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Christopher K. Patronella, Md, Facs, Fics

Frequently Asked Questions

Christopher K. Patronella - MD, FACS, FICS

How long will my tummy tuck results last?

The results of tummy tuck surgery are long lasting provided that you maintain a reasonable weight with proper diet and exercise. Pregnancy and moderate to large weight gain can all reverse the benefits of tummy tuck surgery. Most patients are inspired to incorporate positive dietary and physical fitness habits into their lifestyle, a benefit that helps to maintain their new look and strengthen inner vitality and confidence.

How do I decide between a tummy tuck and liposuction?

Liposuction improves the contours and proportions of the body through the removal of excess fat. While Dr. Patronella frequently incorporates liposuction in a tummy tuck procedure to enhance the body’s shape, liposuction cannot restore a smooth appearance to loose abdominal skin or tighten an abdominal muscle wall that is weakened as a result of pregnancy or weight loss. These conditions require surgical repair through tummy tuck surgery in order to restore a smooth, flat appearance to the abdomen.

 If I diet and exercise, can I avoid tummy tuck surgery?

While diet and exercise are important components of a healthy, physically fit lifestyle, loose skin and a weakened abdominal muscle wall can only be repaired through surgical correction. To achieve the best results from tummy tuck surgery, it is best if you are as close to your ideal weight as possible. Weight loss following surgery can lead to excess skin, which compromises the appearance of your results.

How soon after childbirth can I have tummy tuck surgery?

Dr. Patronella recommends that a woman wait at least three months following the birth of her last child to have tummy tuck surgery. This allows her time to return to a more ideal postpartum weight―a factor which will optimize the results that can be achieved.

Pregnancy after a tummy tuck…what is your advice?

Though many women have successfully gone on to have children following tummy tuck surgery, Dr. Patronella generally recommends that women postpone having abdominoplasty until they are finished having children, as pregnancy can reverse the benefits of a tummy tuck procedure.

However, for some women, particularly those who have a great amount of loose, hanging abdominal skin following large weight loss, the physical and psychological benefits of having tummy tuck surgery may outweigh the advantage of postponing the procedure until they are finished having children. Those who make that choice may require additional surgery after having children in order to restore the original results achieved through tummy tuck surgery.

What is a mini tummy tuck?

For women who have skin and muscle wall laxity primarily beneath the navel, a mini tummy tuck procedure may be sufficient to restore a flat, smooth appearance to the abdomen. In this procedure, an incision, which is significantly shorter than the standard incision, is made beneath the bikini line. The muscle wall is repaired, and a modest amount of loose skin of the lower abdomen is removed. This conservative approach can be combined with lipocontouring of the abdomen and waist to provide a natural abdominal shape.

Because the majority of tummy tuck candidates, especially those who have had children, require upper muscle wall repair and extensive loose skin removal, a mini tummy tuck procedure is typically appropriate for only about 10 percent of patients.

A key factor in creating a natural look is ensuring that a consistent tone is maintained between the skin of both the upper and lower abdomen. Failure to equally reduce looseness between the upper and lower abdominal regions typically results in an oddly surgical look in which skin below the navel is firm, while that above is noticeably untreated.

During your consultation, Dr. Patronella will carefully evaluate your abdomen’s muscle and skin in order to assess the degree and location of skin and muscle laxity that are present. Based upon this assessment, he will determine the tummy tuck technique which will most effectively achieve optimal correction and deliver

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Dr. Patronella’s warm and friendly patient care team will be happy to assist you with any questions you may have and schedule your appointment with Dr. Patronella.

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