Frequently Asked Questions:
Body Procedures

One of the legitimate concerns people have regarding abdominoplasty is the cost of the procedure.

There are two reasons to ask the cost of a purchase:

The first reason is to see whether we can afford the purchase, and the second reason is to compare the purchase price at different locations.

In order to decide if one can afford the procedure, an evaluation of one’s financial situation is needed:

-Do I have the money now?

-Am I going to have unexpected expenses within the coming three to six months, or am I going to have expected increase in personal cash flow secondary to tax refund, increase in salary job, gifts, maturation of investment, or completed loan payment, for instance for the car or house?

-Am I going to receive alimony payments or settlement of probate, inheritance, etc.?

-If I do not want to deplete my cash reserve, should I consider short-term financing? This, I believe, is one of the greatest features of financing with zero or very low interest rate because it helps manage the cash flow.


In order to compare the purchase at different locations, we have to use a different concept than the pure cost of the purchase. We have to look at the value of the purchase. Value is defined as the ratio of what we are getting divided by the actual cost itself. Looking only at the cost of a purchase at different locations does not allow for proper comparison.

What we get in every endeavor is the actual surgical outcome (visit the before and after pictures section on the site) and second, the overall experience in terms of the ease of going through it, and the care and comfort associated with it.

When we give you the quote for any procedure in our Chicago or Des Plaines office, we will give you all the costs associated with it; the cost of anesthesia and the facility, what happens if the procedure takes longer than initially planned, we will talk to you about the follow-up and how long it is going to be, and we will talk about touchup and scar revision. All these factors need to be taken into account when looking at the cost.

Once we have all this information, the comparison between different Hospitals and facilities in Chicago is possible.

The factors that can play into a flabby waistline are numerous. Everything from pregnancy to genetics to age can play a role. The tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is one of the most popular surgeries used for aesthetic enhancement, because so many patients struggle with this area of the body.

At Enhanced Form Plastic Surgery, Dr. Makhlouf not only removes loose tissue, but also sculpts both midline and oblique abdominal wall muscles. With this procedure, he restores a tapered waistline that even years of diligent exercise could not provide. 

The factors that can play into a flabby waistline are numerous. Everything from pregnancy to genetics to age can play a role. The tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is one of the most popular surgeries used for aesthetic enhancement, because so many patients struggle with this area of the body. At our Chicago practice, Dr. Makhlouf not only removes loose tissue, but also sculpts both midline and oblique abdominal wall muscles. With this procedure, he restores a tapered waistline that even years of diligent exercise could not provide. 

Tummy Tuck Cost and Comparison

One of the legitimate concerns people have regarding abdominoplasty is the cost of the procedure.


There are two reasons to ask the cost of a purchase:

The first reason is to see whether we can afford the purchase, and the second reason is to compare the purchase price at different locations.

In order to decide if one can afford the procedure, an evaluation of one’s financial situation is needed:

- Do I have the money now?

- Am I going to have unexpected expenses within the coming three to six months, or am I going to have expected increase in personal cash flow secondary to tax refund, increase in salary job, gifts, maturation of investment, or completed loan payment, for instance for the car or house? Am I going to receive alimony payments or settlement of probate, inheritance, etc.?

- If I do not want to deplete my cash reserve, should I consider short-term financing? This, I believe, is one of the greatest features of financing with zero or very low interest rate because it helps manage the cash flow.

In order to compare the purchase at different locations, we have to use a different concept than the pure cost of the purchase. We have to look at the value of the purchase. Value is defined as the ratio of what we are getting divided by the actual cost itself. Looking only at the cost of a purchase at different locations does not allow for proper comparison.

What we get in every endeavor is the actual surgical outcome (visit the before and after pictures section on the site) and second, the overall experience in terms of the ease of going through it, and the care and comfort associated with it.

When we give you the quote for any procedure in our Chicago or Des Plaines office, we will give you all the costs associated with it; the cost of anesthesia and the facility, what happens if the procedure takes longer than initially planned, we will talk to you about the follow-up and how long it is going to be, and we will talk about touchup and scar revision. All these factors need to be taken into account when looking at the cost.

Once we have all this information, the comparison between different locations in Chicago is possible.

OFFICE Chicago plastic surgeon Dr. Makhlouf

What is a successful consultation?

A successful consultation has to have specific outcomes that will be achieved. But before we get to the discussion of what these should be, both the patient and the office have to be prepared for the interaction.

The patient gets prepared by investigating the office, investigating the practitioner and checking the credentials, certificates, reputation and the experience, and preparing question they want to cover during the visit.

The office should be ready for the consultation by blocking the appropriate amount of time (sometimes a real challenge) and being able to provide the patient with answers to all the questions they have. Some of the questions the patients may not be aware of their presence because they are in the back of their mind not in the forefront.

What are some of the questions patients have during the consultation?

The number one question a patient has is “Can you give me what I want?” This implies that the patient comes with a clear idea as to what they want to achieve. If it’s not clear, then at the end of the consultation that expectation should be clarified.

The next question that is in the mind of everybody is” how is the procedure done?”

This is covered in detail by the surgeon.

The next is what is involved in terms of prearation, healing time, return to work, return to normal activities return to exercise and active lifestyle.

The next question is what risks am I taking? What are the possible complications, and how are they dealt with?

How much pain involved the procedure?

Will I need any kind of specialized help during my recovery?

What is the cost, and can I afford it? Are there financing options?

And lastly one of the more important questions is: do I like the Dr, do I trust him does he care aboiut me? Am I comfortable with this office setup? And do I believe they can provide me with what I want.

In our office we understand your questions and needs we are going to make our very best effort to provide you with the answers you need.

