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Christopher K. Patronella, MD, FACS, FICS homepage
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Tummy Tuck

in Houston, TX

Elevate your expectations and define your contours with a True Form Tummy Tuck®

Tummy Tuck Model Model

True Form Tummy Tuck®

Tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty) is performed on men and women to achieve a flatter and slimmer midsection. However, Houston plastic surgeon Dr. Chris Patronella was never satisfied with the artificial-looking, “flat-as-a-board” abdominal contours often created with traditional techniques.

This led Dr. Patronella to create his acclaimed True Form Tummy Tuck®, an advanced technique that highlights the subtleties, curves, and divots of a natural, chiseled body.

What is True Form Tummy Tuck®?

While a traditional tummy tuck allows for substantial skin and fat reduction and leaves the stomach taut and smooth, it tends to lack the subtle definition of a naturally sculpted stomach.

Dr. Patronella developed the True Form Tummy Tuck® to recreate the attractive characteristics, divots, and soft contours of a youthful, toned abdomen while allowing patients a smoother, more comfortable recovery without the often necessary drains.

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What Are the Benefits of the
True Form Tummy Tuck®?

Natural Indentations Model

Natural Indentations

A beautiful, natural stomach has curves and divots — the same goes for a well-done tummy tuck.

Dr. Patronella’s technique uses internal sutures to accentuate the upper and lower abdomen and create defined, sculpted, and natural-looking contours.

Smooth Transitions Model

Smooth Transitions

Attentive and precise suturing at the incision line allows for a smooth transition between the lower abdomen and pubic area. This creates a consistent, natural-looking result without the tell-tale pulling of traditional tummy tuck techniques.

Restored Navel Model

Restored Navel

Weight gain or pregnancy can alter the shape of your navel. A deep inward contour is made using internal suturing to reattach the belly button to the underlying muscle. Thus, the natural and youthful navel is restored.

No-Drain Approach Model

No-Drain Approach

Dr. Patronella employs the progressive suture technique in his True Form Tummy Tuck®. By placing internal sutures, Dr. Patronella eliminates the spaces where fluid would collect in a traditional abdominoplasty. This prevents the need for uncomfortable post-surgical drains that could be present for up to 3 weeks.

“The True Form technique was born from my intense drive to produce results that appear authentic, seamless, and elegant.”

Dr. Christoper Patronella
True Form Tummy Tuck Before
True Form Tummy Tuck After
True Form Tummy Tuck Before
True Form Tummy Tuck After

Procedure: True Form Tummy Tuck®, Liposuction
Age: 37, Height: 5’2, Children: 1

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How Is the True Form Tummy Tuck® Performed?

Dr. Patronella’s True Form® technique uses a multi-step approach for the most naturally-looking and safe tummy tuck results.

During your procedure:

  1. An incision is made across the lower abdomen, approximately six centimeters above the top of the vulva.
  2. The abdominal skin and tissue are separated from the underlying muscles and fat.
  3. Stretched or separated abdominal muscles are brought back together (diastasis recti correction).
  4. Excess lateral and medial fat is removed to create definition (particularly along the stomach’s midline).
  5. Progressive tension sutures are used to define abdominal contours. These are internal stitches that create natural-looking indentations.
  6. Excess fat is removed from the mons pubis area.
  7. Excess skin is carefully and conservatively trimmed to allow for a smooth, tension-free incision line.
  8. Liposuction is used to fine-tune the area around the incision and achieve a smooth transition between the upper and lower abdomen.
  9. The belly button is recreated using fixation sutures (to allow for the indentation of the navel). Umbilical hernias can be repaired during this step.
  10. The incision is closed.
True Form Tummy Tuck Patient True Form Tummy Tuck Patient

Am I a Candidate for Dr. Patronella’s True Form Tummy Tuck®?

Surgery with the True Form Tummy Tuck® contours, enhances, and sculpts the abdomen after the effects of aging, pregnancy, and weight gain.

This surgical procedure is ideal for men and women looking for results that go far beyond the cookie-cutter, unnaturally flat outcome that traditional techniques typically produce.

Men and women who are a good fit for this procedure commonly have loose abdominal skin that cannot be improved through diet and exercise. Dr. Patronella customizes his True Form Tummy Tuck® to achieve ideal aesthetic results. A mini and modified tummy tuck are among the methods he considers when evaluating the best option for an individual.


Can I Have a Tummy Tuck if I am Overweight?

The best results are achieved in individuals who are at a healthy weight; however, Dr. Patronella may consider performing the procedure for overweight patients with a body mass index (BMI) in the 30 to 35 range, depending on physical findings and their health status.

Learn more about Dr. Patronella’s guidelines for surgery in overweight and large weight loss patients here.

Why Should I Consider a Tummy Tuck After Pregnancy?

Many mothers turn to abdominoplasty. This has numerous benefits, including:

Dr. Patronella recommends that a woman wait at least 3 months following the birth of her last child to have a True Form Tummy Tuck®. This allows her time to heal and return to a more ideal postpartum weight ― a factor that will optimize the results she can achieve.

