Liposuction reigns supreme when it comes to surgical procedures for men and women. With nearly 350,000 liposuction procedures completed in 2014, it continues to be more popular than breast augmentation, eyelid surgery, tummy tucks, and rhinoplasty according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic. To meet those demands, plastic surgeons have honed their skills and developed more effective techniques for carving out the sleek silhouettes clients desire. Thomas Su, M.D., specializes in liposuction at his practice Artistic Lipo (Tampa, FL). Here is what he had to say about his interactive lipo technique and the incredible results.
How do you decide what technology to add to your practice and use regularly for body contouring and fat reduction?
I first examine and carefully scrutinize all the before and after photos that a company has. It does not matter how much science and new technology that a sales person offers, if there are no results then I am not interested. Secondly, the photos are often misleading by often only showing a up close or limited perspective that exaggerates the difference in a before and after.
From a business perspective, it is also much better to add a technology that doesn't have as much up front financial risk. I've spent hundreds of thousands early on in my medical spa business on equipment that never came close to paying for itself. It is a nice option that some technologies allow a doctor to pay a fee per use of the device. This is better for the doctor and says more about the company's confidence in their own product.
What makes your liposuction technique so effective?
Art Lipo is Interactive Lipo a technique of having the patient holding their body tensed to assist the surgeon with better feel and control of the fat during the sculpting process. The benefits are more accurate sculpting, much more complete sculpting, and the ability to achieve massive skin retraction.
How long have you been performing it and how has it changed?
I've been doing liposuction with patient participation for nine years, but only recently started lecturing at national cosmetic surgery society meetings about the technique of Interactive Lipo.
What type of patient can get the best results?
Interactive Lipo works well for all patients who are candidates for liposuction. However, it allows me to include patients that most surgeons would dismiss as a liposuction patient because of looser skin. Patients with looser skin have fat that is looser and more mobile also. This can be very difficult for a surgeon to control with a patient who is asleep. However, with my patients tensing during surgery, the sculpting is more manageable and I can sculpt more completely. When a patient has fat removed completely 90 to 95 percent the skin can retract tremendously. I can achieve results on patients with abdominal hangs that look like a tummy tuck result using these techniques.
Why is this a good alternative to noninvasive fat reduction, or does it compare to those devices at all?
Interactive Lipo done at my clinic in general will result in a dramatic improvement seen immediately the same day of surgery. The fat layer in most cases is reduced 80 to 90 percent and the skin will appear firmer and tighter in many cases. Interactive Lipo produces a difference you can easily see and notice from across a room, compared to noninvasive fat reduction that you may need a tape measure to know if anything happened at all.