Communication is fundamental into achieving this goal. If we fail to do that, please ask more questions until you are satisfied. We will have an in depth discussion about your goals and whether they can be achieved, what are the expected results and outcomes. We will provide you with printed information to clarify things and to help remember the content of the discussion and provide further explanations as to what is involved.

After the consultation patients usually go home and think about it. If and when they are ready to move to the next step they would call the office and try to pickup a tentative date for the surgical procedure.

Another office visit will be required in the week before the surgery to go over the procedure one more time, clarify any point that may or may not have been fully covered during the consultation. Information regarding the preparation for the procedure, prescriptions and the overall reevaluation of the whole process will occur during this very important pre-op visit.

When it comes to the ultimate post-op results of tummy tuck surgery, the appearance of the navel, or umbilicus, is all-important. The patient should feel very comfortable in a two-piece bathing suit without worrying that others will know she had plastic surgery.

An aesthetically pleasing umbilicus is vertically oriented and has a small web of tissue in the upper portion where some women place belly button rings. This outcome requires careful handling during surgery, including proper planning and suturing.

Dr. Makhlouf has designed a special technique that involves a small incision around the lower portion of the umbilicus, avoiding a horizontal scar that can look unnatural. His work, presented by the chief resident at the University of Illinois, won first place in a competition among several universities.

Many patients marvel at the results Dr. Makhlouf is able to achieve in contouring the waist with an abdominoplasty.

He looks at tightening the muscles in the abdominal wall as the foundation for achieving his results.

Dr. Makhlouf first evaluates where the stretching of the abdomen has occurred: the upper, central, or lower abdomen. He then does a three layer repair for the abdominal wall paying particular attention to the most stretched area. The first two layers of the repair are made with specialized sutures that are placed independently of each other in two separate rows. These special sutures take into account that the stretching of the abdomen occurred in all directions. Therefore, the sutures will tighten up the abdomen in both the vertical and horizontal directions. The third layer of repair is to hide the knots of the sutures and avoid them from becoming palpable, while at the same time evening the tension across the abdomen.

When the umbilicus is set in the abdominal flap, the abdominal flap itself is sculpted in order to give the natural contour. A trim waistline surrounding a natural looking is of paramount importance in achieving an esthetic goal.

There may be several physicians that perform tummy tuck procedures in Chicago. The real question to ask is why a tummy tuck in Chicago, with Dr. Makhlouf? Naturally, you have a lot of information to sift through and may even decide to confer with a friend to help you make a reasonable decision. Here are a few pointers to help you choose your plastic surgeon.

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

What does it mean to be board certified? …and why does it matter?

First of all, a physician that’s board certified is certified with the American Board of Plastic Surgery. It means that he/she has at least 5 years of approved surgical training, including a plastic surgery residency. Additionally this board is the only one recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) for certifying a physician in plastic and reconstructive procedures.

Furthermore, a physician can perform a procedure in his/her office, without being a plastic surgeon. However, only a board certified plastic surgeon is able to perform a procedure at a hospital and have the necessary privileges to do so. That’s an important point to consider if you’re about to have a procedure. So, be sure to check if the physician is board certified. You can see that Dr. Makhlouf is board certified, here.

The Umbilicus

Often, the belly button is a give-away that the person has had a procedure on the abdominal area. You can easily identify a ring around the umbilicus, making it look like a bull’s eye. A tummy tuck procedure with Dr. Makhlouf is not so.

Dr. Makhlouf is very concerned about the aesthetic of the umbilicus. He does not perform the circular incision that produces a visible scar. He has refined a technique that distracts the scar tissue and produces a natural navel with minimal scarring. You can check out the tummy tuck photo gallery, here. Do notice the natural look of the belly button. This is yet another reason why you will want to have a tummy tuck in Chicago, with Dr. Makhlouf.

The Incision

The usual incision for a tummy tuck is from hipbone to hipbone. An incision placed too high can have adverse results. It may cause the pubic hairline to be pulled up, unnaturally, looking unnatural yet again. Dr. Makhlouf mitigates this risk by ensuring that the scar is placed inside the pubic hair, foreseeing displacement. Consequently, it is not overtly evident that one has had a procedure, and one can comfortably wear a desirable undergarment or bathing suit.

Muscle Tightening

Once you’ve had a baby, or several for that matter, the abdominal muscles may weaken. This is yet another area that Dr. Makhlouf takes into consideration. He has perfected a method that reinforces the muscle structure in both the horizontal and vertical directions. He runs several layers of 30+ sutures to maintain structural integrity, for several layers. This ensures the results will withstand any potential coughs or pulls, post-operatively. Also, it maintains the results of the procedure for longer. Shall I say, it is yet another reason to have a tummy tuck with Dr. Makhlouf.

If you need further assistance in finalizing your decision, please come in for a consultation. We would be happy to assist you, and the Dr. is a wealth of knowledge in this area. He is quite passionate about helping you fulfill your desire to restore your body and feel good about yourself. Call us today: 847.297.8001

Cited: http://www.boardcertifiedplasticsurgeon.com/credentials_meaning.html

How much does a tummy tuck cost in Chicago?

The cost of tummy tuck surgery (also called “abdominoplasty”) can range anywhere between $6,282 and $9,284.  (2015 prices)   The price varies greatly depending on the geographic location of the surgery and the popularity of the particular surgeon performing the procedure. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) discloses that the 2012 national average price of tummy tuck was $5,241. Not included in this tummy tuck cost are surgical facility fees, anesthesia, and prescribed medications. Tummy tuck cost also depends on how extensive the procedure will be. Sometimes a mini tummy tuck with liposuction will be sufficient for the patient, so the cost for abdominoplasty will vary from patient to patient. The best way to get an accurate cost estimate is to schedule a consultation with a plastic surgeon.

