By Dr. Paul Vitenas, Jr.
On a cold winter day, it’s too easy to throw on baggy, comfortable clothes and forget about those stubborn areas of soft, pudgy fat. Underneath that cute holiday sweater, however, the all-too-tight pants you have stuffed into are screaming out the truth. In the middle of the hectic holiday season, stop and take a moment to plan something beautiful for the most important person on the Christmas list – yourself. Liposuction and CoolSculpting can help you to stop being a ‘stocking stuffer’ by shedding those frustrating lumps and bumps of fat. But which one is best for you? While the goal of each procedure is the same, eliminating stubborn fat, they are not interchangeable.
Semi-invasive Fat Elimination – Liposuction:
Liposuction is one of the most trusted and most popular cosmetic surgery procedures. With today’s
cutting-edge techniques, liposuction can sculpt and contour almost any area of the body. Scarring is well-hidden, the recovery is quick, and side-effects are minimal.
Liposuction uses the theory of negative pressure to vacuum out unwanted fat cells. To begin, very small incisions, about an 1/8 of an inch, will be made along the treatment area. Through these incisions, a cannula will be inserted, injecting a saline solution to break up the fatty tissue. Finally, the fat cells are suctioned away through the cannula, creating smoother, sculpted features. While the specific treatment area and extent of correction will vary, liposuction is normally performed under general anesthesia, takes from one to two hours, and allows patients to be home resting the same afternoon.
The benefits from liposuction can be noticed immediately. However, swelling and bruising are common
after treatment. Optimal results can take several weeks to appear, as all of the residual swelling resolves. A benefit of liposuction is that each technique can be individually tailored for a smooth, sculpted result. Patients are usually tender and sore after the liposuction procedures and should expect to take several days off work to rest and recover. Liposuction is commonly used to contour the abdomen, buttocks, thighs, flanks, upper arms, and below the chin. Patients wanting a less dramatic fat reduction may want to consider CoolSculpting.
Non-surgical Fat Elimination – CoolSculpting:
CoolSculpting has taken the aesthetic world by storm. Approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a safe and effective method for fat elimination in 2010, CoolSculpting is now a favorite noninvasive
technique. The procedure takes less than an hour, requires no downtime, and holds little chance for complication.
CoolSculpting uses a fat freezing technique known as cryolipolysis to eliminate unwanted fatty tissue. The specially designed CoolSculpting applicators are placed along the target area, which then quickly chill the tissue. The treatment selectively freezes the fat, and the damaged cells are then metabolized and eliminated by the body. Healthy tissue is unharmed during the CoolSculpting procedure. Traditional CoolSculpting takes one hour, but the newest technology – the CoolAdvantage – allows for the same great results in only 35 minutes. With no incisions, there is no chance for infection or scarring. Patients are back to their normal routine immediately after treatment.
The results from CoolSculpting take up to three months to appear, as the body needs time to eliminate the frozen fat cells. Each treatment will provide up to a 25% reduction in fat in the target area. For those looking for additional contouring, a second CoolSculpting procedure can be safely performed. CoolSculpting can be used to improve the tummy, inner/outer thighs, flanks, upper arms, and even the chin. Patients looking for more extensive body sculpting may find they need a surgical technique like
Liposuction and CoolSculpting: A Holiday Present That Lasts for Years to Come:
Over the next several months, Liposuction and CoolSculpting can provide excellent results, but moreover, they also offer physical rejuvenation that can last for years. Once the fat cells are eliminated, they do not return. To make the most of the results, a healthy lifestyle with a proper diet and exercise routine should be continued. Remember, although the treated fat cells may be gone forever, the surrounding tissue can still expand.
Before Santa makes his way down the chimney, make a trip to meet with a board certified plastic surgeon, like Houston’s Dr. Paul Vitenas. Contact Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery at (281) 484-0088 to schedule a complimentary fat elimination consultation. With Dr. Vitenas’ help, you will stop being a stocking stuffer and start to ‘sleigh’ with beautiful curves.
By Miguel Delgado, M.D.
