Under the Knife - A fasterway to washboard abs
As man’s most visible attributes, physical features will always play an appointed role in forming first impressions and, as biology dictates, has always been a reliable—if not superficial—gauge of good health.
A faster way to washboard abs
LIPOSUCTION- the cosmetic surgery procedure that removes fat from specific areas of the body for a more contoured shape—used to be a taboo topic, discussed only in hushed tones among exclusive social circles. But modern day technology, and a society that has become more open to aesthetic enhancements, have made the procedure more acceptable, becoming one of the most popular cosmetic services performed locally these days.
The procedure has even branched into different methods. While traditional liposuction merely removes the excess fat from one’s body, a newer liposuction technique, called high-definition liposculpture, also shapes a patient’s body and enhances the visibility of well –toned muscles. This kind of fat removal method claims to provide the coveted “six packs” abdominals, which can take years of crunches and dieting to form, in as short as six hours.
Developed by Colombian plastic surgeon Dr. Alfredo Hoyos, high –definition—liposculpture is touted to be able to create an athletic appearance by enhancing the contours of the subcutaneous fat and the definition of the underlying muscles. The procedure involves precisely performed, deep and superficial liposuction around the muscle groups in areas such as the abdomen, the chest for men, and the lower back for women using the latest ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty. And unlike the traditional liposutcion, high definition liposuction does not damage connective tissues, thereby preventing the appearance of bruises.
Dr. Hoyos’ technique is an improvement of a procedure called abdominal etching, which was developed to give patients the desired six- pack look. While abdominal etching showed good results on men, it left an odd and unnatural appearance among women. High-definition liposculpture was created precisely to address its forerunner’s failure to consider other muscles.
Despite its lofty promises, the procedure should not be seen as a magic wand that can make a highly overweight person instantly leaner. According to the Cosmetic Surgery’ Times, the procedure is ideal fro those with substantial good muscle tone and without excessive fat or stretched skin. It is estimated that 95% of patients who undergo high-definition liposculpture are able to maintain their post-surgery condition because they already have a regular exercise regimen even before they went through the procedure.
The procedure starts with the doctor marking the muscle bellies that will enhanced. For women, the serratus muscles, the obliques and the rectus muscles in the abdominal area are focused on. The same abdominal areas are targeted for men, but more attention is given to the transverse tendinous intersections within the rectus abdominus muscles to achieve that washboard appearance.
Fat is then removed in these areas to create a “picture fame” around the muscles. Finally, the surgeon performs a more precise sculpting procedure that leaves behind small amounts of fat to strengthen the primary muscle tone. Patients have to wait for at least a month before returning to their exercise routine, with the final results of the surgery being more evident in four months—Michelle S. Caligan
And while not everyone is genetically blessed with flawless skin, slender legs or red, pouty lips, cosmetics companies have tried to make up for man’s hereditary shortcomings with various beauty –enhancing products—from the simple moisturizing lotion to more acute measures like whitening pills and fat burning drinks.
Recent years however, have seem a drastic shift from simple beauty rituals to one-time operations, as developments in aesthetic medicine have led to the mushrooming of plastic surgery clinics that offer relatively cheap, lunchtime procedures for every body part that can be tightened, nipped, tucked, or enlarged.
According to Dr. Jose Joven Cruz, head of the Department of Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery at Asian Hospital and Medical Center, roughly 90% of the division’s patients undergo liposuction and nose and breast augmentation. “The rest usually opt for a tummy tuck, eyebag removal, or thread lifting. We have also performed breast reduction, although it is a very rare case,” said Dr. Cruz. Patients who seek these services are typically 40- to 60- year-old women, and majority are either returning Filipinos, or balikbayans, or medical tourist.
Dr. Claudine S. Roura, who heads Contours Advanced Face and Body Sculpting Institute, says these foreigners are lured to the country because of the cheap rates local hospitals and clinics charge for the face and body sculpting jobs. “The procedures are much cheaper in the Philippines. Whereas liposuction can cost between $15,000 to $20,000 in the United States, here it can go for as low $5,000,’ said Dr. Roura. Many cosmetic centers have also gotten themselves certified by international health institutions, and their doctors licensed to perform delicate treatments like the new VASER High-Definition Liposculpture, to make them more credible to international clients.
Not every perfection-seeking patient, however, can go under the knife. “Patient selection is the cornerstone of cosmetic surgery. First, they have to set their expectations, which have to be realistic, and from there, we can be met”, explained Dr. Cruz.
Before any feature-changing procedure, a patient is required to undergo a series of test, including a complete medical history checkup, physical examination, and a psychological profile. “We are very strict with our pre-surgery screening because we have to make sure that the patient has logical reasons for wanting to have the surgery.” Said Dr. Cruz.
Psychological tests, for instance, help cosmetic surgeons detect if a patient has a body dismorphic disorder, a mental condition that drives a person to undergo repetitive cosmetic surgery procedures to constantly improve his looks. “We improve his looks. “We always remind our patients that cosmetic surgery is not a life-saving procedure. It can be scheduled, postponed, or not even done at all,” said Dr. Cruz.
Despite advances in the field, risk of complications resulting from surgery still need to be kept in mind, said to Dr. Cruz, but being handled by well-trained and board-certified cosmetic surgeon should minimize possible health hazards to the procedure.
And just like any medical field, cosmetic surgery is perennially in the process of perfecting its techniques. For now, however, the arena has made much headway in minimizing incisions and downtime after treatment. Facelifts that use threads, instead of the traditional hairline slicing, were introduced around three years ago, the same year that third-generation silicon implants were approved by the United States Food and Drug Authority. The new breast implants are composed of silicon gel which, contrary to the previous silicon oil, has a safer consistency and is encased in a much stronger shell to prevent any leakage.