The Power of PAL (Power-assisted Liposuction)

Liposuction has consistently remained one of the most popular cosmetic plastic surgery procedures for men and women who wish to re-contour localized parts of their body. Even with the introduction of alternative body contouring treatments like SculpSure™ nonsurgical fat reduction, liposuction ranks among the top three most sought after procedures. There are several different liposuction techniques board-certified plastic surgeons can use to target accumulated fat cells, but today, I want to talk about fighting unwanted fat with PAL (Power-assisted liposuction).

The Power of PAL (Power-assisted Liposuction)In 2015 alone, the reported number of liposuction procedures jumped 5% with over 222,000 procedures performed just in the U.S.* – and ranking it second just behind breast augmentation. Starting with the basics, traditional liposuction patients typically treat areas that have become resistant to exercise and healthy eating like: thighs, love handles, abdomen, chin, buttocks, etc. Utilizing the tumescent liposuction technique, which uses an injected anesthetic fluid to make fat removal smoother, quicker, and safer, a small incision hidden within the natural contours of the body is made to allow a very thin tube (called a cannula) to reach the fatty tissue. It’s with the help of the cannula that I’m able to manually suction the fat out effectively.

What is power-assisted liposuction (PAL)?

Power-assisted liposuction (PAL) uses a special mechanical cannula that creates rapid vibrations within the layers of the fat. The vibrations break up the fat cells and make it much easier to suction out affected cells from the treatment area. The benefits of PAL include:

  • Allows more precise excess fat removal which lead to better liposuction results
  • Can sculpt once harder to reach areas like the inner thighs, male breasts, and around the belly button + harder to suction, more fibrous fat
  • Micro-movements let me target specific areas of fat without damaging the surrounding tissue
  • Quicker treatment times – means less time you spend in the operating room and the faster you get to rest easy in your own home
  • Less bruising
  • Reduced recovery time

What else can power-assisted liposuction (PAL) be used for?

Using a patient’s own harvested fat during cosmetic procedures has opened the doors for more ways to augment the body (specifically the face, breast, and buttocks) in recent years. I personally have been interested in using power-assisted liposuction beyond body contouring and have found this technique to be particularly advantageous during fat transfer procedures. I’ve found it can provide great benefits when used during Brazilian Butt Lifts and have even developed my own technique that has attracted worldwide attention. This technique not only reduces the amount of pressure and damage to the fat cells, which results in potentially improved survival when added to its new donor site, but also has been proven to reduce a patient’s operation time by as much as 45 minutes to an hour.

As board-certified plastic surgeons, we are constantly researching new techniques and implementing those that help increase not only a patient’s safety, but their happiness with their results. Patients that are physically and mentally sound, have small amounts of localized fat, and aren’t seeing toned results, despite eating properly and staying active, make good candidates for power-assisted liposuction. The best way my patients can keep their svelte look after their liposuction procedure is to keep this reminder in mind: once I remove the fat cells, they’re gone forever – but that doesn’t mean fat cells can’t accumulate in other surrounding areas if you experience significant weight gain. Liposuction is not a weight-loss solution and requires your active participation in leading a health and wellness-conscious lifestyle if you want to get the most out of your liposuction results.

Surgical and Nonsurgical Fat Reduction

Atlanta Sculpsure Results (2)When Laser Lights Cosmetic Laser Center was added to the Southern Plastic Surgery practice, we had big dreams for it. We wanted our Atlanta area patients to have access to both nonsurgical and surgical plastic surgery and skincare services. Technology continues to impress as it gets more effective and readily available to treat people with a wide range of skin tones, types, and conditions. For decades, liposuction was the only way patients could target and remove fat cells from a specific area of the body, but patients now want noninvasive options to reduce stubborn fat without the downtime associated with plastic surgery. Even cosmetic injectables, like Kybella™ fat reduction for the double chin, have given patients even more fat reduction options than they’ve had access to in previous years. Depending on your specific preferences, you can now eliminate stubborn pockets of fat from many parts of the body with two different methods: surgical and nonsurgical fat reduction procedures.

Atlanta Sculpsure Results (2)Surgical fat reduction with liposuction (performed at Southern Plastic Surgery):

Despite the increase in nonsurgical fat removal technology, liposuction remains one of the top 5 procedures performed each year by board-certified plastic surgeons. With the American Society of Plastic Surgeons recording 222,051 procedures in 2015, and a 5% increase from 2014, liposuction is a well sought-after body contouring procedure. What liposuction isn’t?  A solution for weight loss. Patients who have small pockets of localized fat (think pockets of fat on the face, abdomen, thighs, buttocks, hips, and love handles) that don’t seem to diminish with even the most routine diet and exercise regimen, make ideal candidates for liposuction.

