and if the muscle wall needs to be tightened. All sutures are placed internally; there are no external sutures.
What to Expect After Surgery
Most patients wake from surgery feeling groggy, tired and just wanting to sleep. Patients undergoing a tummy tuck are required to spend the first night at the surgical facility with a registered nurse. Mild to moderate pain and discomfort is to be expected, however, it is usually alleviated by prescribed pain medication. Overall, most patients feel their surgery was less painful than anticipated and are able to discontinue their pain medication after 4-5 days.
Initially the abdominal area can feel extremely tight and it may seem difficult to stand up straight, this will gradually subside during the healing process. You will wake from surgery wearing an abdominal compression binder. This binder is worn at all times for two weeks. You will then be instructed to change to a lighter support garment for approximately 2-3 more weeks.
Your activities are restricted for full two-week period after surgery including; no lifting, bending or straining of any kind. Exercise and movements involving bending or twisting at the waist may be restricted for up to 4 weeks or more depending on healing. You will be advised during your post-operative appointments about these restrictions. The healing process varies from patient to patient and is decided on an individual basis.