What are the different types of tummy tuck procedures?

The technique Dr. Makhlouf uses will depend on the extent of muscle tightening and skin reshaping necessary to get the best results. The traditional tummy tuck and mini tummy tuck are the general techniques used. For patients who have good skin elasticity and a moderate amount of abdominal fat, liposuction may be sufficient. However, liposuction does not involve tightening the abdominal muscles, which may be necessary to get superior results.

What is the difference between a mini tummy tuck and a regular tummy tuck?

A mini tummy tuck involves a minimal amount of muscle tightening with skin reduction in the lower abdomen only. A traditional tummy tuck involves an incision around the belly button and an incision from hipbone to hipbone. If necessary, adjustments are made to the upper and lower abdominal muscles to make them tighter, and the excess skin is pulled down over the new, flatter abdominal contour. The excess skin is trimmed away, and an incision is made for the belly button to remain in the correct position. Be sure to view our tummy tuck surgery video for an animated visual of the full procedure.

Does a tummy tuck leave scars?

Yes. The scar with an abdominoplasty will run from hipbone to hipbone, but it is easily concealed beneath underwear and most styles of bathing suit bottoms. A mini abdominoplasty will result in a smaller scar than a traditional abdominoplasty.

How long is tummy tuck recovery?

The recovery period varies from patient to patient but most can resume light activities a few days after tummy tuck surgery. The majority of patients can return to regular activities within a few weeks.

Are tummy tuck results permanent?

Tummy tuck results are long lasting unless the patient gains a significant amount of weight or becomes pregnant. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine can help prolong the best results.

An Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) is performed as an out-patient procedure in Chicago (Swedish Covenant Hospital) or North Suburb Des Plaines (Holy Family Hospital), Illinois.

The hallmark of a cosmetic surgery procedure well executed is the absence of an operated look. When it comes to abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), it is the umbilicus in the middle of the abdomen that attracts attention. Every effort should be made to restore it to a youthful aesthetic appearance.

The aesthetic and youthful umbilicus:

1. Is small.

2. Has a vertical orientation.

3. Has a superior hood that allows for placement of jewelry, if desired.

4. Rests in a peri-umbilical depression to provide proper contour to the abdomen.

5. Is devoid of protrusion (and hernias).

6. Allows for proper hygiene.

Most of the time, the surgeon is not able to do a proper abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) without an incision around the umbilicus, so that as the skin is pulled down, the umbilicus is allowed to remain in its anatomic position and is not pulled towards the pubic line. Most pictures showing abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) procedures show a circular scar. The problem with a circular scar is that it tends to contract and frequently remains visible. Over the years, we have relied on sound plastic surgery principles to avoid this problem. We do not do a circular scar.

Combining these aesthetic goals and plastic surgery principles, we perform the procedure in the following way:

1. The marking of the skin around the umbilicus is two-inverted V-shaped lines connected at the tip. After the incision is made, the umbilical stalk is freed from the surrounding skin and fat all the way to the abdominal wall.

2. An incision is made in the suprapubic area and the skin (without the umbilicus) is elevated and separated from the abdominal muscle all the way to the lower ribcage.

3. Tightening of the abdominal wall muscles is performed.

4. Excess skin is resected.

5. The new location of the umbilicus on the pulled skin is determined.

6. An inverted V incision is made and the umbilicus with its stalk is delivered through that incision.

Tummy Tuck Now, Beach Body in 6 weeks…

Consider the possibility of getting a tummy tuck now and having a beach body in 6 weeks. Have you been trying to get rid of that extra skin that’s sagging, after giving birth to children? Or, have you successfully lost a significant amount of weight? In either case, kudos to you.

It’s quite possible that although you work out, you may never be able to tighten what’s been undone. Childbirth has resulted in a little skin laxity, muscle laxity, as well as some extra unwanted fat.  If you only have a slight amount of laxity, perhaps a mini tummy tuck is sufficient for you. The incision is smaller, however the amount of abdominal tightening is minimal, as well. With the mini tummy tuck, only the lower abdomen’s extra skin is reduced.

With a full tummy tuck procedure, the full abdomen is under consideration. The incision is made at the pubic hair line.  The scar is from hipbone to hipbone, and well concealed within the bikini lines. The loose hanging skin would be removed and if necessary, liposuction would occur.

Description: 29 year old female, 1 child, had developed significant stretch marks after her pregnancy, seeking rejuvenation of abdomen. A standard abdominoplasty was performed. Please note: the natural looking umbilicus. Pictures were taken a year after surgery.

As abdominal muscles may have been loosened by pregnancy or significant weight gain, the muscles require tightening.  Dr. Makhlouf has mastered the art of enhancing one’s figure in this manner. For tightening during a tummy tuck, he uses special sutures that repair the muscle weakness, in both the vertical and horizontal directions. The relevancy, here, is that when the muscles were stretched, they did so in both directions. So, it’s important to reduce the risk of this recurring.

At our Chicago practice, Dr. Makhlouf has been performing tummy tucks for over 30 years. He is also well known by his patients for a close to perfect post-operative belly button. After viewing many pictures online, one patient remarked that this is notably one of the main reasons why she came to him. He takes great care to ensure that an unnatural umbilicus is avoided. In fact, his technique won him first place in a competition.

What is a mini abdominoplasty?

I have to agree that it is a confusing term. There is no standard agreement as to what is involved. This is what makes it dangerous. It allows anyone to come up with their own definition, confuse consumers, and take advantage of the confusion created.

