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Christopher K. Patronella, MD, FACS, FICS homepage


Can I Get Natural-Looking Tummy Tuck Results With a True Form Tummy Tuck®?

Posted March 09, 2021 in True Form Tummy Tuck®, Tummy Tuck

6 Minute Read: 

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, tummy tuck surgery is the fourth most popular surgery in the United States.

Before and after image showing the results of a True Form Tummy Tuck performed in Dallas.

Tummy tuck surgery is designed to tighten abdominal muscles and remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen. 

However, not all tummy tucks are the same. Many traditional approaches to tummy tuck surgery produce unnaturally flat surgical results that are displeasing to the patient. 

Through years of experience helping patients achieve their aesthetic goals, Dr. Chris Patronella has designed the True Form Tummy Tuck®. This technique is meant to produce the most attractive and natural-looking tummy tuck results. 

Table of Contents

How Does Traditional Tummy Tuck Surgery Fall Short?

What Does This Mean For You?

What Is the True Form Tummy Tuck®? A Cut Above the Rest

How Does the True Form Tummy Tuck® Work?

When Should I Get a True Form Tummy Tuck®?

Tummy Tuck After Pregnancy

Tummy Tuck After Moderate Weight Loss

Tummy Tuck After Major Weight Loss

Why Should I Choose Dr. Patronella?

How Does Traditional Tummy Tuck Surgery Fall Short?

The traditional tummy tuck follows a formulaic approach:

  1. Incisions are placed horizontally across the lower abdomen between the hips. Often, a second incision is created around the navel.
  2. The skin is lifted, and the weakened abdominal muscles are tightened.
  3. The skin of the upper abdomen is pulled down, and excess skin is trimmed.
  4. The remaining skin is sutured in place, and the navel is relocated.

What Does This Mean For You?

The result of a traditional tummy tuck is a firmer, flatter, and more proportionate abdominal contour. However, it comes at a cost. 

Often, a traditional tummy tuck indicates surgical results. After a traditional tummy tuck, the stomach is flat but lacks the subtle contours and definition present in a naturally flat abdomen. The belly button also tends to look distorted and unnatural.

Dr. Patronella says, “The belly button can be one of the most obvious signs of a tummy tuck if it is not done artistically with precision and attention to the details that make it look natural.” 

Unnatural belly buttons are a problem because many women want to wear a two-piece swimsuit without advertising that they have had tummy tuck surgery. The belly issue is one of the top reasons women consult with Dr. Patronella for revision surgery. 

Dr. Patronella often corrects the results of tummy tuck procedures patients received elsewhere.

What Is the True Form Tummy Tuck®? A Cut Above the Rest

The True Form Tummy Tuck® is truly an upgrade of the traditional techniques. This procedure’s focus shifts away from merely tightening and pulling the stomach tissues flat. Instead, it’s designed to recreate a naturally defined and sculpted abdomen. 

Dr. Patronella strives to create the following results:

  • Abdominal contouring: natural-looking abdominal contours and muscle definition (a toned look that is not uniformly flat)
  • Waist contouring: a tapered waistline that appears defined and elegant
  • Smooth transitions: avoidance of prominent surgical shaping with a natural transition at the incision line (no “step off”)
  • Consistent skin firmness above and below the navel: the advancement of the tissues from the lower rib cage down to the pubic line. This ensures that the skin is equally firm and taut in the lower and upper abdomen
  • Navel contouring: a natural-looking navel with a deep inward contour created by internal sutures
  • Strategic incision placement: low on the bikini line so that it can be easily concealed by clothing
  • Muscle tightening: improved abdominal definition with internal sutures to bring the muscles of the abdominal wall together

Using natural artistry blended with scientific knowledge, Dr. Patronella incorporates liposuction techniques and internal suturing as part of the True Form Tummy Tuck®. This helps highlight natural contours and recreates a youthfully toned abdomen and slender waistline. Dr. Patronella uses an eight-step method to recreate the nuances of an attractive navel in the True Form Tummy Tuck® procedures he performs.

Woman touching her slim, bare abdomen with both of her hands.

How Does the True Form Tummy Tuck® Work?

To create a natural-looking outcome here requires a combination of artistry and science. This skill makes plastic surgery both intriguing and complex. 

In addition to other techniques, Dr. Patronella incorporates the following:

  • Umbilical hernia repair 
  • Shortening of the umbilical stalk (the part of the belly button that is attached to the muscle wall)
  • Specialized suturing techniques
  • Fat removal to replicate a vertical absence of fatty tissue around the belly button

As part of the procedure, the belly button is detached from the skin around it. This lets your surgeon repair the underlying muscle wall and remove loose and excess abdominal skin. The procedure requires a new opening in the abdominal skin for the belly button. 

This opening will be higher up since the original position would be too low once the skin is pulled down and sutured into place.

When Should I Get a True Form Tummy Tuck®?

Dr. Patronella devised the True Form Tummy Tuck® to be adapted for individual needs. Here are some examples:

Tummy Tuck After Pregnancy

Following pregnancy, many women experience sagging abdominal skin, weakened abdominal muscles, and a bulging tummy that can only be treated with surgery. The True Form Tummy Tuck® focuses on the areas needing significant correction. This procedure can restore a youthful abdominal contour reminiscent of your pre-pregnancy body. 

What Does Pregnancy Do to My Abdomen?

Pregnancy is one of the primary reasons the belly button loses its youthful shape and firmness. In the months before delivery, the mother’s belly button, along with the abdominal skin and underlying muscle wall, undergo extreme stretching to accommodate the growing baby.

After childbirth, many women, eager to get back their pre-pregnancy figures, are disappointed to find their once tight navels and abdomens retain a stretched-out appearance. This may occur in spite of their efforts at improvement through exercise and diet. The belly button, which is typically oval or round before pregnancy, often takes on a more horizontal shape with a fold of skin over it.

A True Form Tummy Tuck® can correct these issues and provide patients with a new abdominal appearance.

Fit woman in a sports bra doing sit-ups.Tummy Tuck After Moderate Weight Loss

Moderate weight loss typically does not produce the muscle laxity associated with pregnancy. However, it does commonly lead to sagging skin above and below the navel. This can create unsightly bulges and lines and a loss of skin tone in the hips, buttocks, and outer thighs. Dr. Patronella can use the True Form Tummy Tuck® to correct tissue laxity and restore natural-looking contours.

Tummy Tuck After Major Weight Loss

After losing 50 pounds or more, patients are often left with prominent stretch marks and folds of hanging skin encircling the torso. This skin can cause irritation and pigmentation and require comprehensive surgical treatment to restore a smoother skin tone and ideal proportions. The True Form Tummy Tuck® can be combined with a body lift and other procedures to provide a lean and smooth silhouette.

Why Should I Choose Dr. Patronella?

Dr. Patronella’s tummy tuck patients give their results high scores. 87 percent of 86 respondents rated the appearance of their belly button as excellent or good following surgery in a 2014 survey. If you want to achieve a natural-looking, slimmed, and toned appearance after your tummy tuck procedure, you should choose Dr. Patronella.

Do You Want to Learn More About The True Form Tummy Tuck®?

The True Form Tummy Tuck® can help you achieve a flat and firm abdomen that looks attractive and natural. 

To learn more about this revolutionary technique, contact us to request a personal consultation with Dr. Chris Patronella. Please call (713) 799-9999 or contact us online to schedule your appointment today. 

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