Home' Clinical Aesthetics : CA issue 7 Contents After a personal
Heckenberg was so
impressed with the result,
it sparked a desire to
learn the art of body
sculpting. By Dr Meaghan
am a Virgo and I have always been told
Virgos are perfectionists. I don’t follow
astrology but it is in my nature to do the
best job I can possibly do, so I would have to
agree that I strive for perfection.
Liposculpture is a procedure I turned
to when I was 34 years of age (17 years ago).
My outer thighs (saddlebags) were large
compared to the rest of me and always
bugged me. No amount of dieting or exercise
would make them disappear, until I had
liposculpture. Despite all my exercise, the
liposculpture surgeon made me realise I
was never going to change my body shape
that way. I don’t think I could have lost more
weight without becoming malnourished, so
I was actually relieved to hear that.
Liposculpture truly changed my body
shape when my outer thighs, inner thighs
and knees were treated and the results were
permanent. Clothes fitted better, I felt and
looked better - everything was better!
As a doctor, I have always loved doing
procedures. My own experience with
liposculpture all those years ago gave
me the inspiration to learn how to do it
myself and help other women. It wasn’t
until 2007 when I had the time to
dedicate two days per week for two years
to learn liposculpture, amongst other
cosmetic procedures. When I finished
my fellowship with The Australasian
College of Cosmetic Surgery, I had the
intention of concentrating on only doing
I have realised, during my medical
career, now spanning 26 years, that the
highest level of surgical skill is gained
by doing the same procedure often.
Rather than being a ‘Jack of all trades’,
I wanted to be a ‘master of one’. This is
why I chose to only do liposculpture. In
fact, my procedures take longer now than
they did when I first started as I have
become more fastidious in refining them.
I also use very narrow cannulas which
take longer to get the fat out but the
results are smoother. Procedures may take
4-6 hours and I only tend to operate on
one patient per day.
There are many cosmetic surgeons who
don’t like doing liposculpture because it
takes such a long time to do. It requires
a lot of patience to get it right, and it
cannot be rushed. I believe I have the right
aptitude for the procedure plus I don’t
want to stop until I get it right.
Patients are mildly sedated so they
don’t mind if it takes hours to do. The time
goes very quickly for them. They would
rather it take many hours as they want to
get the best results. There is essentially no
alternative to this procedure. No amount
of non-invasive fat reducing devices (e.g.
fat freezing devices) will be a substitute
to what I do. Liposculpture is truly body
sculpting and not indiscriminate fat
removal. By removing fat from certain
areas allows me to create a better shape,
more harmonious curves and more
aesthetically balanced proportions. It’s an
artistic side of medicine.
Not only does the operator need to
One of Dr Heckenberg’s patients before and 3 months after liposculpture
be experienced in the procedure but the
surgeon needs to have a good eye. Drawings
are made on the skin before the procedure
which is ver y important as they represent
A powerful numbing drug is injected
into litre bags of saline, along with a drug
that greatly constricts blood vessels, so
there’s v irtually no blood. The solution is
injected into the fatty tissue, making it firm
and dense. A fter the numbing drug has had
time to work, the liposculpture begins.
Through tiny incision points in the skin
(3-5mm), long, thin, blunt cannulas are
moved back and forth through the fatty
tissue which is located between the skin
and the muscle. The tiny holes at the end
of the cannula grab onto the soft fat cell
when the cannula moves back and forth
through the connective tissue. The cannula
is connected to a suction machine taking
away the fat cell from the site of disruption.
Only fat is removed as it is soft and liquid-
like. The liposculpture is controlled by the
movement of the cannula, which is why it is
a ver y operator dependent procedure.
The ideal candidate for the procedure is
a person of normal weight who has isolated
areas of fat that are resistant to diet and
exercise. There's no need to change his
or her lifestyle after liposculpture as the
procedure is not a weight loss tool. It is purely
body sculpting, and it is changing lives.
“Rather than being a ‘Jack of all trades’, I wanted to be a
‘master of one’. This is why I chose to only do liposculpture.”
CLINICAL AESTHETICS | 19
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