Body Sculpting at its Best: From Liposuction to Re-LIPO-sition
With a cosmetic surgery career that has spanned the last 33 years, I have been very fortunate to participate in the evolution of cosmetic surgery and its many exciting advancements. When liposuction first came to the U.S. in the early ‘80s, it was a game changer. In my view, this procedure has changed the face of cosmetic surgery over the past century—more than any other.
The Early Days of Liposuction
During its first decade, liposuction instruments were very crude. My 1983 cannula was very large (6mm) and very rough on the tissues which sometimes created irregularities. Results were sometimes uneven due to the bulkiness of the instruments. Another factor is that liposuction is a “blind” procedure since the cannula cannot be seen when performing the procedure. To combat this problem, I developed a technique I called the “Methodical Block Technique” which I published in 1984 in the American Journal Cosmetic Surgery. With this technique, a grid of squares is drawn on all areas that are going to be sculpted. As I move the cannula through a specific square, my assistant actually counts the number of strokes done in that square. If 100 strokes were done in a square, the square on the opposing side is done with 100 strokes. This assures that the result is as even and symmetrical as possible.
About eight years ago, the SMART Lipo™ Laser was introduced. This was a huge advancement since it creates a skin-tightening effect. Before the use of this ND Yag 1064 laser, patients were told that their skin laxity would get worse after liposuction due to fat loss. Now with the use of this laser, the fat can be removed while the skin stays the same as it was preoperatively. If further skin tightening is desired with the laser alone (without the traditional cannula) it can be done six months or later.
Today’s Liposuction—and “Re-LIPO-sition”
At half the diameter of yesteryear’s cannula, I now use a 3mm cannula attached to an electrically-motored oscillator. This is very delicate on the tissues and produces a much more refined result.
About eight years ago, we also began to re-inject about 10% of the fat right back into the areas being sculpted. The area is then massaged in eight different directions for a beautiful smoothing effect. This is when I began taking fat from one area to reposition it in another area. I called it “re-LIPO-sition,” another game-changer for body sculpting.
Re-LIPO-sition is now one of my favorite procedures. As we age, it’s very common for the buttocks to become flat while the love handles and abdomen become full. With re-LIPO-sition, we first liposuction fuller areas. We then transfer that very same fat into the buttocks with a layering technique I developed. This creates the desired shape with incredibly natural-looking results.
Notice in these before and after photos, that by adding fat to the buttocks, the waist actually looks thinner and cellulite appears less noticeable. These areas now complement each other very nicely.
So, if you’ve ever laughingly said, “I wish I could take THIS fat and move it THERE,” you actually can. Together, liposuction and re-LIPO-sition can give you the body sculpting contours and balanced appearance you’ve been dreaming of.