Florence Mussat, M.D.
680 N Lake Shore Dr. #1030 Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 751-9000


Month: May 2019

Liposuction: Does The Fat Come Back? If So, Where?

Healthy habits, like eating a nutritious diet and exercising regularly, are integral to living a long life—but they don’t always result in uniform weight loss. That’s why over 200,000 Americans turn to liposuction each year: Liposuction can effectively “spot reduce” the deposits of stubborn fat that sometimes cling to otherwise slim, fit individuals.

Though liposuction is safe and effective for the vast majority of patients, those interested in having fat surgically removed often worry that their unwanted pounds will inevitably return. This expectation is usually based on years of “yo yo” dieting; many of us are used to the fat we lose coming back after a diet ends. Fortunately, liposuction works very differently than traditional weight loss. In many cases, it actually can produce permanent results. Here’s how it works:

Liposuction Vs. Conventional Weight Loss

How many fat cells we have and how they’re distributed is determined largely by our genetics. People have different body types owing to heritable patterns of fat storage: Some people are “apple shaped,” for example, carrying most of their body fat on their stomachs and chests. Others are naturally slender or tend to store fat evenly across their limbs and torso.

When we lose weight through diet or exercise, these patterns of fat storage—and our fat cells—don’t actually go away. Instead, our fat cells just shrink in size; the slimming we observe during weight loss occurs because fat cells take up less space as they lose volume. Alas, as soon as we start consuming more calories than we’re burning, our fat cells quickly expand again. This causes us to regain weight in all of the same problem areas, time and time again.

Even people who successfully stay slim often retain small but distracting fat deposits in areas where fat cells are particularly dense. A pear-shaped woman, for example, might feel like her thighs too thick for her otherwise lean frame—no matter how much she works out. An apple-shaped woman, on the other hand, may notice persistent lower belly fat, arm fat, or rolls around her bra line. These issues persist unless the individual in question achieves a very low body fat percentage, which is neither realistic nor healthy for the average person.

Liposuction, by contrast, does not shrink fat cells. During liposuction, a very thin tube (called a cannula) is inserted directly into adipose tissue. Localized fat deposits are irrigated with a special solution, then a significant number of fat cells are gently sucked out. This reduces the actual density of fatty tissue in targeted areas, not just the volume of individual fat cells.

Fat cells that are removed or destroyed rarely ever grow back on their own. Areas that are treated with liposuction therefore remain proportionally slimmer than they used to be, even if the patient gains weight after surgery. An apple-shaped woman who used liposuction to sculpt a more distinct waistline will notice more weight gain on her thighs, buttocks, and chest than her stomach, for example.

Sometimes, gaining a very large amount of weight (over 30 pounds) can cause the body to create new fat cells. This isn’t a common occurrence, but it is a possibility. You should therefore try to keep your weight relatively stable if you’ve had this procedure, just in case.

Dr. Florence Mussat offers both liposuction and medically supervised weight loss, so if you’re worried about gaining weight after surgery, she can help you stay on track. To learn more about the liposuction procedure, recovery, and long-term maintenance, contact her Chicago plastic surgery practice to arrange a consultation.



Turn Back the Clock with this Non-Surgical Alternative to a Facelift (Instalift)

The process of aging is gradual and highly individual. In between the development of fine lines and the progression of skin laxity, there’s a stage where injectables aren’t enough and facelift surgery may be too much. If you’re in your 40s or early 50s and just starting to see hints of loose skin around your jawline and hollows around your cheeks, the Silhouette Instalift can provide the perfect alternative to facelift surgery. This convenient in-office procedure is also a great choice for anyone concerned about the time commitment, cost, or discomfort associated with facelift surgery, regardless of their age.

What is the Silhouette Instalift?

The Silhouette Instalift works similarly to a mid-face lift; it subtly raises the muscles, fat pads, and connective tissues that support facial contours. As a result of this elevating action, the patient’s cheeks become fuller, skin becomes firmer and smoother, and jowls disappear. What makes this procedure unique is its innovative, minimally invasive approach to treatment; no incisions are made during a Silhouette Instalift, and no tissue is removed. Instead, tiny biodegradable sutures are gently threaded below the skin, where they’re used to lift sagging muscle and connective tissue.