For some a mini abdominoplasty is a small, ill-defined procedure on the abdomen to improve its appearance. There is intentional vagueness as to what the intervention entails in order to take advantage of the patient.

For some a mini abdominoplasty is standard abdominoplasty, with the procedure done on someone with a small deformity and through a smaller incision.

For some a mini abdominoplasty is a procedure that concentrates its effort in the area of the lower abdomen between the umbilicus and the pubic hairline, tightening the muscles of the lower abdomen and removing excess skin.

For some a mini abdominoplasty entails the excision of skin from the lower abdomen, and on occasion liposuction of the upper abdomen is included, but there is no muscle correction.

These various possibilities create confusion as to the surgical time the procedure takes to perform, the recovery time involved, what outcome is to be expected and what a fair cost should be. The lack of clarity prevents interested people from having a clear value proposition.

In order to properly define a “mini abdominoplasty” let’s first identify the elements in a standard abdominoplasty and see which ones are included in a mini-abdominoplasty.

In a standard abdominoplasty:

1. Excess skin is removed through an incision at the pubic hairline.

2. Muscle relaxation and the occasional hernia are corrected by tightening the abdominal wall muscle and providing a strong platform on which to re-drape the skin.

3. As the skin is pulled down the belly button (umbilicus) has to be addressed. It cannot be eliminated nor can it be pulled down towards the hairline. So a specialized incision needs to be made around the umbilicus leaving it attached to the abdominal wall like a flower on a stalk. The abdominal skin is separated from the umbilicus and the abdominal muscles underneath, and an attempt is made to remove then skin segment between the belly button and the pubic hairline. The belly button is then brought out through an incision in the pulled down skin.

Sometimes included in an abdominoplasty is the suctioning of the upper abdomen and sides.

For everybody the relocation of the umbilicus on the abdominal wall skin as part of a standard abdominoplasty. The mini abdominoplasty does not involve an incision around the umbilicus in order to allow its relocation.

What are the choices in a mini abdominoplasty?

Type I involves a skin excision over the pubic hairline with or without liposuction of some part of the abdomen.

Type II involves type I and tightening of the abdominal muscles below the umbilicus without its relocation.

Type III also called “umbilical float” procedure involves keeping the umbilicus attached to the skin around it separating the whole abdominal skin and bellybutton from the muscles underneath tightening the abdominal muscles. As the skin is pulled down the umbilicus is relocated one inch lower than its original position and extra skin is removed at the pubic hairline incision.

Q: Is there a difference between buttock augmentation and buttock lift?

A: There may be some redundancy of the skin, but the buttock augmentation patient is seeking mainly fullness in the region, whereas the buttock lift patient wants to get rid of the redundancy that has occurred due to aging or weight loss and have their butt lifted. A small amount of redundancy can be corrected by increasing fullness with an implant, but a more significant redundancy requires a longer incision.

Q: How can buttock augmentation be performed?

A: There are three ways to perform buttock augmentation.

  1. With a butt implant.
  2. Imbricating, (meaning folding) the extra skin and fat in the buttock area. This is obviously a limited procedure reserved for massive weight loss patients.
  3. Fat transfer involves liposuctioning from one region of the body and transferring to the buttocks.
  4. There can be a combination of any of these to lift.


Q: What are the long-term effects of buttocks augmentation with an implant?

A: The implants are made of a very soft solid silicone material and cannot leak or break down. There would be no reason to have the implant changed after a certain period of time.

 

Q: What are the long-term effects of buttock augmentation with fat transfer?

A: Buttock augmentation with fat should be stable over many years and we feel that after the one year mark has passed, the amount of fat that is remaining should be stable; however, it is subject to weight loss and gain. Please review the section of pros and cons of every procedure.

 

Q: What are the pros and cons of a Butt Augmentation with Implants?

A: The pros of an implant are:

- Similar controllable amount on both sides.
- It can be used in skinny people.
- Short operating time (two hours).
- Reduces cost.
- Will not fluctuate with weight loss or gain.
- Implants are “permanent” and do not need to be replaced, as they are soft and solid.

The cons of an implant are:
-
There may be a little more firmness than a normal buttock.
- Limitations as to the size that can be put safely.
- An approximate 7 cm vertical incision between the buttocks.

 

Q: What are the pros and cons of fat transfer?

A: The pros:

- You get liposuction of unwanted fat if present and correction of more than one area.
- The patient’s own tissues (fat) are used.
- It feels like fat.
- Tiny invisible incisions.

The cons:

- A longer operating time.
- Cannot predict how much fat will survive.
- May develop some hard lump.
- Not enough fat may be available for the procedure.
- Increased cost primarily related to surgical time and the need of related procedure.

Generally with fat transfer more than one session needs to be planned.

 

Q: What are the pros and cons of fat imbrication?

A: The pros:

- Two problems can be corrected at the same time: the redundancy and the lack of projection.
- Survival of the fat is less of an issue than with fat transfer.
- Shorter operating time than fat grafting.

The cons:
- Longer scar.
- Limited augmentation. We just double the skin thickness at best.
- Sagging might recur.
- No long-term studies.

Buttock Augmentation: A Custom Fit

Surgically enhancing the buttock area to achieve a more pleasing, natural looking derriere requires not just top notch skills and experience, but a variety of “tools” as well. At our practice in Chicago, buttock augmentation is a procedure we fine tune to meet the unique needs and body shape of each patient.

When we meet for your consultation, we’ll start with a thorough analysis of the entire buttocks area. This means we take a look at the shape of your back area including the lower back, saddle and upper thigh areas as well as the “cheeks” themselves. We also evaluate your skin’s elasticity and other factors that can influence surgical results.

