Body Contouring: Shaping Curves to Shedding Pounds

Advances in Body Procedures at ASAPS Annual Meeting

NEW YORK, NY (April 16, 2004) – Recent advances in body contouring cover a wide spectrum,
ranging from technical refinements in “liposculpting” to large-volume fat removal to multiple procedures for
treatment of contour deformities associated with massive weight loss. Experts in body contouring at the
Annual Meeting of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), April 16-21 in
Vancouver, BC, will discuss precision in liposuction, new data from research on liposuction safety, and the
challenges presented by post-bariatric surgery patients seeking to restore normal appearance through plastic

Fat removal using liposuction, also called lipoplasty, continues to be the most commonly performed
aesthetic (cosmetic) surgical procedure, with the number of liposuctions performed in the U.S. up 117%
since 1997, according to 2003 statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
Aesthetic plastic surgeons most often use liposuction for spot reduction of excess fatty deposits in areas such
as the hips, thighs and buttocks. When performed by skillful board-certified plastic surgeons, modern
liposuction can truly be described as “body sculpting.” However, Los Angeles plastic surgeon Peter Fodor,
MD, ASAPS President-Elect, notes that traditional suction-assisted liposuction (SAL) has been used in
clinical practice for over 25 years with relatively little focus on the fundamental physics of the
instrumentation. “Every surgery is dependent on the interaction between the tool the surgeon chooses and
the hand using that tool,” says Dr. Fodor. “The more aesthetic plastic surgeons understand about the
equipment at their disposal, the better they can modify techniques to suit individual patients.” Dr. Fodor will
also present an interactive video, Precision in Lipoplasty, which focuses on controlling the variables of the
procedure. “The best surgeons do more than remove fat,” he says. “They sculpt. And the method discussed
in the video can assist surgeons to improve their clinical results.”

The safety of liposuction is well documented, but there has been controversy surrounding largevolume
fat removal. Current data suggest that large-volume removals may be performed safely with proper
patient selection, appropriate surgical judgment and careful patient monitoring during and after surgery. A new study on large-volume liposuction safety will be presented at the ASAPS Annual Meeting. According
to presenter Jeffrey Kenkel, MD, the goal of the study was to investigate the effects of large-volume
liposuction on bodily systems both during and after the procedure. “This report shows that large volumes of
fat can be safely removed with liposuction, but, as would be expected, there are stresses placed on the body
during the procedure,” says Dr. Kenkel, who practices in Dallas, TX. “The more we learn about these
effects, the better plastic surgeons can prepare patients for surgery and help ensure safety at all stages of the

An increase in the number of patients undergoing bariatric surgery presents a challenge for plastic
surgeons who seek to treat the cosmetic problems associated with massive weight loss. ASAPS presenter
Zacahary Gerut, MD, of Hewlett, NY, says: “One issue is the sheer number of procedures that weight loss
patients want to undergo – including procedures to reduce excess sagging skin in the stomach, thighs, arms,
breasts and also the face and neck.” Sometimes multiple procedures can be performed at the same time,
while other times a staggered approach may be recommended. “Each procedure can impact the outcome of
the next procedure, so careful surgical planning is required,” he says.

Post-bariatric cosmetic surgery has become such a hot area of plastic surgery that an entire half-day
program, Cosmetic Rehabilitation of the Post-Bariatric Patient, is being devoted to it at the ASAPS Annual
Meeting. “This program will cover everything from managing patient expectations to details of the surgical
techniques most appropriate for these patients,” says ASAPS Immediate Past President Franklin DiSpaltro,
MD, who co-chairs the pre-meeting seminar.”

According to 2003 ASAPS Statistics on Cosmetic Surgery, there were significant percentage
increases from 2002 in several body contouring procedures often used to treat patients with major weight
loss: abdominoplasty (increased by 42 percent to 117,693 procedures); lower body lift (increased by 127
percent to 10,964 procedures); thigh lift (increased by 109 percent to 8,806 procedures); and upper arm lift
(increased by 68 percent to 10,595 procedures).


The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world's leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body. ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; Active Members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and nonsurgical aesthetic procedures. International Active Members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.


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