By Rafael G. Magana, MD
Not only is liposuction one of the most common procedures performed today in the world of plastic surgery (third place in 2014 and up by 5% since 2013), it is also one of the procedures that has undergone the most technical advances in the past few years.
We commonly hear teams like liposuction, super wet liposuction, smart liposuction, and Vaser 4D liposuction. The thing to understand is that they part from the same principles, which consist of injecting a special physiologic solution to the areas (tumescent solution) where liposuction will be performed. Then, one of several techniques to help make that fat easier to suction out is applied, such as mechanical means (cannula), laser, or ultrasound. This is followed by the actual suctioning of the excess fat from the site to be sculpted.
When done with the right training finesse, experience, and training in plastic surgery—in addition to a full understanding of the patient’s expectations—liposuction can yield remarkable results. It is common to do liposuction to certain areas such as the abdomen or flanks (love handles).
My approach is to do a full body liposuction with enhancement of natural structures for a more pleasing aesthetic result. This is known as liposuction/liposculpture. 4D Vaser has become the tool of choice for this type of procedure. It allows for not only full body sculpting, but also harvesting of viable fat for transposition to other areas of the body, such as the buttocks, in order to provide the popular “Brazilian butt lift.”
Liposculpture allows the surgeon to create a more defined and toned appearance of the muscles, since Vaser 4D also provides enough heat to help contraction of the skin to a greater extent than traditional liposuction, which did not contract the skin, leaving excess skin to contend with in a second procedure. This was typically seen in the arms and mid-thigh areas, as well as lower abdomen. In many cases, people who would have been a candidate for a tummy tuck (removal of skin and tissue from lower abdomen) now are able to get great results through Vaser technology (Ultrasound liposuction/liposculpture).
Liposculpture procedures are typically done as an outpatient procedure and the patient is able to go home afterwards. A total of 5 lt. are typically removed from different areas of the body. If the patient requires more volume to be removed, I recommend they stay in the hospital overnight, although the great majority of patients do not require removal of more than 5lt. of fat (5kg or11 lbs.) for liposculpture.
Recovery time is relatively short and patients are usually back to normal activities in a few days. There is usually some bruising, particularly in the arms and shoulder areas, and also the flank areas.
Being a former sculptor and Hollywood make-up artist has led me to understand what questions to ask about a patient’s physical aspirations prior to operating. A diversity in ethnic backgrounds brings with it a variety of body type requests. Many men want a “six pack” and or prominent shoulder and triceps muscles with reduction of love handles and visibility of the inguinal area next to the lower six pack area under the belly button. Many times I will see women who request an “hour glass figure” with a buttock lift. Occasionally some women who are more athletic want to have visible abdominal musculature and combination therapy with breast augmentation.
A milieu of pictures and images are reviewed with the patient and discussed in depth to have the same vision in both of our minds as to what the patient’s objectives and ultimate physical goals are. The key is good communication and a good candidate for full body liposculpture, a new trend in body reshaping and remodeling.
I recommend that whomever performs your liposculpture is a “Core Trained Plastic Surgeon,” who are the most qualified surgeons to perform “head-to-toe” plastic surgery.
For more information:
Dr. Rafael G. Magana
935 Park Avenue, Suite 1B, NYC