There are several different liposuction techniques that can help get rid of the fat but at the very core, fat cells are removed using a tiny tube, called a cannula. The cannula helps to target fat deposits and remove them from the treatment area by way of a suction-like method. Patients are typically able to go back to work after a few days to one week of recovery and the results are long-lasting (meaning fat removal is permanent as long as you stay on top of your dieting and exercising).

Nonsurgical fat reduction with SculpSure™ (Performed at Laser Lights):

SculpSure™ nonsurgical fat reduction system puts outdated systems to shame in many ways – most notably because it provides better results in less time and at a fraction of the cost of similar procedures. As the newest fat reduction system, SculpSure™ uses four flat plates to send controlled heat deep below the skin to specifically target layers of fat. What’s great about these plates are that they can be customized to treat larger areas or multiple areas simultaneously; it will just depend on the area/s you choose to have treated.

Possible treatment areas are similar to liposuction and include love handles, thighs, and abdomen. Treatment sessions last about 25 minutes and patients are able to comfortably enjoy their treatment and take advantage of quiet time to rest, do some light reading, spend time on their cell phones, or take a quick nap; once treatments are over, they’re able to return to business as usual. SculpSure™ results are gradual over several weeks as the body naturally eliminates the targeted fat cells and while some patients are happy with their results from a single treatment, others may decide to have multiple sessions for maximum fat reduction results.

Theoretically, with both of these procedures, once the fat cells are gone, the bulge is gone. That being said, the best way to make sure the fat cells don’t re-accumulate or find a new area to gather is to maintain your weight. If you aren’t one who is keen on diet and exercise, there are plenty of ways to stay active around the house and outdoors (especially with the weather warming up and the beltline and other Atlanta trails expanding). The less sedentary your life, the better you’ll help your results continue to be long-lasting. If you’re interested in learning more about the types of surgical and nonsurgical fat reduction procedures at Southern Plastic Surgery and Laser Lights, feel free to contact either office for details.

New Year, New Resolutions

By now you’re probably tired of seeing the trillions of lists on the internet trying to help you figure out what your goals are for the New Year. Whether you call them goals, resolutions, dreams, aspirations, or simply whatever you like best, the theme remains the same – a chance to improve on some aspect of your life. I find that many of my patients start the year off with such great motivation and intensity but often have difficulty sticking to their original plan as the year gets busier and everyday distractions get in the way.  As a double-board certified plastic surgeon with over 22 years of practice, my job is not only to help patients attain their plastic surgery goals but also to encourage maintaining the results long after you’ve left my office. But how you may be wondering? With a new year and new resolutions!

Plastic surgery is a choice and it can certainly help patients regain their confidence when it comes to how they feel about their appearance. What it’s not is a weight-loss tool. Yes body contouring procedures like the mommy makeover, Grammy makeover, liposuction, and tummy tuck can help achieve a slimmer, more sculpted body, but what do you think happens to your figure if you go back to eating unhealthily, leading a predominately sedentary lifestyle, and barely working out? Well, the same stubborn fat can come back and ultimately reverse the plastic surgery results you worked so hard to get.

Whether you’re seeking a breast surgery procedure like as breast augmentation, breast lift, breast reduction, or more concerned with anti-aging facial procedures such as rhinoplasty, blepharoplasty, or facelift, I will help you to achieve the plastic surgery results you’ve always wanted. It’s no surprise that one of the most common resolutions for the start of the year includes some form of health. From taking the first steps to major weight loss or wanting to unearth that 6-pack from the college days, as a society weight management tends to be a big focus when it comes to maintaining a balanced diet/exercise routine. The health benefits alone should be reason enough to join a gym or incorporate daily walking into your schedule, but it’s sticking with it that can be the challenge.

Since plastic surgery should never be a “fix-all” weight loss solution, we’ve taken our commitment to improved health one step further at Southern Plastic Surgery.  For several years now, we have provided all of our patients the opportunity to take the first steps towards healthy lifestyle changes by giving them direct access to our in-house NESTA Weight Management Specialist, Jackie Madison and Daryl Madison, experienced ACE certified personal trainer. The Lifestyle & Weight Management program specifically helps coach you through your pre- and post-surgery journey by teaching you how to commit to an active lifestyle, achieve weight loss and weight management goals, provide effective eating habits, manage your time and assist with battling stress. You’ll be amazed at the results you can achieve when you have the right motivation in your corner.

To help you start looking towards a brighter year, we’re offering a Mommy Makeover special for patients interested in combination breast and body procedures. Combine a tummy tuck + any cosmetic breast procedure and receive $500 OFF your surgery. Don’t let the idea that plastic surgery isn’t affordable deter you from giving the gift you’ve always wanted to yourself; check out our special plastic surgery financing or give us a call at 770-622-9100 with any questions you may have! Be sure to also follow me, Dr. David Whiteman, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more plastic surgery specials, news, and updates.