Tummy Tuck Surgery

To give you a broad and comprehensive understanding of Dr. Patronella’s unique approach to tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty), The True Form Tummy Tuck® method, we have blended the information and insights presented on these pages from both a surgeon’s and a patient’s perspectives. Our goal in doing this is to provide you with details about the procedure from a surgical, medical viewpoint, while also incorporating some of the practical thoughts, questions, and concerns that are frequently expressed by patients.

What is Tummy Tuck Surgery?

A Patient’s Perspective

If you’ve tried everything: cutting carbs, cardio, crunches, yoga, positive thinking…and still, you have loose abdominal skin and a tummy bulge that won’t budge, there’s a good reason why. While sound eating habits and fitness routines lead to a healthy lifestyle, no amount of strict dieting or boot-camp style exercise can make loose skin firm and smooth again or tighten up abdominal muscles that have been weakened and stretched apart by pregnancy or previous weight gain.

 The good news is you don’t have to live with a permanent tummy pooch and stretched-out skin. Through the removal of loose skin and excess fat and, in most cases, tightening of the abdominal muscle wall, Dr. Patronella’s True Form Tummy Tuck® procedure will give you a flat, smoothly-toned abdomen that allows you to wear form-fitting jeans, tops, and two-piece swimsuits with confidence.

Who is a Candidate for Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Tummy tuck surgery benefits individuals who have loose abdominal skin and a lax abdominal muscle wall, which are typically the result of pregnancy, heredity, or moderate weight gain that is followed by weight loss. While dieting and exercise are effective to reduce fat and improve muscle tone, loose skin and the weakened connecting tissue between the abdominal muscles generally require surgical correction to restore their firmness.

How is Dr. Patronella’s True Form Tummy Tuck® Method Different?

In any artistic endeavor, whether it is sculpting, painting, photography, composing, or architecture, it is often the incorporation of subtle details, along with a fresh perspective and creative use of elements which distinguishes work that is ordinary from that which is exceptional. Plastic surgery is unique among surgical specialties in that it blends both science and art, reflecting a surgeon’s knowledge of surgical techniques with his own unique style of envisioning the desired result and translating that to the body.

If you look closely at a youthful, toned tummy, you’ll notice that, while it is flat, it is not uniformly so. It has many subtle contours which contribute to its simple, elegant beauty.

While the removal of loose skin and fat are the standard steps involved in nearly every standard tummy tuck procedure, Dr. Patronella’s True Form Tummy Tuck® abdominoplasty approach incorporates techniques that go beyond merely restoring a uniformly flat appearance to the tummy. The goal is not simply to arbitrarily remove extra skin and fat, but to do it in such a way that the abdomen is more indistinguishable from one that was naturally created. Through careful liposculpture and an anatomically distinct internal suturing technique, Dr. Patronella highlights the natural contours and proportions that characterize a youthful, toned tummy and slender waist. In addition, he places a careful focus on ensuring a smooth and uniform skin tone and tissue thickness across the entire upper and lower abdomen to create a natural appearance, while avoiding the common pitfalls that lead to awkward, surgical-looking results. By focusing on these specific modifications and additions to the standard technique, the tummy tuck is less surgical and appears more naturally authentic, as it simulates the youthful, firm, softly-toned look that one would see on a healthy, athletic young woman.

The True Form Tummy Tuck® Method

While removal of loose skin and unwanted fat are the standard steps involved in nearly every tummy tuck procedure, Dr. Patronella’s incorporation of subtle contouring details reflects the artistry and surgical expertise that have made him one of the most respected and well-regarded plastic surgeons in the nation. In much the same way as a sculptor precisely chisels in order to create a new form, Dr. Patronella removes fat and skin in a strategic fashion in order to reveal the attractive natural contours that are characteristic of a youthful, toned tummy. This attention to detail emphasizes the simple, elegant beauty of the abdomen giving you a new look that appears completely natural, without the obvious features of a surgical appearance.

Tummy Tuck Surgery After Pregnancy

During pregnancy, pressure from the expanding uterus causes the abdominal wall to weaken as the normally strong tissue between the rectus muscles separates. Because the integrity of the muscle wall is critical in helping to hold the ‘stomach’ in, once it has weakened, the tummy commonly retains a bulging “tummy pooch.” In addition, for many women, the excessive stretching of the skin that occurs during pregnancy weakens the skin’s elasticity, resulting in loose skin and stretch marks.

While diet and exercise are beneficial to health and effective to tone the body and reduce fat, no amount of stomach crunches, Pilates, yoga, or dieting will restore a smooth, flat appearance to a tummy that has sagging skin or a weakened abdominal muscle wall due to the changes that occur to the body during pregnancy. Once they have been stretched out, these components of the abdomen require surgical correction to restore their firmness. For more information about options to restore firmness and attractive contours to the body following pregnancy, please see our Mommy Makeover page.

Tummy Tuck Surgery After Moderate Weight Loss

Moderate weight loss commonly leaves behind loose, sagging skin that has lost its elasticity—its ability to snap back into place—after being stretched by the original excess weight. The skin laxity usually occurs both above and below the belly button, often giving it a horizontal appearance by creating a fold that resembles an upside down smile. In addition, loss of skin tone occurring along the hips, buttocks and outer thighs produces irregular contours that frequently also require correction.

Tummy Tuck Surgery After Major Weight Loss

Those who have experienced major weight loss (greater than 50 lbs) are often left with stretch marks and multiple folds of heavy, hanging skin. There is frequently irritation (dermatitis) and pigmentation occurring in these deep folds of skin. With massive weight loss (greater than 100lbs) there is almost always a dramatic amount of loose skin encircling the entire lower torso (i.e. the abdomen, hips, waist and buttocks), which requires comprehensive surgical treatment for optimal results. For these patients, tummy tuck surgery, often in conjunction with a body lift and other procedures, is the final rewarding step in their journeys to restore self-image.

Copyright © 2011-2016 Christopher K. Patronella, M.D. All rights reserved.
|TRUE FORM TUMMY TUCK® and TRUE FORM ABDOMINOPLASTY®  are trademarks of Christopher K. Patronella, M.D.



As Dr. Patronella's patient coordinator for nearly 20 years, Eva Cadena will work with you to ensure that your experience is professional, courteous, and rewarding in every way. Please call her with any questions you may have.

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Houston, TX 77024

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