Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) Chicago

Pregnancy, or any significant weight gain of the abdomen, stretches and distorts the abdominal wall permanently. No amount of diet, exercise or liposuction alone can remove extra (flabby) skin or restore tightness to the abdomen. There are two reasons why this is always the case:

  1. With pregnancies (or abdominal obesity) extra skin must be made to cover the additional volume. Once extra skin is created, it will never go away by diet and/or exercise.
  2. With pregnancy (or abdominal obesity) the body’s support layer (called fascia) is over-stretched permanently. Fascia is like the body’s girdle. It is not fat or muscle, so it can never tighten with weight loss or exercise. Muscle which lies over the fascia m ay be toned, and toned muscle is helpful, but toned muscle alone can never tighten fascia. Fascia is much stronger than muscle and can only be brought back to its optimal shape by surgical tightening. In fact, as we will show later, fascia is designed to remain loose so as to create more room for the stomach.

    Case 1: This 58 year-old Asian-American lady is NOT overweight. She has been on phendimetrazine, phentermine, topamax, trileptal, glucophage and other prescription medication over the years. She is a a size 4 and has a body mass index of 23. Weight loss medication will not make her look better and are no longer indicated. She is very fit and exercises regularly. Further weight loss would only cause further skin sagging.

    She is a size 4 before surgery and remains a size 4 after tummy tuck ($5,000) and liposuction ($3,500). However, her shape after surgery is completely different than before. Besides having a better shape, tummy tuck causes the following permanent changes:

    1. Tummy tuck reduces the volume of the stomach, by 50% or more. This means that patients will eat less and will maintain their lower weight indefinitely. So far we have tracked our patients for 10 years and we still see this effect.
    2. Tummy tuck reduces back strain, as well as weight on the hips, knees and feet. After a tummy tuck, patients have fewer back problems. In other words, tummy tucks make patients more mobile and more fit.
    3. Reduction of abdominal weight reduces diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and work load of the heart. In short, tummy tuck patients are healthier and will live longer.
    4. Removing abdominal fat makes it easier for this patient to bend at the hips, twist, walk, run. Tummy tucks improve patient comfort and mobility.

    Case 2: This 35 year-old lady is a mother of three who had one c-section. Despite her appearance, she’s not overweight. Instead, her abdominal fascia (body’s girdle) has been stretched from pregnancy and C-section.

    Since this patient is not overweight (BMI 25 or less) weight loss medication (such as phendimetrizine or phentermine) is not indicated. In fact, no amount of dieting or exercise will return the body to its optimal fitness. Abdominoplasty with liposuction is indicated for this patient. The patient has a history of excessive scarring, which may be reduced by laser resurfacing, topical creams and/or gel guard systems.

    The after pictures were taken about three weeks after tummy tuck and liposuction of the abdomen. After surgery she is clearly more fit, has better posture, better exercise tolerance, less back strain, can run and dance easier. For these reasons, she not only feels better, but she is healthier.