Tummy Tuck Chicago

Introduction

The abdomen is a problem area for many men and women, even those who regularly do abdominal exercises and follow a strict diet. Certain factors, like significant weight loss and pregnancy, can cause the abdominal muscles to weaken/separate and the skin to sag — and no amount of exercise or diet can correct those issues. In these cases, a surgical procedure called tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is the best solution.

What Can Tummy Tuck Accomplish?

Tummy tuck is designed to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen and restore muscle integrity and tone to create an allover slimmer and firmer abdomen. Abdominoplasty is often necessary to correct the effects of pregnancy, weight fluctuation and personal genetics.

Candidates for Abdominoplasty

Candidates for abdominoplasty are healthy individuals who have excess skin and fat in the abdomen, from one or more of the following:

  • Weakness or laxity in the abdominal wall
  • Significant weight loss from either diet or exercise
  • Pregnancy
  • Aging
  • Lap-Band, gastric bypass or another abdominal surgery

Abdominoplasty is not a weight loss procedure; suitable candidates should maintain a stable weight prior to undergoing surgery.

Important Issues to Consider before Tummy Tuck

Potential Chicago abdominoplasty candidates meet with Dr. Gikas for an informative consultation, at which time several important issues are discussed.

First, Dr. Gikas listens to the candidate explain his or her concerns and expectations of surgery, as these are critical pieces components of his overall evaluation. He inquires about the patient’s medical history and risk factors. Then, he carefully examines the areas that need contouring, noting skin laxity, skin tissue tone, thickness, the presence of stretch marks or scars, weakened/separated abdominal muscles and the accumulation of fat. Dr. Gikas also examines any fat on the flanks (love handles) and upper back. If he thinks it would be helpful, he will discuss treating additional contour deformities on the hips and thighs to produce a more aesthetically balanced silhouette. In addition, Dr. Gikas will ask about any coexisting hernias which may need to be treated concurrently.

After these issues have been thoroughly addressed, Dr. Gikas will explain how he plans to approach surgery. He will outline all possible risks, complications and the projected outcome, and will prepare the patient for what the recovery process entails.

If the patient wants any additional procedures (e.g., liposuction of another area, breast surgery), Dr. Gikas can offer those options and discuss them in more detail.

Dr. Gikas will review before and after images of previous patients to give the prospective candidate a better idea of what is possible with surgery. Also, the office staff will take pre-operative pictures of the candidate, and talk about tummy tuck fees and financing options.

Preparing for Tummy Tuck

In order to prepare for tummy tuck surgery, the patient must do several things. First, they he or she must stop smoking prior to surgery, as smoking can compromise the recovery process. The patient must also avoid certain medications which could increase the risk of complications. Finally, the candidate will need to have some lab testing and a medical evaluation performed prior to surgery.

Abdominoplasty Procedure Details

Depending on the amount of excess skin, skin tone, weakness of abdominal muscles and whether there is a hernia, Dr. Gikas will vary his surgical technique.

Standard Abdominoplasty

During a standard abdominoplasty, Dr. Gikas lifts the skin and fat up to the level of the ribcage, which exposes the muscles, as well as any hernias, that need repair. He then pulls excess skin down before removing it, and relocates the belly button to its new position on the abdomen. Before he closes the incision, Dr. Gikas tucks the elevated skin/fat flap at several locations on the abdominal muscles/fascia to anchor it and prevent fluid collections or blood underneath (this technique expedites healing/recovery).

Mini Abdominoplasty with Liposuction

Patients with minimal skin laxity may benefit from liposuction of the abdomen and flanks with minimal excision of skin from the lower abdomen. Mini abdominoplasty may include relocation of the belly button.

Extended Abdominoplasty

Patients who have lost a significant amount of weight and have excess skin laxity benefit most from an extended abdominoplasty, which removes loose skin from the sides of the body as well as the abdomen. The extended abdominoplasty procedure can be combined with lower body lift surgery (targeting the thighs and buttocks).

Tummy Tuck Incisions

Dr. Gikas takes great care when placing the surgical incisions to minimize noticeable scarring. Mini abdominoplasty incisions are made horizontally along the lower abdomen, right above the pubic line. Standard abdominoplasty incisions are made in the pubic crease and extending outward, depending on the degree of skin laxity around the waist. Extended abdominoplasty incisions extend beyond the hips toward the back.

Combination Procedures

Dr. Gikas can perform additional procedures — such as breast reduction, breast lift, breast augmentation, arm lift or liposuction of the trunk/thighs/arm — at the same time as tummy tuck. However, patient safety is a top priority to Dr. Gikas, and he limits the number of procedures based on the time spent in surgery and the patient’s age and overall health status. Even though many patients wish to have many procedures combined so they only require one recovery period, or want to save money, Dr. Gikas strongly discourages this because of the associated risks. In cases where he does deem combination procedures safe, patients have the option of staying overnight at the hospital where the surgery is performed. Dr. Gikas will advise when this is a good idea.

Recovering from Tummy Tuck Surgery

After surgery, patients are fitted with a compression garment and discharged from the hospital to go home when they’ve fully recovered from the anesthesia. Dr. Gikas will prescribe oral medication for any pain or discomfort, as well as antibiotics to prevent infection.

Patients will visit Dr. Gikas three to five days after surgery, and he will remove the surgical dressings. After that, patients will return weekly for two weeks, and then again at three months and six months. Patients can resume their normal activities between three to four weeks after surgery, depending on the extent of their procedure, and their activities.

Tummy Tuck Results

The vast majority of Dr. Gikas’s Chicago tummy tuck patients are very satisfied with their results, and notice a remarkable change in their body contour. They feel more comfortable wearing certain types of clothing, and experience a big improvement in their self-esteem and confidence.

Tummy Tuck Costs

Tummy tuck cost depends on several variables, such as the specific procedure performed and the extent of correction needed. For a better idea of costs, please contact our office.

Schedule a Tummy Tuck Consultation

If you’d like to learn more about tummy tuck surgery and how it can help improve your physique, please contact Chicago tummy tuck surgeon Elias Gikas at (773) 878-6525.