Dr. Christopher K. Patronella's Blog

Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck Surgery

February 22nd, 2018 admin

Perfect female bodyPregnancy, age, and weight changes all leave their visible mark through loose, flabby, or sagging skin, especially around the abdomen. The abdomen is a known “trouble area” for many people whose stubborn fat pockets are often resistant to diet and exercise. When it comes to contouring and enhancing the waistline, patients have two surgical options: liposuction and tummy tuck surgery (also known as abdominoplasty). While both of these procedures can slim your physique and rid you of excess fat, liposuction and tummy tuck surgery are not the same. Because of this, you may be wondering what procedure would be the best for you: liposuction, tummy tuck surgery, or perhaps a combination of both.

Skin Elasticity

With age, your skin starts to lose its natural elasticity, which becomes noticeable when there are fluctuations in weight because of pregnancy or other weight loss. The stretched skin may begin to sag and droop. While liposuction is designed to remove stubborn fat pockets along the body, it will not address loose or lax skin. If this excess skin is a concern, then tummy tuck surgery may be the right option for you. On the other hand, if you are suffering from excess, stubborn fat but still have good skin elasticity, then you may find that liposuction alone will provide you with ideal results.

Abdominal Muscle Laxity

Much like skin laxity, liposuction also does not address abdominal muscle laxity the way that tummy tuck surgery does. During tummy tuck surgery, abdominal muscles that have either loosened or separated due to childbirth or other factors can be repaired and tightened, leaving you with a smoother, fitter physique.

True Form Tummy Tuck®

When stubborn fat pockets are accompanied by substantial skin and muscle laxity, then tummy tuck surgery may be your ideal choice. However, adding liposuction into that procedure can help take your results to the next level and give you the pre-baby abdomen you’ve always wanted. The True Form Tummy Tuck® technique, created by Dr. Patronella, uses both traditional tummy tuck techniques and liposuction to smooth, redefine, and contour the abdomen, which will restore a natural, youthful, and sensual midsection. Liposuction is a contouring tool that he incorporates to blend the abdomen’s newly svelte appearance with adjacent areas to create a harmonious overall appearance. During this surgery, liposuction is used to thin the waist and allow it to gently taper toward the hips, creating subtle, natural, and beautiful curves. These nuances are what set Dr. Patronella’s results apart from standard tummy tuck methods and results. Every artistic detail he meticulously crafts, from the soft contours to the smooth, seamless transitions result in exceptionally beautiful, authentic-looking results.

Dr. Christopher K. Patronella's Blog

From Corsets to Tummy Tucks

January 22nd, 2018 admin

Patronella, Chris _VIEW_BA_TFTTaFor hundreds of years, women have sought to accentuate a narrow, graceful waistline. From corsets to modern-day plastic surgery, a variety of techniques and approaches have helped women achieve their ideal figures. Dr. Patronella’s True Form Tummy Tuck® is the next step in this evolutionary process: it is a perfected surgery that produces a firm, toned abdomen with consistently attractive and natural-looking results.

A Brief History of Corsets

Corsets were traditionally worn by aristocratic women as early as the 1500s. By the 1800s, corsets became increasingly popular among everyday women. They also changed over time to emphasize a woman’s hourglass figure using stiffeners such as whalebone and metal. Corset styles gradually became increasingly exaggerated and squeezed a woman’s torso so tightly that concerns developed for women’s health. While a corset created a desirable body shape, it did so at risk to the woman’s health, with the prevention of physical exercise, poor muscle development, restriction of breathing, and exacerbation of illnesses such as tuberculosis. Corsets also only offered a temporary solution to the woman’s quest for her cosmetic ideal, since after a woman undressed, the corset could no longer reshape her figure.

A Cosmetic Evolution

With changes in fashion and social ideologies, corsets today are considerably few and far between, and women have turned to other ways to shrink their waistlines. However, many of these more modern techniques can still harm a woman’s health and may prove ineffective for long-term reshaping. Fortunately, plastic surgeons eventually developed the abdominoplasty procedure, which surgically alters the waistline in a safe way to produce a more aesthetically pleasing shape. Taking this a step further, Dr. Christopher Patronella pulled from a combination of modern medicine, science, and intellectual and artistic skill to develop his unique True Form Tummy Tuck®. This cosmetic evolution creates the desired outcome with long-lasting results and without the health hazards of corsets or other waist-shaping techniques.

