Archive for the ‘Liposuction’ Category

CoolSculpting™ vs. ZERONA®

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010
coolsculpting beverly hills

In my experience, there are plenty of women and men who are searching for liposuction alternatives in Los Angeles. With multiple options, confusion about which techniques can give optimal results is understandable. Some of the newest lipo alternatives – CoolSculpting™ by ZELTIQ™ and ZERONA™ – are making headlines and while these treatments share some similarities, their methods of treatment differ significantly.

 

 

CoolSculpting by ZELTIQ

CoolSculpting by ZELTIQ is a non-surgical liposuction alternative that freezes fat cells, which are then subsequently eliminated through the body’s natural cleansing process. People interested in this treatment usually are experiencing stubborn fat deposits that resist diet and exercise. In addition, common characteristics of CoolSculpting candidates include:

  • People who are within 10 to 15 pounds of their ideal weight
  • Those who want to look better without going “under the knife”
  • People who want a procedure with minimal downtime

CoolSculpting uses a treatment method called Cryolipolysis™. This method targets, cools, and eliminates fat cells, without damaging the surrounding tissue. This procedure is relatively quick, with treatment lasting about 1 to 3 hours.

ZERONA

ZERONA is also a non-surgical liposuction method. It uses laser technology to liquefy targeted fat cells, which are subsequently removed through the body’s natural cleansing process. While this may sound similar to CoolSculpting, ZERONA uses laser technology instead of Cryolipolysis to eliminate the fat cells. However, like CoolSculpting, this treatment is worth considering for people who are close to their ideal body weight and have bulges of fat that do not respond to exercise and diet. Some of the benefits of ZERONA include:

  • No bruising or swelling after treatment
  • No scars
  • No recovery time
  • Minimal to no discomfort

Which Method Is Right for Me?

To find out whether you could benefit from one of these treatments, find a practice near you that offers both CoolSculpting and ZERONA. A practice offering both treatments will be most likely to give you an honest opinion about which one is most likely to provide the greatest benefit given your cosmetic goals.

Why Compression Garments after Liposuction?

Thursday, August 26th, 2010
liposuction beverly hills

Most plastic surgeons will instruct you to wear an elastic compression garment after liposuction in Los Angeles. While it may seem like an inconvenience, wearing the garment is very beneficial for your recovery process and may actually reduce recovery time. Today, I’d like to help you understand how and why they work.

When used after tumescent liposuction, compression garments can help in several important ways. They can:
 

  • Encourage excess fluid to drain effectively
  • Reduce postoperative swelling
  • Minimize bruising
  • Help support your new body contours

With tumescent liposuction, there is always some fluid that remains after the procedure. While this is not dangerous, it may increase bruising, swelling, and tenderness. Traditionally, a plastic surgeon would suture the incisions shut after liposuction, forcing the patient’s circulatory system to filter out the remaining fluid often called a “closed-drainage” technique. More recently, surgeons have begun to use an “open-drainage” system, where the incisions are left open to encourage quick draining. When the fluid is allowed to drain quickly, the tenderness, bruising and swelling don’t last as long and the patient recovers faster.

While the length of your recovery will largely depend on the extent of your liposuction and your unique health and anatomy, a compression garment can help make this process shorter. It will encourage the excess fluid to either be absorbed more quickly or drained more quickly regardless of whether your surgeon performs a “closed” or “open-drainage” technique.

Liposuction – More Than Just Fat Removal

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010
liposuction beverly hills

Liposuction has become one of the country’s most popular cosmetic surgery procedures, because when performed properly by a skilled surgeon, it is quick, safe, and it works. With the tremendous growth in the demand for this procedure, it seems like doctors everywhere are offering liposuction. In Los Angeles, it is not uncommon for dermatologists, gynecologists and general practitioners to offer liposuction procedures. Although liposuction may seem simple, it isn’t, and you should trust only a board-certified-plastic surgeon to perform this procedure.

Liposuction involves so much more than fat removal. My Los Angeles liposuction patients come to me for body sculpting, not just fat removal. What’s the difference?

  • Fat Removal is just about extracting fat from the body. On its own, it does not require an artistic eye or a technique that minimizes bruising, swelling, or scarring.
  • Body Contouring requires a combination of knowledge, technical skill and artistic vision to sculpt targeted areas of the body. These come only through extensive education, training, and experience dedicated to liposuction – not a weekend course.

Other considerations involved with liposuction include evaluation of skin tone, the patient’s weight, advanced sculpting techniques, treating smaller or more difficult areas, and above all else, patient safety. All of these factors are additional reasons why it matters a great deal who is performing the liposuction procedure.

There are also numerous types of liposuction available, and it important that your doctor understands the best type of liposuction for your particular needs. I teach liposuction courses to other surgeons, and cannot emphasize enough that the combination of a skilled, knowledgeable surgeon with the right contouring technique for your cosmetic goals is essential for a pleasing outcome.

Los Angeles Liposuction: Common Questions from Patients

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010
liposuction beverly hills

In Southern California and Los Angeles, liposuction is often the subject of many celebrity news stories. Today I thought I’d take a moment to discuss a few common questions my staff and I receive regarding liposuction, laser liposuction, and Smartlipo™.

Are some areas of the body resistant to, or inappropriate for, liposuction?

