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Plastic Surgery FAQ Provided by Dr. John Bull

Frequently Asked Questions

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Chicago plastic surgery patients achieve a more attractive and sculpted profile through liposuction at the skilled hands of Dr. Bull. In the paragraphs below, he describes the VASER Liposuction procedure and the expected results. Also, visit the Before and After section of this website to see results for Chicago liposuction patients.

LipoSelection® only by VASER® uses the latest patented technology and advanced surgical techniques to remove fatty tissue from your thighs, hips, abdomen, love handles, knees, back, arms, neck and chin.

Why is it different?
The LipoSelection procedure uses ultrasound energy to break up and remove fat deposits from the body. Fatty tissue contains a large percentage of fat cells as well as blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue. Ultrasound energy selectively breaks up and emulsifies fat, while leaving other tissue relatively intact. LipoSelection typically results in low to minimal pain and low incidences of bruising or prolonged swelling. LipoSelection by VASER is both efficient and precise. In fact, ultrasound energy is so precise and specific that the technology has been used to remove brain tumors and cataracts.

How it works.
During the LipoSelection procedure, small incisions are made in the area to be sculpted. Through these small incisions, a special saline solution is infused to numb the site, shrink blood vessels, and enhance emulsification. Emulsified fat is then readily removed with suction and massage.

Is LipoSelection right for me?
The results you can expect. If you are healthy and looking for a fast solution to your excess fat deposits - a solution that patients typically report as involving low pain - you may be a good candidate for LipoSelection only by VASER. Although there are limits to the amount of fat that can be removed, we can assist you with your decision about potential areas for reshaping, the results you can expect and the recovery process.

As a practice known for using the latest technology for the benefit of our patients, we selected LipoSelection by VASER to help ensure smooth, predictable results. Now you can transform and enhance your figure and achieve the look you've always wanted.

The suctioned areas may be swollen and bruised, and you may feel a burning sensation that will resolve quickly.

The discomfort is mild and will be controlled with medications prescribed by Dr. Bull, but you may still feel stiff and sore for a few days.

After the procedure you should start walking around the same day, but more strenuous activity should be avoided for two to four weeks. Dr. Bull will remove any stitches in seven to ten days, and you should be back at work in 2 to 3 days depending on the activity level required. Most swelling and discoloration will be gone a month or two after surgery. Liposuction is a very satisfying procedure for most good candidates. Dr. Bull will discuss this with you as well as other options if you are not a good candidate for liposuction.

Dr. Bull is a highly skilled Chicago plastic surgeon who also offers the tummy tuck procedure for body contouring. Sometimes liposuction and tummy tuck are performed in combination. Visit the abdominoplasty page of this website to learn how Dr. Bull has helped Chicago tummy tuck patients.


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Breast Augmentation

Dr. Bull helps many Chicago plastic surgery patients achieve a more pleasing shape and contour through breast augmentation. Dr. Bull describes this popular procedure in the paragraphs below. Also, visit the Before and After section of this website to see the results of Chicago breast augmentation patients.

Breast Augmentation Procedure
Breast augmentation, technically known as augmentation mammaplasty, is a procedure to enhance a woman's breasts for a number of reasons including to increase the size or shape, to correct a volume change after pregnancy or to correct differences in breast size. Advances in breast implants and the surgical technique are making breast augmentation more popular among women of all ages.

The decision to have breast augmentation may result in a more flattering, better-proportioned figure, more clothing options and may enhance your confidence and self-esteem. The best candidates for breast augmentation are women looking for improvement, not perfection, in the way her breast and chest looks as well as the way clothing fits.

The goal is to achieve a soft breast in proportion to the hips and waist, with individual patient preferences as a guide for final size decisions made together with Dr. Bull. The procedure uses implants placed through one of three different incisions, around the areola, in the crease under the breast or in the armpit. Dr. Bull will select the location based on your specific anatomy and preferences. These scars are all inconspicuous and heal very well.

On November 17, 2006, the U.S. FDA approved Allergan’s (INAMED) silicone-filled breast implants for use in breast augmentation and reconstruction. This approval now affords women in the U.S. the same options that women in more than 60 other countries have had for the last 25 years.

Silicone-filled implants are among the most studied medical devices in existence. The safety of these implants is supported by Allergan’s extensive pre-clinical testing, their use in approximately 1,000,000 women worldwide and nearly a decade of U.S. clinical experience involving more than 80,000 women. Furthermore, silicone is used safely in the body in many other medical devices.

We are pleased to offer both saline-filled and silicone-filled implants as a choice to our patients. Dr. Bull will work with you to help you make the best personal choice for your goals and needs.

Breast Implant Placement
The implant can be placed under the chest muscle (subpectoral) or under the breast (subglandular); again this depends on your individual anatomy. Many surgeons believe that putting the implants behind your chest muscle may reduce the potential for capsular contracture. Placement behind the muscle however, may be more painful for a few days after surgery than placement directly under the breast tissue.

