Robert Wilcox, M.D., Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery Center of TexasBest Doctors in Collin County: Plastic-Cosmetic Surgery 2011View Directory Link
Who is a good candidate for liposuction?
The ideal candidate for liposuction is a patient who is at or close to ideal or long-term, stable weight who has a disproportionate amount of fat in areas that are resistant to diet and exercise. Many patients find that there are certain areas of the body that are “preferred storage sites”. That is to say, these areas are the first places weight gain shows up and the last place for it to leave. This is often genetically determined and may even run in families. From about the age of five or six on, the number and distribution of fat cells in the body are determined for life. Weight loss and weight gain cause these fat cells to get larger or smaller, not increase in number. Therefore, when the fat cells are removed by liposuction from an area, they are not coming back, and the patient’s contour is now more proportionately sculpted. In the future, weight gain and loss will be more diffuse and proportioned across the body rather than going to these “preferred storage areas”.
What areas of the body are commonly treated with liposuction?
For men, the most common areas we do are the abdomen, love handles and often times the chest as part of the treatment for gynecomastia. In women, the most common areas are the inner and outer thighs, knees, abdomen, and hips as well as the upper back, arms and under the neckline. Multiple areas of treatment simultaneously are more the rule than the exception.
Who should perform liposuction?
The most important factor is finding a plastic surgeon board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Ideally, they should be members of the American Society of Plastic Surgery and the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery – the premier organization for cosmetic surgeons. There are many physicians who are untrained in plastic surgery residency programs who take weekend courses and perform these operations. The patient needs to be clear on the qualifications of the surgeon they select. In addition, it is important that the facility where the procedure is performed is state licensed.
"When the fat cells are removed by liposuction from an area, they are not coming back, and the patient’s contour is now more proportionately sculpted."
Can anyone have liposuction?
The skill and integrity of the surgeon can help you decide whether liposuction is suitable for you. Some patients have loose skin, and liposuction may make this worse. Other patients may not have enough fat to make this worthwhile, and it is up to the surgeon to set realistic expectations with the patient beforehand. Some patients may in fact need a tummy tuck or a thighlift rather than liposuction. It is also important to recognize that liposuction does not in general help with cellulite.
What type of liposuction technique do you use?
As is the case with all procedures that I perform, the technique must be tailored to the needs and goals of the patient. I prefer ultrasound-assisted liposuction with tumescent technique for the vast majority of patients. People are familiar with traditional liposuction which looks quite rough with the surgeon inserting and withdrawing a cannula vigorously over and over again. The difference with ultrasonic liposuction is a titanium cannula or wand with a hollow bore employing suction is inserted into the area to be treated. The tip of the cannula vibrates thousands of times per second, and the fat cells cannot tolerate the rapid pressure change. As a result, it liquefies, and we are able to remove the maximum amount of fat with the least chance of contour problems or rippling and get good skin retraction. This technique has withstood the test of time and has been available for over 13 years. In wide use, it has passed the safety profile.
Do I have to be put under anesthesia when getting liposuction?
Again, we tailor this to the patient. If the patient is only having one or two small areas done, it is possible to do this with just tumescent technique, local anesthesia with light sedation. On the other hand, when a patient has multiple areas to be done, in general it is safer to simply let the patient go to sleep and not feel or remember anything and wake up in the recovery room with everything already completed. Again, this is the advantage of using a board-certified plastic surgeon well versed in all aspects of surgical and anesthetic care.
Is liposuction a common procedure?
This, along with breast augmentation, is the most common operative procedure performed nationwide and in my own practice. Liposuction is frequently performed simultaneously with other procedures such as breast enhancement, tummy tuck and facial rejuvenation to allow for a single recovery period.
For over 20 years, Dr. Robert Wilcox has been satisfying his patients with safe and effective plastic surgery. He believes that the quality and standards of facilities around Dallas vary greatly, and it is important for a patient who is considering plastic surgery to feel as comfortable about their surgical environment as they would in a state-of-the-art hospital, its surgery, and its staff. Patients should see the operating room that their surgery is to be performed in and should know the difference in one that is state-of-the-art and one that is not. He was voted in 2011 as a Best Doctor in Collin County by D Magazine.