Liposuction & Body Contouring
Liposuction is, at the most fundamental level, the removal of excess and unwanted fat through tiny access sites by means of suction techniques. The art of liposuction expands on this basic principle, by aesthetically slimming, smoothing, shaping and sculpting to achieve beautiful and natural contours. Skillful administration of such techniques can bring about excellent results in areas that are otherwise unresponsive to training or diet.
The number of different types of liposuction available today can be a confusing distraction from the two most important parts of the liposuction process: safety and artistry. Understanding your desires and goals, appreciation of the balance between your unique distribution of fat excess and your skin elasticity, and your plastic surgeon’s experience and skill are the prime determinants of the beautiful results you can achieve.
Planning Your Liposuction
The best liposuction outcomes are achieved when you are at or close to your ideal body weight. When areas of localized adiposity, or contained accumulations of fat, remain after a regimen of diet and exercise, liposuction is most appropriate. The best liposuction candidates will have:
- Localized excess fat of the anterior abdomen and flanks
- Good skin elasticity in the region of fat excess
- Worked at diet, cardio and strength training
- A body weight within 10% of ideal, or BMI below 25
Liposuction can remove small, moderate and large amounts of fat depending upon the individual’s desires and physical attributes. Liposuction does not, however, remove excess skin, and can have a variable effect on cellulite. The individual’s inherent skin elasticity plays a significant role in the degree of change that can be achieved with liposuction.
Liposuction has gone through a number of changes over the past decades, the most significant of which was the introduction of a solution to improve both safety and comfort of the procedure. Tumescent liposuction, or superwet liposuction, describe these suction-assisted lipectomy techniques. There has also been a boom in the adjunct modalities with liposuction that can be puzzling to many when considering liposuction, which include:
- Tumescent Liposuction – liposuction using a large volume of solution for maximizing safety, comfort and cosmetic results
- Superwet Liposuction – a moderate volume of solution is used to achieve the best liposuction results
- Suction Assisted Lipectomy (SAL) – classical liposuction, using tiny access sites with thin cannulas (tubes) to remove excess fat
- Power Assisted Lipectomy (PAL) – adds an oscillating tip to help break up dense, fibrous attachments within the fat
- Ultrasound Assisted Lipectomy (UAL) – adds an ultrasound emitting tip to the procedure, assisting in the emulsification of fat
- SmartLipo™ – known as laser lipolysis, purported to “tighten skin” in addition to removing fat with liposuction
- Lipoabdominoplasty – abdominal liposuction in conjunction with a tummy tuck, performed when significant skin excess or inelasticity is present in addition to fat excess
Lower Body Lift
The changes in physique, health and overall well-being that can be achieved with significant weight loss can be remarkable, however certain changes cannot be achieved with diet and exercise alone. Whether weight loss has been accomplished through strict adherence to diet and training, or through bariatric surgical procedures such as lap band or gastric bypass, excess inelastic skin and residual deposits of fat may remain.
A lower body lift describes the surgical process of removing excess skin and fat that remains after weight loss from the midsection and upper thigh region. Given the loss of skin elasticity (imagine an overstretched spring or Slinky), the skin will not always rebound after weight loss, particularly in the abdominal region, flanks, lumbar area, thighs, and gluteal regions. Through direct skin excision, fat excision, liposuction, and muscular strengthening, these areas of the torso, upper thighs and buttock region can be smoothed, slimmed and sculpted. While skin and fat excision after massive weight loss are extremely important, a lower body lift is so much more: it is an extremely delicate, aesthetic, and sculptural process that is geared to create the most beautiful and natural body contour.
Planning Your Lower Body Lift
- Circumferential Dermolipectomy – An “extended abdominoplasty” which progresses circumferentially around the midsection (low circumferential incision lower body lift) with liposuction
- Circumferential Dermolipectomy with Vertical Component – a fleur-de-lis incision anteriorly with a circumferential lower body lift incision with liposuction
The best lower body lift candidates include those with:
- Excessive skin of the anterior abdomen, flanks and back
- Significant inelasticity of torso skin
- Localized excess fat of the midsection
- Droop, sag, or cellulite of the thighs and buttocks
- Bulge of the anterior abdomen
- At a weight loss plateau
Abdominal bulge, lax skin, stretch marks, and excess fat can all result from pregnancy and weight loss. In most cases, no amount of exercise or diet can sufficiently resolve these changes. While quite common following several pregnancies, after twin pregnancy, heavy weight-gain pregnancy, or large birth weight babies, laxity and bulge of the tummy can also frequently be seen after a single pregnancy with even modest weight gain.
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is the surgical process by which the separated abdominal muscles can be repaired, excess skin can be removed, and regional fat can be reduced, resulting in a firmer, flatter, more youthful, and more beautiful midsection contour. Quite a bit more than merely excising skin and fat, an abdominoplasty is an exceptionally sculptural, artistic endeavor that requires a combination of deep understanding of the anatomy and aesthetic vision to achieve the most gorgeous results.
Planning Your Tummy Tuck
The best tummy tuck results can be achieved when you are at or close to an ideal body weight. A comfortable, sustainable weight plateau that can be maintained with a balanced diet and regular, never excessive, exercise is the best point at which to elect abdominoplasty. The best tummy tuck candidates will have:
- Excess skin of the abdomen
- Localized excess fat of the anterior abdomen and flanks
- Weak or bulging abdominal contour
- Diastasis recti (midline separation of the abdominal muscles)
- A body weight within 10% of ideal, or BMI around 25
Tummy tuck procedures can remove excess skin, reduce excess fat by direct excision and liposuction techniques, firm, flatten, and restore abdominal muscle contour, and restore a youthful, natural and proportional aesthetic midsection. The degree of skin excess, fat, and bulge will differ in every individual, and there are a variety of techniques available for their correction:
- Mini abdominoplasty – a mini tummy tuck treats the region limited below the belly button and above the pubic area, and is ideal for isolated excess in this region
- Modified abdominoplasty – a modified tummy tuck corrects both limited anterior skin and fat excess as well as the entire diastasis recti
- Classical abdominoplasty – a full tummy tuck can remove more significant skin and localized fat excess, repairs diastasis recti, and rejuvenates and “re-insets” the umbilicus (belly button)
- Lipoabdominoplasty – tummy tuck in conjunction with liposuction, which provides for additional regional contouring (including flanks and hips) as well as improved shaping and sculpting of the midline abdominal contour