After surgery you may feel tired and sore for a few days, but you should be much better after 48 to 72 hours. The discomfort can be controlled by prescribed medication. Breast swelling that occurs can take three to five weeks to resolve. You should be able to return to work within a week, depending on the level of activity required for your job. Your breasts will probably be sensitive to direct stimulation for two to three weeks, so you should avoid much physical contact but it is fine once your breasts are no longer sore.

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks. The most common is capsular contraction occurring in 7% to 10% of women. This is when the normally soft fibrous tissue that forms around the implant becomes firm and shrinks around the implant making it firm. This is not a health risk but can detract from the aesthetic result and cause some discomfort. If this becomes bothersome correction, usually a surgical release can be performed. Visible rippling can occur, but is less common if implants are placed under the muscle. Loss of nipple sensation is rare but can happen no matter how carefully the surgery is done. If sensory loss occurs, the nerves slowly recover in about 85% of cases. Implant leak or deflation causes no medical harm, but requires replacement of the implant. The rate of saline-implant leakage is about 5% at 10 years. There can be other complications that Dr. Bull will discuss with you prior to having the procedure so that you are well informed.

Breast augmentation can give very satisfying results to patients as they learn to appreciate their fuller appearance. Regular examination by Dr. Bull and routine mammograms for those in the appropriate age groups at prescribed intervals will help assure that any complications, if they occur, can be detected early and treated. Your decision to have breast augmentation is a highly personal one that you should feel good about.

In addition to breast augmentation with breast implants, Dr. Bull also performs other breast procedures in his Chicago plastic surgery practice. Visit these other pages in the website to learn about how Dr. Bull treats the Chicago breast lift, breast reconstruction and breast reduction patients.


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Dr. Bull performs facelift procedures for his Chicago plastic surgery patients from his Naperville offices. In the paragraphs below, he describes the face lift procedure. Visit the Before and After section of this website to see results for Chicago facelift patients.

Facelift Procedure
A facelift is a surgical procedure to improve the appearance of facial wrinkles, jowls, and excess neck skin. It also can reposition facial tissues that have become lax, which gives a tired and aged appearance. The best candidates are healthy people who have loose skin that has sagged giving jowls or loose neck skin, but still have some skin elasticity. Most patients are in their fifties to sixties, but it can be performed on older patients even into their eighties if the patient has no medical contraindications.

There are many variations on the standard facelift and these should be discussed with Dr. Bull to decide upon the right procedure to meet your goals. The usual incision begins in the hairline where it will be less noticeable and extends in a natural crease around the ear and then extending back into the hairline. If extensive neck work needs to be performed, a separate incision hidden under the chin may also be needed.

After the skin and fatty tissue are elevated, the muscles are tightened and the skin redraped to remove excess skin and wrinkles.

The procedure can take as long as five hours to precisely reposition the muscles and skin to give the best results. Sometimes a small drain tube is placed behind the ear and removed the next day. A facial bandage is also placed to reduce bruising and swelling.

Dr. Bull will review with you the specific postoperative instructions depending on the exact procedure performed.

After the procedure there will be swelling and some bruising but surprisingly little pain. The discomfort you may have is controlled with pain pills but will improve over the first few days.

After a day or two you will be able to perform most regular daily activities but you should begin to move about the day of surgery. The healing process begins immediately but requires the patient to avoid strenuous exercise and lifting the first month after surgery. Numbness of the lateral part of the face is often present but will usually resolve over the first few weeks to months.

Most patients can plan on returning to work and social events by two weeks and any bruising that may be present can be covered with makeup. Sun exposure should be limited for several months after surgery and sunscreen should always be worn to help maintain your results. As with all procedures there are some risks.

These should be discussed with Dr. Bull in depth prior to surgery so that there are no surprises. The main risk is bleeding and excessive bruising but only occurs in 2% of patients. Other risks include infection, excessive scarring, asymmetry and a change in the hairline. Very rarely injury to the nerves controlling facial muscles and numbness can occur. This usually resolves but may be permanent.

Advances in facelift procedures continue to be made every year, but the most significant advancement has been the mini facelift or mid-facelift.

As a person ages, the effects of gravity, sun damage and time cause a loss of elasticity and sagging of the skin that deepen the smile and marionette lines (vertical lines that can form on either side of the mouth). When these changes are still minimal, a mini face lift can be performed to tighten and reposition the skin producing a more rested, refreshed look.

The incisions for a mini face lift are smaller compared to a traditional face lift. They begin in the hairline and extend along the natural line in front of the ear and stop just behind the earlobe.

The mini face lift procedure is shorter, and the recovery time is also quicker, in fact, most patients are back to work in a week.
With a mini face lift, only the isolated areas of the mid section of the face (such as nasolabial folds) will be addressed. For many patients who feel that these isolated areas are the most significant, a mini face lift is a great solution. On the other hand, a full face lift will improve areas like the neck-chin angle, and restore jaw definition.

