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The Ideal Approach
>Many patients seeking a tummy tuck in the Chicago area have benefited from the experience and artistic skill of Naperville’s Dr. John Bull. His work in shaping and slimming the abdominal area for women and men alike has made him a sought-after choice for anyone who wants a firmer and leaner-looking midsection. Because there are many reasons a person’s abdomen may develop a flabby look, Dr. Bull can customize the tummy tuck surgery to focus on a patient’s specific needs. He strives to deliver the best tummy tuck Naperville has to offer. The primary component of a tummy tuck is removing loose skin, which can be a problem for anyone—but especially those who have recently lost weight. Other elements of a tummy tuck can include fat reduction and muscle repair. The first step in any case is scheduling a consultation so Dr. Bull can determine the ideal approach.
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Put simply, a tummy tuck addresses a belly that has lost—or never had—a flat, toned appearance. There are three typical reasons for this: sagging skin, stubborn fat, and damage to the abdominal wall. Any or all of these can give someone a silhouette that lacks the clean lines of a firm midsection.
Skin is a living organ. It grows when we grow. If your belly starts to bulge, whether due to an increase in weight or the development of a baby throughout pregnancy, your abdominal skin stretches to cover the added volume. Gradual weight loss gives this stretched-out skin time to slowly revert to its previous state, allowing it to sit tight against the typical abdominal contours. Rapid weight loss, however—due to the birth of a baby or surgical intervention—is more like popping a balloon. The sudden loss of volume leaves the stretched-out skin hanging loose and baggy. Even if the muscles underneath are well developed and rock hard, the cushion of lax tissue hides them. Skin laxity is a particular problem for older women and men, since youthful skin is more likely to retract on its own. This is because age and ultraviolet radiation break down collagen and elastin in the skin, while the natural cycles that replace them slow with each passing year. With a tummy tuck, Dr. Bull can trim away the redundant skin, from a modest amount to a significant stretch that creates what is known as an “apron.”
The number of fat cells you have is essentially set in your adult life, which means that your fat cell count doesn’t go up or down when you gain or lose weight. Instead, diet and exercise cause fat cells to shrink. Unfortunately, there is no way to “tell” specific fat cells to reduce their volume. Genetics determine the areas that will lose fat first. Some people find that their bellies never seem to get smaller. This is because abdominal fat can be especially “stubborn.” One term for this is “diet-resistant” fat. A tummy tuck can address this particular problem by incorporating surgical fat reduction. Using liposuction techniques, Dr. Bull will break up targeted fat cells and suction them out, leading to a slimmer abdomen. Our Naperville tummy tuck patients considering this procedure should understand that the surgery is not a weight-loss strategy. In fact, tummy tucks work best for people who weigh their goal weight or close to it. The health benefits of a healthy diet and regular exercise can’t be replaced by any body surgery.
The “six-pack” muscles in the belly do more than look good in photographs. In addition to providing core strength and stability, they create a wall that serves to hold back the contents of the belly behind them. These muscles can be forced apart, typically by growing babies, but also in patients who are significantly overweight. Pushing the muscles away from each other stretches out the firm, supportive muscle covering between them—known as the “fascia”—so that the wall as a whole is no longer able to perform its barrier function. As a result, everything behind the wall can bulge forward, creating a paunch that no amount of fat reduction can fix. For patients dealing with abdominal wall separation, Dr. Bull can repair the tissues during a tummy tuck. Suturing the muscles back into their original position restores the wall and prevents the bulge.
A Better Shape
All tummy tuck surgeries require Dr. John Bull to make some type of incision that will allow him to trim away unneeded skin and re-drape the remaining skin flat, remove excess fat cells, and access the abdominal wall for tightening as necessary. During a complete tummy tuck—which addresses the skin, fat, and muscles—Dr. Bull makes the incision across the lower abdomen in what is commonly referred to as the bikini line.
