From Corsets to Tummy Tucks
For 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.
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.
Days 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.
The 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.
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.
As the creator of the True Form Tummy Tuck®, Dr. Chris Patronella has put a lot of time and effort into refining the tummy tuck process so that it produces the best results. To further improve your tummy tuck experience, Dr. Patronella recommends a number of things to help you with your recovery. While most people already understand that they will need childcare and a little help around the house, you may be surprised to find that the following things can also be of great assistance during your tummy tuck recovery.
1. Loose Clothing
Loose clothing will keep you comfortable as you recover. Because your abdomen will be temporarily more swollen than normal, clothing items like big, soft t-shirts and night dresses are recommended. You should also avoid wearing anything with a tight waistband so that you don’t irritate your incision. Yoga pants and sweatpants are highly recommended.
2. Protein-Rich Foods
Eating high-protein foods helps to support wound healing. Enjoy plenty of protein-rich foods that are easy to digest so that you can encourage the best healing response during your tummy tuck recovery.
3. Pre-made Meals
Consider preparing or purchasing your meals ahead of your tummy tuck so that you can easily freeze and reheat them. Mild, easily digestible foods are recommended for the first week or two.
4. Vegging/Relaxing Materials
During your recovery, make sure to have plenty of materials to relax with, such as books to read, movies or TV shows to watch, magazines, your laptop or tablet, games, etc. These materials are helpful to have on hand since you will you need to take it easier than usual while you are healing.
5. Cleaning Service
Consider hiring a cleaning service to help with household work. If you can enlist someone to be in charge of cleaning and household chores while you are recuperating, you most likely will be able to rest and relax better.
6. Extra Pillows or Towels
Laughing, sneezing, and coughing can be uncomfortable during the early days after a tummy tuck. A helpful solution is to keep a pillow or large, folded towel close by and press it gently to your stomach whenever you feel you are about to sneeze, cough, or laugh. This will reduce the pressure on your abdomen so that such actions are not as painful.
These tips and others can be found on Dr. Chris Patronella’s Tummy Tuck Recovery Guide. If you have any other questions about preparing for your tummy tuck and recovery, please schedule your appointment today. Call (713) 799-9999 or fill out our online contact form to request your consultation.
While the majority of tummy tuck recipients are women, some men are good candidates for the procedure as well. In addition to improving the toll that pregnancy can leave behind on the abdomen, a tummy tuck can also correct issues caused by weight loss, which affect men and women alike. Men might need a tummy tuck for the following reasons.
1. Excess, Loose Skin
When a person puts on excess weight, the skin expands to make room for the extra fat. This stretching weakens the skin and causes it to lose its natural elastic strength. Consequently, after weight loss, there may be loose skin in the abdominal area. After major weight loss, the skin may even hang in folds. A tummy tuck trims away the excess skin so that the skin lies flat and taut across the abdomen. This helps the midsection to appear trim and toned.
2. Stretch Marks on the Lower Abdomen
Stretched-out skin is typically lined with stretch marks. Stretch marks are essentially scars left by the stretching process, and they tend to be more prominent or lengthy when the skin is stretched too quickly (i.e., when the weight was gained quickly). With the removal of excess skin from the lower abdomen, a tummy tuck can remove many stretch marks to minimize the evidence of previous weight fluctuations and help the abdomen be more natural in tone.
3. Weak Stomach Muscles
Men can develop weakened stomach muscles when excess fat collects in the abdomen. These can contribute to a bloated appearance. Intense physical exercise can help tighten the core muscles, but in some cases, a little extra help may be needed to correct split or stretched stomach muscles. Muscle tightening during the tummy tuck procedure further defines the abdomen and helps it to appear firm and toned. A tummy tuck does not instantaneously produce a six-pack, but it tightens and tones the midsection so that it is no longer flabby but flat and firm.
4. Persistent Belly Fat
A lot of men develop stubborn belly fat, especially as they age. The accumulation of excess abdominal fat is especially common for men who have gained a lot of weight. The fat may build up beneath the abdominal muscles and line the intestines, increasing the risk of other health problems. This area of the body is one of the most difficult to tone, and this fat can be challenging to eliminate despite regular exercise. Consequently, most tummy tucks include liposuction to eliminate persistent belly fat and flatten the abdomen.
5. Self-Confidence and Body Image
Self-confidence and body image are tied to your perception of yourself. Men who are unhappy with their appearances can increase their self-confidence by taking measures to improve their image. A tummy tuck can significantly improve a man’s appearance in ways that exercise and dieting cannot. Undergoing this procedure can dramatically boost a man’s body image and self-confidence. These improvements brought about by tummy tuck surgery have the capacity to improve all aspects of a man’s life.
If you are dissatisfied with your midsection, a tummy tuck for men might be the best solution for you. Set up an appointment to meet with Dr. Christopher Patronella to learn your options for improvement and Dr. Patronella’s recommendations for you. Dr. Patronella is a nationally respected tummy tuck specialist who is renowned for his natural-looking results. To schedule your appointment, call (713) 799-9999 or fill out our online contact form today.