Unlike conventional sutures, Instalift threads are fitted with several tiny cones. These cones hold the threads in place and provide support for surrounding tissues, ensuring they maintain their new shape. The cones also stimulate the production of collagen, a protein that helps skin, muscle, and connective tissue stay strong and supple. By the time your Instalift sutures dissolve, the tissue around them will have been reinforced by this new collagen, making your face more resistant to future sagging.

4 Advantages of the Silhouette Instalift

The Silhouette Instalift offers multiple advantages that make it an appealing alternative to facelift surgery:

  1. Zero risks of scarring. Instalift sutures are inserted with a very thin needle so that they won’t leave any marks on your skin.
  2. Little or no downtime. Most people who have an Instalift can return to work the day after their procedure. Though some patients experience mild swelling and bruising after having an Instalift, these symptoms are usually minor and don’t interfere with day-to-day life.
  3. Instant results that last a long time. As soon as you walk out of the office after having an Instalift, you’ll notice that you look refreshed and rejuvenated. Over the next 18 months, your results will continue to improve as collagen production increases in treated areas. Your skin will become fuller and firmer and unwanted features, like jowls and facial hollows, will gradually become less noticeable. The results of one Instalift can be seen for up to two years.
  4. Subtle, natural revitalization. By working with the body’s existing healing mechanisms, the Silhouette Instalift produces results that are indistinguishable from graceful natural aging. This procedure won’t make your face look tight or stretched in any way.

Discover how the Silhouette Instalift can Help You

Though fine lines and sagging skin can be frustrating, treating them doesn’t have to be. If you would like to learn more about minimally invasive anti-aging treatments, contact board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Florence Mussat to arrange a consultation in Chicago.

What is the HCG Diet and Does it Work?

Many of the most popular diets trends of the day focus on excluding certain types of food, like those high in fat or carbohydrates. Though this approach can sometimes lead to improvements in health, it’s not always effective for weight loss. Adhering to a paleo diet, for example, or going vegan, doesn’t place any restrictions on the number of calories you can consume in a day. This makes it easy for people (especially those who struggle with portion control) to continue overeating, which inevitably leads to taking in excess calories and either gaining or maintaining weight.

Rather than eliminating specific foods, the HCG diet uses a two-pronged approach to attack the root cause of weight gain: the over-consumption of calorie-dense foods. It creates a steep caloric deficit to induce effective weight loss while moderating the patient’s appetite.

How does the HCG Diet Work?

Most people already know that the only proven way to lose weight—regardless of your age, gender, or metabolism—is to burn more calories than you consume. Unfortunately, for many overweight individuals, restricting calories over the long-term is all but impossible. Research has shown that most people who suffer from obesity lack adequate levels of the appetite-suppressing hormone leptin. As such, restricting calories causes them to experience feelings of extreme hunger, fatigue, irritability, and depression, to the point where normal functioning is impaired. Their bodies essentially go into “starvation mode” even though they’re carrying excess weight.

The HCG diet solves this problem by using a natural hormone to balance the patient’s appetite, making it easier for him or her to adhere to a calorie-reduced diet. Patients on the HCG diet receive regular injections of human chorionic gonadotropin, a naturally-occurring hormone. Not only does HCG regulate hunger hormones like leptin and ghrelin, it’s been shown to help preserve muscle mass during rapid weight loss. This is important, because the more muscle mass a person has, the higher his or her basal metabolic rate (BMR) typically is.

On the HCG diet, injections are paired with a personalized calorie-controlled diet plan that emphasizes the consumption of lean protein, fruits, and vegetables. This diet can range from just 500 calories per day to up to 1500 calories per day, depending on the patient’s age, height, and activity level. In all cases, however, caloric intake is lowered enough to create a substantial deficit, resulting in weight loss of between half a pound and one pound every day (up to seven pounds per week).

Getting Started with the HCG Diet

The intense nature of the HCG diet means that this eating plan isn’t right for everyone; generally, it’s recommended for overweight individuals who need to lose weight quickly for health reasons. Like all rapid weight loss plans, this diet should only be administered under the supervision of a doctor. A doctor can monitor your health while you lose weight and make sure you’re adhering to the HCG diet properly; this way, you’ll get the best possible results with the lowest risk of complications. Before you begin the HCG diet, arrange a consultation with Dr. Florence Mussat to make sure this eating plan is the right choice for you.