Using this incision, he can tighten the abdominal muscles with sutures to create a more normal abdominal wall position and a better shape. Next, he removes the excess skin and fat. This skin usually contains most of the stretch marks caused during pregnancy, and many of our Naperville tummy tuck patients are happy to learn that their procedure addresses this unwanted cosmetic issue as well. Dr. Bull then re-positions the remaining skin from the upper abdomen to close the incision. This essentially moves the belly button, which must be “relocated” to an ideal position in proportion with the new shape. For a partial or “mini” tummy tuck, the incision is shorter and the belly button will remain in place. The “mini” tummy tuck primarily focuses on the abdominal area below the belly button
Candidates for a tummy tuck are typically those who have difficulty getting a flatter tummy as a result of pregnancy, aging, or weight fluctuations. All candidates should be healthy non-smokers.This is because smoking hampers blood circulation—among other negative health effects—which can cause problems during the surgery and healing process. Ideal tummy tuck candidates also have realistic expectations for their procedure, coming into the surgery with a positive state of mind. As with any plastic surgery, tummy tucks should be made for a patient’s own benefit and enjoyment—not as an effort to please someone else or conform to their standards.
“I had a tummy tuck with liposuction done by Dr. Bull. I am totally happy with my results. I am only six weeks postop and I have already dropped two sizes in my jeans. After losing 57 lbs. I was having a hard time buying pants because of my waistline. If the waist fit, the legs were baggy and made me look heavy. My pouchy belly was just awful. So glad to see it gone forever! I feel 20 years younger. Dr. Bull and his staff are excellent.”*
- TTG, Patient
*Individual Results May Vary
Board-certified and highly accomplished plastic surgeon Dr. John Bull is not just committed to providing beautiful cosmetic surgery results in a safe and comforting environment. He also wants every patient to feel heard, understood, and confident in their choice.Learn More
Patients will need to stay home from work for at least 10 days after their tummy tuck, but may need to plan for up to two weeks of rest and recuperation. Tummy tuck patients should also wait four to six weeks before resuming strenuous activities, such as sports or physically demanding work. Though Dr. John Bull positions scars so that they can be hidden by a bikini or underwear, they will still be visible. These marks where the incisions were made will fade and flatten in three months to one year.
Dr. John Bull uses Vectra®3D imaging technology to allow his tummy tuck patients to see what they will look like with a flatter belly—before any surgery is completed. Life like images can be altered in real time, giving men and women who want to know what a tummy tuck could do for them a glimpse of the possibilities.
Schedule Your Consultation
Some patients need only a small amount of fat and excess skin removed from below their belly button, while others require a more extensive tummy tuck surgery in order to get the lean lines they want. The specifics of your tummy tuck surgery will depend on a range of factors to be discussed at your consultation. A tummy tuck can also be under the umbrella of a “Mommy Makeover.” This combination of procedures is intended to address the common cosmetic effects of pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. In addition to a tummy tuck, the surgical makeover may include breast augmentation, breast reduction, or a breast lift, as well as liposuction.
A tummy tuck will not create washboard abs, but it will provide you with a flatter belly that better shows off your lean contours. Many of Dr. Bull’s tummy tuck patients in the Chicago area are pleased to learn that the results of their abdominoplasty are long lasting. Patients are advised to avoid gaining significant weight after their tummy tuck, because new excessive volume in the area can stretch out the skin anew and alter the results.
No non-surgical treatment can replicate the dramatic results of a tummy tuck, but patients who have a modest amount of excess fat or loose skin do have options. CoolSculpting®is an entirely incision-free fat-reduction treatment that chills the targeted areas and leads to volume reduction visible over a span of months. ThermiTight is a minimally invasive option for reducing skin laxity on the belly. A small probe inserted under the skin emits radiofrequency energy that causes tissues to contract and promotes beneficial collagen production.
We’re looking forward to hearing from you! Call us, send an online message, or stop by our offices to talk to a member of our team and arrange a consultation.
1307 Macom Drive, Naperville, IL 60564