Usually, the eyes will be the first part of the face to show aging by droopy upper lids or puffy lower lids. Other factors besides aging that cause eyelids to droop may be heredity and sun damage. It is not surprising since the skin of the eyelids is the most delicate and thinnest skin on our body.
Other than our vision, our eyes communicate our feelings and are what people focus on the most when we interact. Are you tired of looking tired when you are feeling great? Cosmetic eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, offers a refreshed and youthful appearance. Eyelid surgery may be for upper or lower eyes or both and may be combined with a brow lift and/or facelift.
There are different surgical techniques for eyelid surgery depending on a patient’s anatomy and the patient’s goals. For the upper eyelids, the natural crease of the lid hides the incision. Excess fat and skin are removed, and adjustments are made to surrounding muscles. Once healed, the incision is hidden in the fold of the skin. Lower eyelid surgery that removes bags or puffiness can be achieved by making an incision at the edge of the lower lid beneath the lashes. In some cases, the incision may be inside the lower eyelid. Fat is then removed or repositioned to create a smooth contour under the eye and sometimes muscle tightening may be performed.
Eyelid surgery does not remove fine lines and wrinkles, but Botox, a chemical peel or SmartSkin Laser treatment may be done. If only eyelid surgery is done, it can be performed with either local anesthesia or IV sedation. Most patients can return to work after 5 to 7 days.
For some patients, medical insurance may cover eyelid surgery if an exam and a visual field test prove the patient has a visual obstruction.
By Miguel Delgado, M.D.
CO₂ lasers have been around for years. Older versions of lasers used higher power and ran “hotter” making for a longer recovery and sometimes the skin looked bleached for an extended amount of time.
Today we have SmartSkin Fractional CO₂ Laser with customized treatments to match the patient’s needs, instead of a “one size fits all.”
SmartSkin can treat any area of the body such as; the face, neck, chest and hands. The laser will treat; wrinkles, fine lines, large pores, acne scars, loose skin, and sun damage, not just the face, as was the case with older CO₂ laser treatments.
SmartSkin uses what is referred to as “dot treatment,” new technology where thousands of tiny CO₂ laser dots are treating only the needed areas. SmartSkin is more superficial with minimal discomfort using only topical numbing cream. Healing time is much faster; you may have some redness of the skin that feels like a minor sunburn.
The length of treatment will depend on the size and number of areas to be treated. The skin will improve for several weeks with continuous formation of new collagen.
By Miguel Delgado, M.D.
Full lips are a very popular trend in cosmetic enhancements. There are many options available and a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon is recommended.
The FDA recently gave Allergan approval to market VOLBELLA for lip augmentation and correction of perioral rhytids, those annoying wrinkles around the lips.
For years, patients have been seeking fuller lips and ways to soften the lines around the mouth with various fillers. VOLBELLA is unlike any other product currently available in the United States.
Juvederm VOLBELLA is a soft, smooth gel formulated with VYCROSS® technology – a blend of high and low molecular weight hyaluronic acids – which contribute to the gel’s duration. In addition, Juvéderm VOLBELLA® XC has been customized with a lower HA concentration (15 mg/mL), which means less swelling while still providing the long-lasting results healthcare providers expect. VOLBELLA is injected with an ultra-fine needle and contains 0.3% Lidocaine, a local anesthetic which reduces discomfort from the injection.
VOLBELLA injections give a smoother, softer consistency, comparable to the natural feel of your lips. The treatment includes:
• Accentuating the border of the lips
• Smoothing the vertical lip lines (also known as smoker’s lines)
• Making lips fuller and plumper
• Enhancing the cupid’s bow (the mid-upper lip)
Dr. Miguel Delgado, M.D. states that several clinical trials showed results lasted through 1 year.
By Dr. Paul Vitenas, Jr.
Fat reduction remains one of the most common plastic surgery procedures performed every year. While the technique is popular for both men and women, different genders are not necessarily looking for improvements in the same areas. Men generally accumulate unwanted fatty tissue along the flanks, or ‘love handles’. Women deal with lumpy fat in multiple areas including the stomach, inner and outer thighs, as well as the hips and flanks. Regardless of the treatment area, modern techniques and cutting-edge technology have changed the fat reduction game.
