Body contouring is among the most artistic of plastic surgery operations. Advances in both body contouring technology and technique have given patients a number of options both surgical and non-surgical to improve their silhouette. Many times these options can lead to confusion about which is the best option to address the issue at hand. During your consultation with Dr. Lee he will listen to your concerns, educate you on the underlying cause, and spend time discussing your options for addressing those concerns.
“Not only can liposuction make an area smaller, but when it’s done right it can be used to artistically sculpt, shape, enhance and define the natural curves for a more beautiful 360 degree silhouette. “ I use S.A.F.E. Liposuction®–which I consider to be the new gold standard for body contouring. In my experience it allows for greater volumes of fat removal and overall better results. I would call it the most significant advancement of modern day body sculpting.” — Michael Lee, M.D.
“The term ‘Mommy Makeover’ refers to a combination of procedures that focus on the areas most affected by pregnancy. It’s definitely not a cookie cutter operation, but rather a highly individualized surgical plan related to a woman’s body, the changes that have taken place and what results she is seeking. We are talking about advanced body contouring that until now was not thought possible in one operation…from the removal of excess skin, to literally redefining a patient’s body to the size, shape, look, and feel they want. It’s one of the most satisfying aspects of aesthetic surgery for me because it allows a patient to be less self-conscious and see herself as a woman again.” — Michael Lee, M.D.
Modern day body contouring commonly involves treatment of loose skin and reduction or redistribution of excess fat. Overall the goal is to create a more aesthetically pleasing body contour. Not every patient wants the same look and understandably so. This is why Dr. Lee takes the time to listen to each patient explain the changes they want made.
While many body contouring procedures involve removing excess skin, such as with an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) or extremity lifts (arm lifts/thigh lifts), not everyone is willing to have the required scar. Likewise, there are patients that desire fat to augment their buttocks and create a more curvaceous look while others simply want to remove fat from their love handles or muffin top. removed. Consultation with Dr. Lee provides the foundation for achieving your surgical goals. Knowing your treatment options and the associated trade-offs of each are an important factor in determining the best treatment for you.
It is very important that patients do their homework when choosing a surgeon for combination procedures. The popularity of body contouring procedures such as liposuction and “mommy makeovers” have attracted practitioners who are not certified or trained in the nuances of breast surgery, abdominoplasty and liposuction. The surgeon should be board certified by the ABMS (American Board of Medical Specialties) specifically in the specialty of Plastic Surgery.
Find a surgeon with whom you feel comfortable and confident. There should be open communication and a sense of being heard. He or she should be able to deliver an individualized surgical plan. You don’t want a practitioner that does the same operation on everyone. Study their photo gallery.
If breast augmentation or a breast lift with an implant are part of your body contouring procedure, be certain you can expect follow up visits with your surgeon who plans follow up visits since implants are not lifetime devices. Dr. Lee prefers to see his implant patients at least every year to make sure everything is appropriate.
Recovery is variable and depends on the specific surgical plan that you decide upon with Dr. Lee. Determining the best treatment for you involves understanding the downtime associated with each option. Dr. Lee will help explain what each procedure means in terms of recovery.
Dr. Lee’s main priority when discussing body contouring is understanding exactly what the patient’s concern is and educating them on the options available to treat those concerns either surgically or non-surgically. His goal is always to create an effective treatment plan that accomplishes the patient’s desires while keeping their expectations, lifestyle and budget in mind. There are tradeoffs and limitations with some of the fat reducing treatments on the market. Once a patient is informed of all relevant treatment options, it is up to them to decide the best course of action. Determining the correct treatment plan for his patients is of primary importance to Dr. Lee. He emphasizes that some patients may not be interested in dramatic large changes, and that is ok. “It’s all about the patient.”
Anytime Dr. Lee is performing excision of excess skin, such as with abdominoplasty (tummy-tuck), brachioplasty (arm lift), thighplasty (thigh lift), or mastopexy (breast lift), top priority is scar location and aggressive post-surgical scar care are top priorities.
The vast majority of body contouring procedures involve reduction or redistribution of underlying fat. Dr. Lee uses the process of S.A.F.E. Liposuction® whenever performing liposuction and/or fat augmentation. He explains how this method minimizes complications and maximizes the result. S.A.F.E. Liposuction® is different in that it is a process for improved results. This means he is not limited by the technology. Unlike ultrasound, laser, or radio frequency, Dr. Lee can separate the fat cells very selectively and minimize damage to blood vessels and nerves. More separation is realized than is possible with either water jet or traditional liposuction techniques. He can also do more separation than you get with water jet or traditional. S.A.F.E. Liposuction® also gives Dr. Lee the opportunity to smooth out any irregular areas after suction is complete. – NONE of the other methods allow for this. Because of the results Dr. Lee has accomplished with S.A.F.E. Liposuction® he is convinced it is the best method available today. If I didn’t think it was the best way to do liposuction – I wouldn’t do it. But once you’ve seen the results it’s hard to do it any other way.