Certainly, some areas of the body are more difficult to treat, particularly areas like the “love handles” or lower back where fat is interspersed between fibrous muscle tissue. However, virtually all areas of the body can be treated with liposuction. Some liposuction technologies are better than others for treating particular areas, and sometimes a combination of technologies produces the most favorable result. A qualified plastic surgeon can determine how to help you reach your personal aesthetic goals.

What is the difference between traditional and tumescent liposuction?

Traditional liposuction is performed under general anesthesia, using an instrument to dislodge and remove fatty tissue. Tumescent liposuction improves upon this technique through the use of large volumes of saline, anesthesia, and adrenaline injected into the treatment area to create a fluid “pocket” surrounding the fatty deposits. The injection of tumescent fluid makes the fat cells easier to separate and remove from the body. Practically all plastic surgeons use the tumescent technique these days because it makes the surgery and recovery period easier.

Is Smartlipo an alternative to tumescent liposuction?

No, Smartlipo is not an alternative to tumescent liposuction. Instead, it is one of many different techniques to be used during tumescent liposuction to dissolve or destroy fat in target areas. These techniques include mechanical disruption (PAL), ultrasound dissolution (UAL), or laser lipolysis.

Smartlipo uses bursts of laser energy to liquefy fat cells, which are then removed with a suction device. The laser energy also seals blood vessels, which can help reduce bruising, swelling, and healing time. As an added benefit, the procedure stimulates collagen production and causes tissues to contract, leaving skin looking tightened and toned. It’s an excellent technology for removing small areas of localized fat—or as an adjunct to other liposuction technologies.

My focus is on positive patient outcomes, and I always strive to use the best approach, including new techniques and technologies, to meet each patient’s unique aesthetic needs.

Getting Branded: Liposuction by Any Other Name

Thursday, January 21st, 2010
liposuction beverly hills

No one can deny the power of big-name brands – whether they are cars, fashion designers, or even on the shelves of your grocery store. So, it’s not surprising that they’ve become a part of the plastic surgery industry as well. One of the places we’re seeing this the most is with liposuction. Branded liposuction technology has the power of name-recognition, but is it really safer and does it provide better results?

Names You’ve Heard

Here are some of the names you may have heard:

  • VASER® LipoSelection® uses an ultrasound probe to break up fat cells for easier removal.
  • Cynosure Smartlipo™ uses laser energy to break up fat cells. It has the added benefit of reducing bleeding and bruising for faster recovery and can aid in the tightening of skin after liposuction, for a smoother look.
  • Palomar SlimLipo™ also uses laser energy and suggests benefits similar to those of the Smartlipo procedure.
  • CoolTouch® CoolLipo™ is also a method of laser-assisted liposuction.

Are They Better?

The main question regarding these branded liposuction devices is whether they offer better outcomes than similar technology not backed by a marketing effort. In their article, the Plastic Surgery Channel suggests that some surgeons offer these procedures because the name-recognition may help differentiate their practice from their competitors. Is this really the “right” reason to do it? I think not. And, even if technology is superior, inferior surgical skill can reduce effectiveness, making the branded technology a non-issue.

I choose to use Smartlipo liposuction at my Los Angeles practice because it does offer distinct benefits for my patients. I’ve found that it truly does live up to its claims of limited recovery time and superior results. However, for ultrasonic liposuction and Power Assisted Liposuction (PAL), I don’t boast any big-name brands. I’ve found technology to assist me in these procedures that provides optimal safety and effectiveness – factors even the most hyped brands can’t beat. In short, I’m always looking for the best methods for my patients, not basing my decisions upon marketing but instead on quality. Better name does NOT necessarily mean better results.

I’m not suggesting that mine is the only opinion. I think you’d get a variety of different responses from different surgeons, and you may even have your own opinion if you’ve had a liposuction procedure yourself. So, I’d like to hear from you – patients and surgeons. Do you think the branded technology is better?

Which Liposuction Technique Works Best with Abdominoplasty?

Thursday, October 29th, 2009
Abdominoplasty Beverly Hills

Sometimes when patients are asking me if they’ll need a tummy tuck or liposuction, the best answer is really “both.” For moms and post-weight-loss patients particularly, a tummy tuck alone just won’t take care of the extra fat that usually collects near problem areas like the hips, lower belly, and thighs. Even for many men, it usually doesn’t make sense to deal with the muscle and skin, but ignore the fat altogether.

With so many different liposuction options available today, how do you know which to go with? In general, I prefer Power-Assisted Liposuction (PAL) and sometimes I will also use Ultrasonic or Smartlipo™ Laser-Assisted Liposuction. Here’s why:

  • PAL does a better job of dealing with larger fatty deposits. Abdominal fat tends to collect as a single large deposit instead of multiple smaller ones, and the gentle vibrations of PAL make it much easier for me to remove that large patch of fat without harming the muscle and the skin that I’ll need to take care of during the abdominoplasty.
  • PAL with UAL or Smartlipo gives better definition. For some patients this isn’t an issue, since an abdominoplasty in Beverly Hills by itself will do a pretty good job of emphasizing whatever muscle definition you already have. But very often I’ll have patients who want abdominal etching or microliposuction to help delineate their muscle tone a little better, and Smartlipo lends itself well to the very-small-scale fat removal that this kind of procedure involves.

Dr. Grant Stevens

Dr. Grant Stevens

I am a board-certified Beverly Hills plastic surgeon with over 20 years of experience researching and implementing new approaches to plastic surgery. At Plastic Surgery Insider, you get the benefit of my experience and authority when you read my perspectives on the latest news and procedures in plastic surgery.
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