During your appointment, we’ll have an open discussion with you about your goals and the options available for achieving them. Then we’ll develop a surgical plan designed just for you.

Your Options:

Having performed buttock augmentation for Chicago patients for several years, we have a variety of strategies to employ, including:

Back or buttock lifting: Some patients benefit from lifting and removing excess skin from the lower back or upper buttocks area. We may recommend this as part of your surgery if time and gravity have left their marks on your backside.

Liposuction: Liposuction is a component of many buttock augmentation surgeries. The goal is often two-fold: to harvest fat for grafting and to sculpt nearby areas to help achieve the “hourglass” look.

Fat grafting: Fat transfer to the buttocks, often called a Brazilian butt lift, adds fullness to the area naturally, but it must be performed with skill and a delicate touch.

Buttock implants: Some patients benefit from soft, semi-solid implants instead of or along with fat grafts. We have also designed and obtained a patent for Instruments to use specifically with implants procedures. They allow us to create pockets that are exactly the right size and location for the implants.

Buttock enhancement is far from a “one size fits all” procedure. The more strategies your plastic surgeon has at his or her disposal, and the more experience the plastic surgeon has with different approaches, the more likely you will be delighted with the outcome of your surgery. Take a look at some of our before and after buttock augmentation photos to see the kind of results we achieve for our patients.

Chicago Buttock Augmentation

Thirty years ago, physicians were placing breast implants in the buttock area in order to increase fullness and projection.  Unfortunately, this procedure was fraught with complications; some directly related to the implant itself (rupture of silicone, limitations in shape and size of the implant design) and some due to the technique and location of placement.  The implants were placed subcutaneously and frequently resulted in an unacceptable shape because of the scar tissue that would form.

As plastic surgery evolved, silicone became available as a soft solid with different shapes and sizes, and liposuction and fat grafting have become popular.

Our aesthetic goals have evolved over time and include the whole area of the lower back, buttock and upper thighs addressing proper projection and fullness. The maximum projection should be at the level of the pubic hair when viewed from the side.  The maximum fullness from the back is not in the middle of the buttock when viewed straight back, but in the middle of the buttock when viewed from a 45 degrees angle to the back.  The scar has to be inconspicuous.  We need to incorporate the buttock with the flank and hip areas in our evaluation, and we have to take into account the trochanteric and thigh areas and decide if they will require special attention.

Until a few years ago we were able to offer only liposuction for this area of the body. Today along with liposuction we can add either an implant or the fat. When fat is used it is harvested through liposuction and then introduced in the buttock area through small cannulas.

In order for the fat to survive, it has to be injected in very minute quantities so that the surrounding tissues can provide nourishment for these cells.  If a large volume is injected in any one location, the central part of this imaginary ball of fat and fluid would not be in direct contact with the tissues and not have access to oxygen and nourishment; the fat cells would then die.  Because of this limitation, multiple tracts are created in the tissues of the buttock in order for the surgeon to be able to deliver the amount needed. Extreme care with regard to sterility of the procedure must be maintained. Antibiotics are a central component of this procedure.  The first limitation for fat injection (grafting) is the amount of fat that any individual patient has available for use. The second relates to the fact that less than 50% of what is aspirated can be used in the augmentation, and the third is that 30-50% of that added volume might be lost over time.

If buttock augmentation is going to be achieved with a silicone implant, the procedure is done through a very specialized incision in the fold between the buttocks.  It is designed to prevent separation of the tissue and to prevent accumulation of fluid between the two buttock cheeks that could lead to problems with healing.  After this incision is made, a pocket is dissected to the exact size and shape of the implant.

As mentioned earlier, the implants we use today are specific for the buttocks and proper anatomic placement is crucial. Earlier in the learning curve the implants were placed subcutaneously often resulting in the previously mentioned problem.  Subsequently, the implants were placed underneath the muscle, but that position suffered two setbacks.  The first was that the implants were riding higher than aesthetically desirable and when the surgeon tried to bring the pocket a little lower, pressure on the sciatic nerve was a potential complication.

Today we place the implant in one of two ways. One is within the gluteus muscle itself.  The other is underneath the fascia of the muscle.  This is the location that I use because it provides me with the flexibility that I need and minimizes the discomfort. The patient is marked before surgery in the standing position with the help of a sizer and dissection adheres strictly to the markings. We inject the area with a long acting pain medication at the onset of the procedure. This seems to help the patient significantly with postoperative pain.  A garment is placed at the conclusion of the procedure. Care is simple and within two weeks scar tissue has formed around the implant keeping it in position.

Now that we are beyond the learning curve, I am able to offer a reliable procedure with very few risks, little discomfort and a short downtime. It has been rewarding both for me and the patients who walk away with an increased confidence in their transformed appearance.

Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Makhlouf

The Brazilian Butt Lift: What’s in a Name?

The Brazilian butt lift is a very popular procedure; in fact it is the fastest growing form of cosmetic surgery today.  If you’re considering surgery to round out a backside that appears flat, square or simply too skimpy, it’s critically important to choose a plastic surgeon who is very experienced.  Here’s why.

The Brazilian butt lift is not truly a lift.  Muscles, fat and skin are not elevated in the same way that facelifts and breast lifts raise sagging tissues.  A well-done butt lift appears to raise the buttocks because increased volume enables the skin to re-drape more tightly.  There are only two ways to increase the size of the buttocks, and both present challenges for an inexperienced plastic surgeon.

Fat Transfer

Many physicians favor fat injections to add volume to the buttocks.  This approach can be successful for a patient who desires a modest increase and has enough fat available from other areas of the body.  After harvesting and processing, fat is transplanted in small quantities so surrounding tissues can nourish it.  Some fat is lost during harvesting and some does not survive after transplanting—it is wise to plan for at least a 40% loss.  A typical 400 cc result for each buttock requires more fat than many patients have available.

