Plastic Surgeons Combine Anatomy with Aesthetics in Performing Liposuction
To achieve favorable results and prevent body contouring irregularities from liposuction, plastic surgeons must completely understand what sites on the body to avoid, how fat is distributed and appreciate the different contours of the male and female body, according to a report in the May issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
In the report, Rod J. Rohrich, MD, and colleagues at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, discuss critical anatomic and aesthetic concepts underlying liposuction. Dr. Rohrich feels that plastic surgeons must identify the five zones of adherence, areas located in the lower region of the body more susceptible to contour deformities.
The zones of adherence are located where minimal or no deep fat deposits exist and where the overlying skin is thin, making these regions more susceptible to such irregularities as skin dimpling, waviness, and burns. Post-liposuction contour irregularities most often occur in the medial and lateral thigh zones of adherence. “Understanding these areas and using a small cannulae, only when necessary, is the key to preventing irregularities,” suggests Dr. Rohrich.
The report also discusses the need to understand the three-dimensional anatomy of fat deposits in the body. Liposuction is often used to eliminate the deeper, underlying layers of fat. The superficial, or top layer is avoided because it provides support for overlying skin.
The different contours of the male and female bodies should also be considered for the best surgical results, note Dr. Rohrich and colleagues. For example, the female form tends to be narrower at the waist, so women are likely to require more sculpting at the waist region than men.
Another consideration important when performing liposuction is weight gain and loss. Dr. Rohrich and colleagues emphasize that weight gain does not occur in a selected area, but is evenly distributed. The opposite is true for weight loss. If a patient loses weight, the excess fat tends to remain in the waist and hips. Liposuction provides an excellent surgical approach to eliminating the unwanted fat in these areas. However, Dr. Rohrich points out that patients should do their part to ensure positive results after liposuction. “The best body contour results are achieved by having the patient participate completely in the body contour cycle by changing his/her diet, exercise, and lifestyle,” says Dr. Rohrich.
ASPS, celebrating its 70th anniversary, was founded in 1931. The leading authority on the specialty of plastic surgery, it is the largest plastic surgery organization in the world, representing physicians certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada