Dr. Cho’s approach to body contouring is as follows. When a patient comes in and they have concerns with a part or multiple parts of their body, he first listens to what their goals are during the consultation and the assessment. He likes to evaluate what we can do to help try to segment the patient’s concerns into three different components that when addressed can each help achieve what their goals are. Those three components are skin, fat and muscle.
As we get older the tissue in the skin tends to lose its collagen and elasticity and we offer many options to be able to help with this non-surgically. We use our energy-based devices to stimulate more collagen and elastin. This can make a nice overall change, but it’s really reserved for those that show milder to moderate degrees of skin laxity.
On the surgical side, doing things like physically removing the skin is often the strongest option such as a tummy tuck, arm lift, thigh lift, breast lift, etc. If it is more of a mild to moderate degree and the patient is wanting a stronger result then what a non-surgical approach can provide, then we introduce procedures like BodyTite. BodyTite is more minimally invasive and reduces some of the fullness, but also addresses the skin elasticity as well as some of the sagginess that is visible in the skin.
The second component is fat. Patients can achieve volume reduction and this needs to be done in an artful way that enhances the shape or figure. We have some non-surgical options for this such as CoolSculpting, EmSculpt, and Vanquish. These are all devices that help target fat but may also address some additional aspects of their body concern needs, but they do a nice job in addressing incremental changes and fat reduction to help achieve the ideal shape.
When a more dramatic change is warranted, or if Dr. Cho feels the patient will not be happy with an incremental approach, then we shift our approach to more minimally invasive or invasive options such as BodyTite. BodyTite helps to reduce fat and also tightens the skin. We can do larger volumes with that or liposuction which is very similar, and they can target areas of fat reduction needs. But when we start combining things like an arm lift, tummy tuck, thigh lift, etc. then we’re usually reducing large amounts of fatty tissue in addition to helping with the skin component of their concerns.
The third component is muscle and historically as plastic surgeons and body contouring non-surgical specialists we would focus mainly on the skin and fat. With emerging technology, we can now focus also on building muscle which is a third tissue layer that can really help to enhance results. We use devices such as EmSculpt which can stimulate intense muscle contraction and build new muscle fibers that can also help enhance the shape and tone of their body.
The other approach that we do surgically when it comes to a procedure like a tummy tuck or physically tightening the muscle units in a more anatomical position. This allows muscles to function more efficiently. Sometimes we even combine this approach with our non-surgical approach to not only realign the muscles in a more anatomic position, but we’re also building muscle with EmSculpt. When we start combining the skin, fat, muscle combination solutions then we can really enhance and optimize and achieve the best results possible.
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