Liposuction – Traditional, Surgical Fat Reduction:
Liposuction has been around since the mid-1970s. It is a tried and true method of eliminating isolated pockets of fatty tissue that do not respond well to diet and exercise. Liposuction is a dependable technique for body sculpting, used by surgeons to meticulously contour areas of the body. The results from liposuction can be dramatic and are long-lasting, as the eliminated fat cells will not return.
However, good results from liposuction will depend on several factors including the treatment area, the individual patients, and the surgeon’s qualifications. “Liposuction is a very delicate procedure,” says South Carolina plastic surgeon, Dr. Jarrod Daniel. “You need to have that done by someone who is very experienced.” Patients who chose a novice surgeon may find their results to be uneven, bumpy, and asymmetrical, especially in more difficult-to-treat areas like the outer thighs.
CoolSculpting – Modern, Noninvasive Fat Reduction:
The newest fat elimination treatment on the market, CoolSculpting, does not require any incisions, sutures, or downtime. The technique only takes an hour to perform and surgeons boasting DualSculpting capabilities (two CoolSculpting machines) can treat multiple areas at one time. Since the painless procedure is performed in a treatment room, without anesthesia, patients are back to their normal routine immediately, unlike the recovery period required with liposuction.
CoolSculpting reduces fatty tissue along almost any area of the body including the abdomen, thighs, flanks, lower back, upper arms, and even the chin. It takes several months for the fat cells to be eliminated by the body, however, which is a drawback to the CoolSculpting procedure. Additionally, the results are generally more moderate than with liposuction, as each CoolSculpting procedure produces roughly a 20% reduction in fat. While CoolSculpting has specialized applicators, tailored to each area of the body, doctors do not have the same ability to contour targeted locations, as they do with liposuction.
A Dollar for Dollar Cost Comparison:
Liposuction can cost between $7,000 and $15,000 depending on the treatment area and level of correction needed. The price includes the operating room, anesthesiologist fees, compression garment and follow-up appointments. CoolSculpting may not bring the same dramatic results as liposuction, but it is more cost effective. On average, CoolSculpting can cost from $800-$2,000 for one treatment area. However, for patients wanting more than one CoolSculpting procedure, the cost variable becomes much smaller.
Finding the Right Fat Elimination Procedure for You:
The best way to determine which fat reduction treatment will best achieve your desired results is to schedule a consultation appointment with a top plastic surgeon. Dr. Paul Vitenas has 25 years of fat elimination experience and has performed hundreds of successful procedures. For patient convenience, The Houston Surgery Center, Dr. Vitenas’ private surgical suite, is located in the same building as is his luxurious overnight recovery room. Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery also offers patients the option of DualSculpting, and the latest CoolAdvantage applicator for noninvasive fat elimination treatments that take only 35 minutes.
Call Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery at (281) 484-0088 to schedule your complimentary fat elimination consultation today.
By Miguel Delgado, M.D.
Some women are not candidates for breast augmentation with breast implants no matter what type of implants are used. Despite how many preventative measures surgeons may take, these patients develop capsular contracture around their breast implants. There are also women that do not want implants but still desire to have fuller breasts without visible scars.
The latest technology now offers women an alternative to breasts implants, and that is using their own fat via fat transfer!
25 years ago the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) banned the use of fat transfer to the breasts claiming the results were unpredictable. Fat nodules were difficult to differentiate from cancer for radiologists.
Today, there have been significant advances in technology for ultrasound, MRI, and mammograms. Also, there is “Coleman Technique,” where the surgeon removes fat from a donor site by liposuction of the patient, usually the tummy, flanks or inner thighs. The fat is then purified by placing the fat into a centrifuge, and the fat and stem cells are separated from fluids and oil.
Now ASPS acknowledges breast augmentation by fat transfer has become a great option for women who desire natural looking fuller breasts without implants. With the increase of breast augmentation by fat transfer, many women seeking breast revision surgery are opting for fat transfer instead of new implants.
In addition to a natural augmentation of the breasts, there is the added benefit of reducing fat from the donor site. Dr. Miguel Delgado, M.D. states that both procedures are done the same day in about 3 to 4 hours with recovery in about 7 to 10 days.