The True Form Tummy Tuck®

Dr. Patronella’s True Form Tummy Tuck® takes a unique approach to perfecting the waistline. Using a strategic combination of skin removal, fat elimination, and muscle tightening, Dr. Patronella can create natural-looking abdominal contours that are narrow, slender, and smooth. Excess skin and fat that have accumulated after pregnancy, weight fluctuations, and aging are trimmed away; slackened abdominal muscles are tightened to create a permanent internal corset for the abdomen. The True Form Tummy Tuck® produces authentic abdominal contours with distinguishing soft transitions and an artfully sculpted appearance that is the epitome of sensual elegance, grace, and beauty.

Dr. Christopher K. Patronella's Blog

How to Reintroduce Exercise After a Tummy Tuck

December 22nd, 2017 admin

After tummy tuck surgery, patients should be careful to follow their surgeon’s instructions to a T. Failing to observe the doctor’s instructions, especially in regard to reintroducing exercise, can lead to complications, infections, pain, poor healing, and other issues. Dr. Patronella, the creator of the True Form Tummy Tuck®, has put together the following recommendations for how the average tummy tuck patient should expect to be able to reintroduce exercise after their tummy tuck. As with any procedure, this recovery guide is exactly that—a guide—and his personal instructions to you should take all precedence.

Tummy Tuck Before and After PhotosDays 1 to 3 After Surgery

At this point, you will be in your initial recovery and should generally be resting. Recommended physical activity includes getting out of bed and walking (with assistance) for 10 to 15 minutes every 2 hours during normal waking hours. This is critically important as it increases circulation, speeds recovery, and reduces the risk of blood clots. Walking in a slightly stooped position is required to avoid straining the sutures. Flex and extend your feet at the ankles consistently throughout the day to activate the calf muscles and pump blood out of your legs.

Days 3 to 5 After Surgery

You can gradually introduce lighter physical activities as you feel ready to do so. Continue walking in a slightly stooped position for 4 to 7 days after surgery, progressively becoming more upright each day. Focus on improving your posture and walking without assistance for 15 to 30 minutes every 2 hours.

Days 5 to 7 After Surgery

At this point, increased mobility allows you to become more mobile. Spend approximately 30 percent of your time up and about participating in light activities, including walking, sitting, flexing the knees and hips, and performing limited household duties. You may still have a slight stoop while walking until day 7 or 8 after surgery. Other than this, no exercise is permitted, and you should continue resting as required.

Days 7 to 10 After Surgery

Walking fully upright is possible and expected, though it may feel slightly tight and uncomfortable at first.  Walking half a mile twice a day in cool temperatures is recommended.

Days 10 to 14 After Surgery

Increase walking to 1 mile twice a day in cool temperatures by days 10 to 14. If you return to work before the end of week 2, avoid physical exertion, strenuous activity, prolonged standing (2 hours or more), stooping, and lifting.

Weeks 2 to 4 After Surgery

Limit your exercise to brisk walking or riding a stationary bicycle for 45 to 60 minutes. Avoid straining or lifting. If you try to do too much too soon, you could risk injuring delicately healing tissues and setting yourself back in your recovery.

Weeks 4 to 6 After Surgery

You may now feel up to pushing harder but should be cautious to progress slowly with physical activity. With exercise, do not do more than 75 percent of what you feel capable. You may gradually increase aerobic exercises with walking, stationary bicycle, or elliptical trainer provided you avoid abdominal straining. You may use light upper body weights for toning as long as it requires minimal abdominal work. You may also introduce swimming at this time.

Weeks 6 to 12 After Surgery

This final stage of recovery can include a gradual reintroduction to progressively more strenuous physical activities until you have reached your full capacity. It is essential to increase your tolerance gradually as you reintroduce activities such as aerobics, jogging, yoga, and Pilates. Proceed with caution during weightlifting sessions, and avoid intense abdominal straining. Do not participate in isolated abdominal activities such as crunches or sit-ups for a full 12 weeks after surgery. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call Dr. Patronella for advice on how to reintroduce exercise after your procedure.

Dr. Christopher K. Patronella's Blog

Still Look Pregnant? Diastasis Recti Could Be the Reason

November 20th, 2017 admin

Pregnancy can be incredibly rough on a woman’s body. For many women, the last few months before delivery seem torturous, as they feel “huge” and have difficulty bending over, sitting down, sleeping comfortably, and performing other everyday tasks. After pregnancy and childbirth, the body recovers gradually. However, some women may continue to look pregnant even years later. Diastasis recti is a common cause of this prolonged pregnancy appearance and can be corrected with a tummy tuck. Dr. Patronella’s True Form Tummy Tuck® can restore youthful and firm abdominal definition for postpartum women who want to recapture their pre-pregnancy contours.