Should I Combine My Tummy Tuck With Another Plastic Surgery?

Tummy tuck surgery is commonly combined with other breast and body contouring treatments for optimal results.

Tummy Tuck and Breast Procedures

Tummy Tuck and Body Sculpting Treatments

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How Much Is a Tummy Tuck in Houston, TX?

The cost of tummy tuck surgery in Houston varies from patient to patient. Tummy tuck surgery is often combined with additional body contouring techniques (liposuction, body lift surgery, thigh lift surgery, or arm lift surgery). This combination is factored into the total cost of your procedure.

Please see our plastic surgery price list linked below for an idea of what you can expect for your tummy tuck cost. The final price of your True Form Tummy Tuck® in Houston, Texas, will include the entire scope of the procedure, from the surgeon’s and board-certified anesthesiologist’s fees, facility, required garments, and post-op care.

You will be given an accurate cost estimate during your consultation with Dr. Patronella.

Learn More About Our Pricing

What Can You Expect After Your Tummy Tuck?

Will I Have to Stay in the Hospital After My True Form Tummy Tuck®?

Most patients stay overnight in our fully accredited facility, where they will receive attentive and prompt care. Patients often return home the morning after their True Form Tummy Tuck®.

Learn More About the ACPS Surgery Center

Is a Tummy Tuck Painful?

Dr. Patronella administers EXPAREL® during tummy tuck surgery to the abdominal wall. This long-acting local anesthetic delivers relief for the first 72 hours of recovery. This FDA-approved anesthetic eliminates the need for pain pumps and allows patients to get up faster.

Prescribed or over-the-counter pain medication may be taken afterward.

What Is My True Form Tummy Tuck® Recovery Timeline?

1 to 3 Days

You will be swollen, sore, and tight. We recommend getting out of bed (with assistance) for 10 to 15 minutes every 2 hours. This walking and stretching will help to speed recovery and reduce the risk of blood clots.

During recovery, you will require childcare, extra assistance around the house, and easy-to-prepare meals.

As no drains are used in this technique, you will not have to worry about cleaning, emptying, or measuring your drains.


10 to 14 Days

You can start to return to more normal activities. You will still have swelling and bruising, but you will be able to get up to walk without assistance.

Most patients return to work after 14 days; however, this may vary depending on the nature of your job.


3 to 6 Months

Most of the swelling subsides by 3 months; however, some swelling may come and go intermittently for up to 6 months. Some tummy tuck patients describe numbness in the months following surgery, which is normal.

Tummy Tuck Recovery Guide

When Can I Exercise After a True Form Tummy Tuck®?

While you are required to get out of bed for leisurely walks starting the day after your tummy tuck, you must avoid more vigorous exercises.

Many tummy tuck patients return to strenuous activities after 4 to 6 weeks, but this varies based on the individual. You should consult with Dr. Patronella before resuming any exercise program.

Learn More About Exercising After a Tummy Tuck

Will I Have Scarring After My True Form Tummy Tuck®?

Dr. Patronella uses great care to position the incision as low so that the resulting scar can be easily concealed by bathing suits and undergarments.

To help reduce the visibility of scarring, Dr. Patronella developed a Scar Therapy Program, which uses a combination of products over 6 to 12 months (or longer). In addition, avoid sun exposure and apply sunscreen whenever the scar may be visible.

The tummy tuck scar will fade over the following 1 to 2 years.

When Will I See My Tummy Tuck Results?

Once all of the swelling has subsided, the full extent of your transformation is revealed. Most of the swelling resolves within 3 months; however, some residual swelling may be present (or reappear) for 6 months or more.

How Long Will My True Form Tummy Tuck® Last?

The results of your True Form Tummy Tuck® are long-lasting, barring significant weight gain or pregnancy. Most patients are inspired to incorporate positive dietary and physical fitness habits into their lifestyle, which helps maintain their tummy tuck results and strengthen their inner vitality and confidence.

Why Should I Choose Dr. Patronella to Perform My Tummy Tuck?

Dr. Patronella has been refining his tummy tuck techniques for the last 30+ years to consistently provide exceptionally attractive results. This dedication to excellence has launched him to international acclaim for the True Form Tummy Tuck® and won him top honors and awards for his innovative tummy tuck techniques.

Dr. Patronella doesn’t believe in compromising when it comes to providing beautiful results. During your consultation, he discusses the appearance goals you would like to achieve and determines the best procedure(s) to give you the results you want. He customizes these techniques to fit a patient’s unique goals, anatomy, and needs.

Dr. Patronella performs the True Form Tummy Tuck® for women and men from across the globe at his private, fully-accredited surgical center in Houston, Texas. He offers online video consultations and has experienced patient care coordinators to help patients have a smooth and positive experience, whether they are local or traveling from other states and countries.

Learn More About Dr. Patronella

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Schedule a Consultation

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 in Houston, TX.

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