S.A.F.E. Liposuction® can be used in circumferential fashion–360 degrees around the trunk to “shrink wrap” the entire waste. It can also be used to treat fat in the bra area, inner and outer thighs, and even shape the buttocks. As an adjunct procedure it can be used with facelifts, neck lifts, breast reduction, breast lift, arm lift and thigh lift. It offers the most consistent means of contouring from one area to other. Dr. Lee’s approach is not limited to “spot treatments” but rather sculpting the front, back and sides to create the ideal silhouette. Not every patient needs a complete trunk liposuction, but Dr. Lee believes in those that do, there is no better way to achieve a fantastic result.
One of the biggest benefits to using S.A.F.E. Lipo® is the quality of the fat removed. The fat has been handled very gently which is extremely important when fat grafting to the buttocks and other areas. Fat is characteristically unpredictable, and every aspect of how it is handled is important to its survival.
“In Dr. Lee’s my experience, S.A.F.E. Lipo® fat is delivered in its most pristine form and is more apt to “take” when it is placed in areas where volume is desired. Fat grafting can be part of facial rejuvenation, Brazilian butt lift, and hand rejuvenation. Regardless of the location where more volume is desired, the body can now be more meticulously sculpted than in years past with the combination of S.A.F.E. Lipo® and fat grafting.”
Liposuction is intended for removal of fat, either in isolated areas or across a more comprehensive area such as the case with the abdomen and waist, resulting in a more aesthetic contour. Both age and pregnancy affect skin’s elasticity. In youth, the abdominal skin more quickly regains its original shape and integrity. As we mature, the skin does not “rebound” as well. Pregnancy affects both the quality and amount of excess skin. A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) tightens the abdominal wall muscles and removes excess skin of the abdomen. Doing liposuction on loose skin may remove the fat, but make skin look lax, crepey and wrinkled. Liposuction is often combined with abdominoplasty to achieve a more refined aesthetic silhouette in the waist, hips and flanks. The two procedures do not substitute for one another. In fact, they often complement one another. Each has its place. A tummy tuck re-shapes and removes skin. Liposuction re-contours and removes fat.
Noninvasive fat melting or freezing devices are very popular. They promise to eliminate fat through ultrasound, cryolipolysis (freezing) and radio frequency– sidestepping surgery altogether. These methods affect only the surface of the fat layer and are not meant to replace liposuction, nor do they deliver similar results. You’ll typically require several treatments (4-6) and each treatment takes between 20 and 60 minutes. They do deliver some result over a period of months, but nothing as dramatic as the results with liposuction surgery.
Liposuction is not intended to get rid of cellulite. In fact, it can make it worse. Cellulite is not fat-it is actually fibrous bands in the dermal layer that pull down the skin creating a dimpled look. There are some new non-surgical devices recently introduced that deliver the best treatment for cellulite. Stretch marks also don’t respond well to liposuction because the skin may not recoil at all when extra fat is removed.
Traditional liposuction simply uses a cannula to suction out the fat that has not been separated. Laser (Smart Lipo®), Ultrasound Lipo, and Radio Frequency Lipo use heat, high frequency pulsing waves and radio frequency energy respectively to remove fat. The potential problem with all 3 of these methods is that they are non-selective–they have the potential to damage tissue such as nerves and blood vessels along with destroying fat. Water jet uses water to help with fat removal. While there is less damage to tissue, there is minimal fat separation. Dr. Lee uses use either manual or power-assisted S.A.F.E. Lipo® in which the vibrating cannula allows for easier suction. “S.A.F.E. Lipo® minimizes any damage to the tissues, allows for maximal fat removal and creates a smoother contour with less chance for surface irregularities which is why it is my choice for all my liposuction patients. The results are significantly better–all over the body– than other methods I have used.”
Contact our office to schedule a private consultation with Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Michael Lee. This is the next step to determine which Park Cities Cosmetic Surgery procedure is the best option, giving you the desired outcome after surgery. Dr. Michael Lee will spend time with you to learn about your medical history and your expected outcome for surgery, as well as explaining the procedure in detail and answering all of your questions.