Silicone Implants

Silicone implants are a good alternative for many women.  The material is a soft semi-solid that will not leak.  The implants are safe, do not need to be replaced and feel natural.

The challenge with implants is that some plastic surgeons only use up models up to 300 ccs in size.  Larger implants mean wider pockets must be created through relatively small incisions with restricted visual access—a procedure that’s problematic for many surgeons.  Dr. Makhlouf developed and patented special instruments for this purpose, tools that expose the proper amount of tissue, flood the area with light and allow for efficient suctioning.  These instruments enable Dr. Makhlouf to place implants up to 500 ccs in size.  His patients are pleased with their results, happy with both projection and symmetry.

Catchy procedure names abound in the world of cosmetic surgery today, and the Brazilian butt lift is no exception.  Not only is the lift aspect of the procedure not strictly accurate, there’s really nothing Brazilian about it.  With an accomplished, experienced plastic surgeon like Dr. Makhlouf, however, your results can be very satisfying.

What does “Buttock Augmentation” really mean?

Ok, so you’re confused by all the different terminology in and around Buttock Augmentation. Who isn’t?!!!  We’ll simplify the murky waters, here, and define the different procedures. On a positive note, there are only a handful of procedures:

  • Lower Body Lift
  • Back Lift
  • Brazilian Lift
  • Buttock Augmentation – or – Buttock Enhancement


Lower Body Lift:

Goal: Tighten the loose and saggy skin on the butt.

Incision: Right at the upper underwear line.

Procedure: Pulls the sagging skin up and removes the excess skin.

Result: There will be a scar that goes across the whole backside. However, the resulting tightening lifts the whole lower body.


Back Lift:

Goal: Tighten the loose and saggy skin on the back.

Incision: Right at the upper underwear line.

Procedure: Pulls the sagging skin down and removes the excess skin.

Result: There will be a scar that goes across the whole backside. However, the resulting tightening makes the whole back look slim.

Brazilian Buttock Lift:

Goal: Add volume to the butt that is otherwise flat or not full enough.

Incision: There will be injections, no incision.

Procedure: Fat is harvested from other areas of the body and injected into the buttocks.

Result: The butt is now fuller than before. See our previous blog post, here, for more information.

Buttock Augmentation:

Goal: Add volume to the butt that is otherwise flat or not full enough.

Incision: At the intergluteal cleft: the groove between the butt cheeks.

Procedure: A soft and solid implant is inserted into the buttock area.

Result: A full and soft butt that will match the rest of the body.

Labiaplasty is a popular procedure that’s sometimes incorrectly referred to as labioplasty. It started as a natural progression over the last decade. Women had been increasingly paying attention to the area of their body covered by a bikini. It started with trimming the hair, then shaving it, and now to permanently removing part or all of it. The advent of the laser and the various reality shows have made it mainstream. There are even articles written about it. In fact, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) notes an uptick in labiaplasty procedures: a 39% spike in 2016, with more than 12,000 procedures.

Background & Concerns

The logical progression was to pay attention to the plumpness of the mons pubis, the rounded mass of fatty tissue that’s over the pubic bones (as per Wikipedia).  In recent days, women have started to pay attention to the fullness, or the lack thereof, of their labia majora (outer vaginal lip).  Women are also concerned about the size and shape of their labia minora (inner vagina lip).  Here’s a great anatomical pictorial identifying the different parts of the female reproductive organ.

The Labiaplasty is a procedure that is directed to the labia minora to address concerns about size, fullness, redundancy and hooding. Some women feel uncomfortable during sexual intercourse, some feel self-conscious during exercise, and in a swimsuit or weight lifting attire. Others also have pain with certain activities like riding a bicycle or horseback riding.

Procedure

Based on the physical examination, various techniques can be used to address the patient’s concerns. Along with the appropriate choice of technique, careful and delicate suturing provides for very satisfying results. The goals are to:

  1. Provide inconspicuous correction.
  2. Minimizes the chance of scar hypersensitivity and painful intercourse.
  3. Heal rapidly.

The procedure can be done in the surgery center or the hospital if there is a request for sedation. But the majority of our patients are comfortable with the procedure done in the office operating room under local anesthesia. It only takes 45 minutes to perform. A very small amount of pain is involved. We do our utmost to provide our patients with a comfortable experience away from any embarrassment.

Post-Op

The post-op care is very minimal and easy to perform. Activity restrictions are:

  • No sexual intercourse for 3 weeks
  • No bicycle riding or horse-back riding for 3 weeks
  • Further, the follow-up appointment schedule is for 5-7 days, 3 weeks, and 2 months.

It’s no surprise that abdominal liposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures in the United States. The tummy and the love handles seem to plague even the most fit and beautiful people and a lot of that is because abdominal fat can be some of the most stubborn and difficult to burn.

Well, the good news is that you don’t necessarily have to turn to a full on tummy tuck to get some good results. In fact, quite often, abdominal liposuction will give you results that will please you, with less risk, less recovery time, and a lower cost.

For women hoping to reduce fat in their tummy area after having a baby or for men who need to hone their physique, abdominal liposuction is the easiest way to go. There are some risk factors and abdominal liposuction pitfall to avoid, but you can get a great result if you are a well informed patient. For instance, you need to inform the physician if you have a hernia or have had prior abdominal surgeries, you should be healthy and within 30 lbs of your ideal weight, and you should have realistic expectations about your results.

