Many tummy tuck patients have benefited from Dr. Bull’s expertise and prowess with this procedure. In the paragraphs below, Dr. Bull describes the tummy tuck procedure and how it can be used to shape and slim the abdomen area. Also, visit the Before and After section of this website to see the results of tummy tuck patients.
Patients whose skin has lost its elasticity or become loose or redundant may also find improvement. During a complete tummy tuck, Dr. Bull makes an incision across the lower abdomen in the bikini line. Using this incision the abdominal muscles or “six pack” is tightened using sutures to give a more normal abdominal wall position and a better shape. Next, the excess skin and fat are removed which is usually the skin and fat below the belly button. This skin usually contains most of the stretch marks caused during pregnancy. The remaining skin from the upper abdomen is then repositioned to close the incision. The belly button is relocated in an ideal position. For a partial or “mini” tummy tuck, the incision is shorter and the navel may remain in place.
Tummy tucks may be performed in a hospital or outpatient facility, depending on the extent of the procedure and the individual patient. The duration of the procedure varies but typically takes from two to four hours. General anesthesia is usually preferred, but some Chicago abdominoplasty patients may just receive a local anesthetic with intravenous sedation. Most patients go home from the surgery center or hospital the same day. For the first few days after surgery, discomfort is relieved with medication.
Patients will need to stay home from work for at least ten days to two weeks and should wait four to six weeks to resume strenuous activities. Scars will fade and flatten in three months to two years. Many of Dr. Bull’s Chicago tummy tuck patients are please to learn that the results of abdominoplasty are permanent, barring major weight gain.
Panniculectomy is a major surgical procedure for removal of the large abdominal apron of fat in patients after significant weight loss. Panniculectomy may be performed in conjunction with other scheduled surgery, such as hysterectomy.
Panniculectomy after significant weight loss is usually performed in a hospital due to the patient’s medical status and the extensive nature of the surgery. With pre-authorization, this surgery is often covered by insurance. Dr. Bull makes an incision just above the pubic region. A second incision releases the navel from surrounding tissue.
The skin and fatty tissue are separated from the abdominal wall up to the ribs. Then while lifting the skin flap, the abdominal muscles are tightened by pulling them closer together and stitching them into position. Sometimes a sheet of mesh, either dissolvable or permanent needs to be placed to support the abdominal wall.
The excess skin and fatty tissue are removed and a new hole cut for the navel, which is tn stitched into place before the incisions are closed by stretching the remaining skin flap. Sometimes the pannus or large roll of extra skin extends around the back that may require a longer incision. Dr. Bull prefers to do the back in a second operation to avoid more complications. As much as possible is removed from the front so the second procedure should not be as long. Both procedures require general anesthesia and can be from 2 to 5 hours long. Patients will need to stay home from work for two to four weeks and should wait four to six weeks to resume strenuous activities. Scars will fade and flatten in three months to two years. For the first few days after surgery, pain wil be controlled by a pain pump and then pills. The patient may also feel abdominal swelling, soreness, bruising and numbness of the abdominal skin.
Risks include infection, blood clots in the legs or pelvis, bleeding or fluid collecting beneath the skin flap, loss of the umbilicus, or poor healing that results in conspicuous scarring.