While a mini face lift rejuvenates the mid-face area (which is what the term "Mid Face lift" refers to), a full face lift may be suggested to patients with sagging or droopiness in the jowl area, or to tighten up the neck muscles.

Dr. Bull is an expert Chicago plastic surgeon who offers a full range of facial plastic surgery procedures. Visit the other pages of this website to learn about how he has helped Chicago eyelid surgery and rhinoplasty patients.


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BOTOX® Cosmetic, sometimes called "a facelift in a bottle," is a purified subtype of botulinum toxin that is used to eliminate or reduce wrinkles of the face and neck. It is most effective for wrinkles that are visible when smiling, laughing, raising the eyebrows or for crow's feet around the eyes.

These wrinkles are called "dynamic" and tend to be much less noticeable when your face is completely relaxed. It also works well for bands in the neck.

The best candidates for the procedure are those between ages of 25 and 65. In many cases, wrinkles in people over 65 are "static" and do not change when relaxing the face. Other procedures would work better for these patients. Each person is different however, and should be evaluated by Dr. Bull to find the most effective treatment plan.

The procedure works by weakening the facial muscles beneath the skin that cause wrinkles when contracted.

BOTOX® Cosmetic works by blocking the impulses from the nerve to the facial muscles causing them to relax. This results in a smooth, unwrinkled look.

The injections are very small and done with a tiny needle that causes minimal discomfort, but Dr. Bull will apply a numbing cream to your skin to make the injections nearly painless if you desire. The pressure sensation associated with the injection goes away very quickly and patients can return to normal activities immediately after the procedure. Dr. Bull recommends avoiding exercise, heavy lifting and alcohol for 24 hours.

Also avoid massaging the injected area the first day. The treatment takes three to eight days to take full effect which sometimes can be hastened by contracting the facial muscles. The results usually last from three to 5 months.

There are a few risks associated with the injections but are temporary. These include bruising, mild headache, heavy eyelids (ptosis), allergic reaction, flu like syndrome, respiratory infection and nausea. Most of these are rare and resolve with time. If a headache develops, usually it will resolve with Tylenol.

As the BOTOX® Cosmetic wears off the wrinkles begin to reappear but frequently they are not as deep or noticeable. To maintain the smooth, youthful appearance year round, it requires three to four injections. With repeat treatments, the effects tend to last longer thus requiring fewer injections.


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Cutera CoolGlide® Laser Hair Removal

For Women & Men of All Skin Types and Tones

Now men and women alike are making unwanted facial and body hair a thing of the past - thanks to the Cutera CoolGlide Laser. No more painful waxing, electrolysis or razors! The CoolGlide laser delivers 21st century technology for treatment of this problem. Cleared for permanent hair reduction, the CoolGlide laser can treat men and women of all skin types safely and effectively, year-round. Even patients with a suntan.

The Cutera CoolGlide Difference

The Cutera CoolGlide was designed to be the most outstanding laser hair removal system on the market for all skin types, from light to dark, including tanned patients. Its unique design, longer wavelength, and innovative cooling allow extremely effective, safe and permanent results.

What do CoolGlide treatments feel like?

As the name implies, the CoolGlide handpiece cools and soothes as it glides along your skin. When the pulse of light is delivered, some patients experience a mild pinching or stinging sensation. No local anesthesia or pain medication is required; however some patients may prefer to use an anesthetic cream when sensitive areas are treated.

How many treatments will I need?

Most areas require 6 treatments. However, the number of CoolGlide treatments required for optimal long-term benefits depends on multiple factors - hair thickness, the area treated and your hair's growth cycle. Interestingly, not all hairs are actively growing at the same time and actually go through three distinct phases: growth, regression, and resting. CoolGlide treatments work by disabling the hair that is in the active growth phase at the time of treatment. Since other hairs will enter this active growth phase at different times, additional treatments are necessary to disable all of the hair follicles in a given area.

What happens after the treatment?

Immediately following your CoolGlide treatment, the area may appear a bit red and swollen. Three to seven days after treatment you may experience what seems to be regrowth of hair. Actually, most of these hairs are being shed as a result of your treatment and are not regrowing. Between treatments you should not wax or pluck your hair, but it is permissible to shave.

What are the possible side effects?

Although patients experience few side effects, the most commonly noticed are slight reddening and local swelling of the skin, similar to a sunburn. These effects typically last for several hours or less. In rare instances, blistering may occur. Consult with Dr. Bull at The John Bull Center for Cosmetic Surgery and Medispa at Dupage Plastic Surgery for complete information on the benefits and risks of treatment.


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John Bull, M.D.
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
Office Address:
1816 Bay Scott Circle
Suite 112
Naperville, IL 60544
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Dr. Bull has 28 patients available for view in the Before and After Photo Gallery. Click here to visit.

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