For most people who undergo tumescent liposuction of the abdomen, the results are excellent and eliminate the need to have a tummy tuck or further procedures. Tumescent liposuction is the most commonly used liposuction technique and has been used for over 20 years for safe and successful liposuction results. If you get tumescent abdominal liposuction, you’ll be home and up and around the day of your surgery. You’ll have relatively little soreness and will probably only need Tylenol to eliminate discomfort.

So if you are considering a tummy tuck or an Abdominioplasty, think about getting liposuction first. If the procedure is successful, you will have spent less time and less money on a less risky procedure and you may achieve satisfactory results. If the abdominal liposuction is insufficient, you’ll have completed the first step of your tummy tuck anyway, which is fat removal, and you can move forward with your Abdominoplasty.

There’s no need to stay covered up in scarves and slacks with the arrival of summer, or toss those pool party invitations. Your body can be breathtaking before the summer heat begins. You don’t even need to dread walking out to the beach in your bathing suit – if you get ready now.

There are many cosmetic beauty procedures, both surgical and non-surgical, that can help you feel more confident about your body, and more comfortable showing some skin over the summer. These options include quick recovery times so you can finally enjoy the season as much as an ice cream on a scorching day in midsummer. Don’t stay wrapped up like a mummy until Labor Day. You can enjoy quick, meaningful results with a variety of basic cosmetic procedures

Liposuction is the procedure of choice for women who want maximum body benefits with minimally invasive surgery. This process involves the removal of excess fat from selected areas of the body, which can include the thighs, abdomen, calves, arms, breasts, and face. Liposuction literally involves sculpting body areas to enhance physical appearance. Patients typically recover in less than a week from this procedure and often in only a day or two. For body areas that diet and exercise just can’t seem to improve, liposuction can help. It’s quick, relatively painless and produces great results, as evidenced by our many happy patients.

If wrinkles and blemishes are a concern, a variety of laser procedures, chemical peels and Restylane can be deployed to rejuvenate the skin, reduce those wrinkles, remove spider veins and even treat acne – all for a more youthful appearance.

Laser hair removal is a popular procedure as sunbathers prepare to shed their winter clothes. With Laser Hair Removal, your surgeon uses a low-energy laser to destroy hair follicles gently. This ends the monotonous routine of shaving and waxing for long-lasting results. Lasers enable hair removal over a wider region, so larger areas of the skin can be treated at one time. Say goodbye to painful waxing and plucking.

The ever-popular Botox helps erase the three main indicators of facial aging: lines and wrinkles, sagging and relaxation of facial tissues, and declining skin quality, which can include thickening skin, enlarged pores, flaking, and pigmentation changes. Botox involves a chemical process that tightens the skin to reduce evidence of aging skin. This treatment involves injections around the target area, with minimal to virtually nonexistent recovery times.

These and other relatively quick solutions, deployed individually or in tandem, can help you enjoy summer fun with greater poise and self-confidence than ever before.

In Chicago, Dr. M. Vincent Makhlouf brings more than 25 years of surgical experience to cosmetic surgical and nonsurgical procedures for his many patients. In addition to his private practice, Dr. Makhlouf also teaches residents in plastic surgery at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Dr. Makhlouf looks forward to discussing all cosmetic options with you during a candid and confidential appointment in our comfortable office suites. Contact his office today at 847-297-8001.

Liposuction can be an amazing stand-alone procedure or can be used to compliment other body contouring treatments.  Liposuction removes fat from troublesome locations on the body, such as: under the chin, the backs of the upper arms, thighs, buttocks and tummy.

Even with diet and exercise certain areas can be very resistant to weight loss.  Liposuction can free you from those stubborn extra pounds, today.

Liposuction or Tummy Tuck?

Many patients are unable to decide what the best procedure for them in order to reduce their abdominal girth. The easiest way is to look at what causes the bulge.  If it is fat, and the fat is located in the skin then it can be suctioned.  If the bulge is from extra skin and stretched muscles then the tummy tuck will take care of the problem.  Sometimes we need to do both liposuction and a tummy tuck because multiple factors are involved in creating the bulge and both need to be addressed.

Liposuction or tummy tuck for men?

The mechanism of increase in abdominal girth in men is very different than in women.  Men store fat primarily with the internal organs, whereas women store the fat primarily in the skin.  The fat present behind the muscle and with the intestinal organs cannot be reached with liposuction.   A low carbohydrate diet is a way to reduce that type of fat.  Liposuction of the skin fat is possible provided there is enough fat to make a difference.

The only time a tummy tuck is required for a man is if he has lost a significant amount of weight.  There will be excess skin removed and the abdominal wall muscles would have been stretched by the excess weight in the skin the man had been carrying around.

Everyone remembers the moment, early in a relationship with a new boyfriend or girlfriend, when you compare scars and tell the stories of how you got them. No one wants to say, “I just got that one after my liposuction surgery.” That’s a reason why one of the fears that patients have about undergoing liposuction is that there might be permanent scarring. After all, liposuction requires an incision in the skin; any time the skin is punctured there is a risk of permanent damage. So if you elect to have liposuction done, will you be forever explaining the scars to your significant other? The good news is: probably not.

Many people get liposuction in order to feel better about their physical appearance. They’d like their “love handles” removed, breasts reduced or enlarged, and some of the excess flab removed from their thighs and arms. In liposuction, a device called a cannula is inserted below the skin which then breaks up and sucks out the fat. Fortunately, the incision required to perform such surgery is often very small, leading to a low risk of scarring, in addition, board-certified doctors are well-trained to make the tiny cuts in unobtrusive locations.

Of course, there is always a chance that there could be scarring. If you are someone who is already prone to easily scar, you run a higher risk. In addition, the larger the cannula used, the larger the incision and the more likely it is that there will be scarring. And the darker your skin, the more likely you are to scar.