True Form Tummy Tuck Patient by Dr. PatronellaWhat Is Diastasis Recti?

Diastasis recti is a condition in which the abdominal muscles separate during and after pregnancy. During pregnancy, enormous pressure is placed on the abdominal muscles. As the growing baby takes up increasingly more space, the abdominal muscle wall is stretched apart to accommodate the baby.

How Diastasis Recti Affects the Appearance of the Abdomen

The widening, stretching, and weakening of the abdominal wall can have long-lasting effects on the appearance of the abdomen. The weakening of the abdominal wall tissue causes the internal organs to protrude, creating the tummy pooch bulge. Even after the child is born and the pressure is relieved, a woman who has diastasis recti may have a continual stomach pooch that makes her look pregnant, especially after eating a large meal.

Correcting Diastasis Recti

Abdominal wall separation is best corrected with a tummy tuck. While core exercises can strengthen the muscle and slightly improve the bulge, they will not tighten the strong, tendon-like fascia tissue between the muscle and close the gap. Certain abdominal exercises can even worsen diastasis recti. A surgeon can correct this issue as a part of tummy tuck surgery. During your procedure, Dr. Patronella will tighten the abdominal muscles and sew them back together, eliminating the gap and restoring a natural abdominal tone. The True Form Tummy Tuck® uses specialized techniques designed to ensure that the results do not look surgically flat, but that the abdomen has natural definition and contours. This procedure can correct diastasis recti, eliminate the prolonged appearance of a pregnant tummy, and restore a firm, smooth abdomen.

Dr. Christopher K. Patronella's Blog

What Will My Scars Look Like After My Tummy Tuck?

October 18th, 2017 admin

Patronella Tummy Tuck Patient before and after photosThe remarkable results of your True Form Tummy Tuck® with Dr. Chris Patronella are made possible by the strategic placement of surgical incisions. Incisions are a part of any major surgery, and patients should expect that they will leave scarring. Still, your tummy tuck scars will be inconspicuously placed and will heal over time to a point that, for most patients, they are not a significant aesthetic concern. With Dr. Patronella’s Scar Therapy Program, you can minimize your surgical scars from abdominoplasty. In addition, Dr. Patronella offers non-surgical skin rejuvenation treatments that effectively diminish scars.

Scar Placement

Tummy tuck incisions must be placed in an area that will let the surgeon access and tighten the underlying tissues and muscles. For Dr. Patronella’s True Form Tummy Tuck®, the lower abdominal incision is placed low on the bikini line. Due to its location, patients are typically able to easily conceal this scar with clothing, including swimwear and underwear.

How Scarring Heals Over Time

Initially after the procedure, the incision site will appear as a thin, pink line. Over the next few weeks and months, it will develop a darker color and raised, rough tissue. Like a small cut can develop a scab before healing, this is a natural biological reaction as the skin increases blood supply and collagen production to heal the tissue. With proper care, the scar will gradually lighten, break down, and take on a flatter, less noticeable appearance. Over the next six months to two years, most scars will progressively fade and soften. The care you exert for your incision and in following Dr. Patronella’s Scar Therapy Program will play a significant role in the quality of your scar tissue.

Incision Care and Dr. Patronella’s Scar Therapy Program

To minimize scarring after tummy tuck surgery, carefully follow all of Dr. Patronella’s incision care instructions as well as his Scar Therapy Program. With all scar treatment products, watch for signs of irritation or an allergic reaction and contact our practice right away if you have any concerns. You will be given detailed instructions on caring for your incision to protect it from irritants and infection during the early weeks after surgery.

The Scar Therapy Program, which begins five to six weeks after your procedure, includes regular use of multiple skin products to treat the incision scar. The Tri-Retinol Complex™ by SkinMedica® should be applied nightly to clean skin to exfoliate the scar surface and reduce thickness and pigmentation. If your skin is intolerant of the retinol, you can use the Vitamin C+E Complex instead to exfoliate and condition the scar simultaneously. Next is the TNS Recovery Complex®, applied over the retinol at night and over a moisturizer in the morning to flatten the scar and seal in natural oils. Patients who have a greater tendency to develop hyperpigmentation (especially those with darker skin tones) may need Hydroquinone 4% to bleach and counteract this possibility. Finally, the Scar Recovery Gel with Centelline™ contains a patented blend of therapeutic ingredients that will diminish the appearance of the scar. The Scar Therapy Program is designed to be continued for six to 12 months and must be performed with consistency and patience to help guarantee the best aesthetic results.

Consultation

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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12727 Kimberley Lane, Ste. 300
Houston, TX 77024

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