The largest factor in determining the success of you liposuction surgery, including reducing the chances of scarring, is finding a highly-trained, board-certified physician like Dr. Makhlouf.  Dr. Makhlouf is a skilled surgeon and knows the best ways to take care of you and your skin so that you can be proud of your appearance. Choose the right doctor, and you’ll never have to explain where you got those scars.

“I take great pride in all of my children; now it’s time I take pride in myself!”

The Mommy makeover is aimed at creating the body which a mother deserves after she has completed her family. This involves working on the breasts, abdomen, and areas where unsightly bulges have formed during pregnancy.

The procedure done on the abdomen is called an abdominoplasty. It corrects the abdominal wall relaxation and gets rid of the extra skin and stretch marks that have formed in the lower abdomen.

The Breast procedures vary from an isolated breast lift to a breast lift with implants or a breast reduction with a lift.

The liposuction corrects some of the fat that is easily deposited during pregnancy: the back roll, the lower back, flanks and hips, inner thighs and knees.

The best time to have the procedure is when the family is complete and the body has regained its stability postpartum.

With 27 years of experience Dr Makhlouf is well positioned to provide his patients with a result they will rave about!

Following major weight loss or pregnancy, many individuals find themselves dissatisfied with the shape of their body. Sagging of excess skin can cause physical pain and discomfort along with an undesired appearance. Patients often feel as if their dream body is there, but hidden under the remnants of weight gain and they are not able to reveal it through diet or exercise alone.

Body contouring surgery gives good candidates for these procedures the ability to relieve the chafing and burden of excess skin, while reaching the aesthetic goals they have worked towards in their efforts to lose weight, improve their health and appearance. Read on to learn more about who is eligible for body contouring surgery, and what procedures this may involve.

Candidates

The best candidates for body contouring surgery include those whose weight loss has stabilized, non-smokers, individuals without medical conditions that will limit their ability to heal or increase the risk of their surgeries, and those who are committed to continuing a healthy lifestyle, and have set realistic goals towards their post-procedure results.

Common Procedures

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to a body contouring surgery, as every individual has particular areas of concern that they’d like to focus on, and excess skin from previous weight gain appears on different parts of the body according to each patient’s genetics.

That said, body contouring surgery seeks to do more than simply remove fat and skin – it is also undertaken with the aim of revealing the figure a patient has worked towards. Common procedures include breast lifts, to raise the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the area to reshape the breasts; tummy tucks, or abdominoplasty, to both remove the “apron” of skin hanging over hipbones while restoring weakened or separated abdominal muscles; thigh and buttock lifts, which reshape and firm the thigh and/or buttocks through the removal of fat and skin; and upper-arm lifts, which reduce sagging skin while tightening and smoothing the supportive tissue underneath it.

Recovery

The first question most patients ask about their body contouring surgery concerns the recovery period. It is important to discuss your recovery expectations with your doctor, as depending on the duration and extensiveness of your procedure; recovery time could be lengthy and involve the assistance of friends or family. Dressings and/or bandages will be applied to all incisions, possibly along with small tubes placed under the skin to drain excess fluids or blood. Your doctor will provide you with extensive instruction regarding how to care for the site of your surgery or surgeries, along with any topical or oral medication that will need to be taken or applied to reduce the chance of infection. Your mobility may be limited for several days, as will your ability to bend over or lift objects. It may take some time before you are able to resume your regular activity and exercise regime.

Body contouring surgeries are considered a major surgery, but the results can drastically improve patients’ overall satisfaction with their bodies, as well as their quality of life. Dr Makhlouf is very experienced in a variety of corrective procedures and has designed some and refined some of them.

Post Partum Fixes: Am I ready for a Mommy Makeover?

Changes to the body, especially a woman’s breasts, are a major side effect of pregnancy and a problem that most women just aren’t ready to face. It happens over such a long period of time, so new moms don’t even notice how much she has changed until it’s time to put on her favorite bra or swimsuit for the first time, and then it hits her, it’s abundantly clear that she now has post-pregnancy breasts.

Is it time for a mommy makeover? What to think about.

A can change your life. After giving birth to your bundle of joy, many women find that they do not feel “normal”, or like themselves anymore. Stretched out skin and muscles, breasts that no longer sit as high as they used to or are not as voluminous, and pockets of fat that didn’t used to be there can put a real negative effect on your confidence. A mommy makeover is a perfect way to fix these body issues, but you first need to consider your lifestyle and if you’re ready for this surgery.

How to be OK with your body after pregnancy

Take some time and talk to 20 new mothers about their post pregnancy bodies and you’ll get 20 different opinions about their feelings of the change. Some are most bothered by their breast changes, which often is associated with a decrease in firmness and volume. Others will say they are most upset about their stretched out skin around the abdomen area and how they still have a “paunch” even after losing all their baby weight. And others will say they are puzzled to find that they have excess fat in places they’ve never had it before, despite vigorous exercise and dieting.

Making the decision

Even though it is a very popular procedure, having a is not something that’s decided overnight. Moms today are more involved in their careers, caring for the children, helping out at the school, and all of their other responsibilities, needless to say moms today wear many hats. And for that reason alone, it’s understood why it takes time to make the choice to get your.

Help during recovery

You’ll need to take some time after the surgery to recover and we can make sure we go over exactly what you procedure with specifically cover. Many moms worry that it will take too much time, but once they ask, they find that help is usually available for a couple of days from those around them. You’re used to doing things yourself, so asking isn’t always easy. But we can assure that it’s the best way you can get the procedure you want and deserve.

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