A new proceedure called Cool Lipo is helping men whose six-packs have become hidden behind a layer of fat.
"If a man has done the work to get six-pack abs, his muscle definition won't show if it's hidden behind a layer of fat just under the skin -- known medically as subcutaneous fat," says plastic surgeon Allan Parungao.
"Cool Lipo goes a step beyond traditional liposuction; it uses laser technology to tighten the skin after the excess fat is melted and removed. This skin-tightening effect is what brings out a man's six-pack abs," says Chicago-based Dr. Parungao.
Just-released statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) show that liposuction is the second-most-popular cosmetic surgery in the U.S. -- and the number-one procedure for men.
"If a patient has well-developed muscles, the idea is to get as much of the fat off so there is as little fat as possible between the skin and the toned musculature," explains Dr. Parungao.
Results speak for themselves
Rashe, a 31-year-old amateur boxer(pictured in before and after shots), was following a rigorous six-day-a-week training program, but still had excess abdominal fat. He recently had Cool Lipo to sculpt his upper and lower abs, sides and lower back.
"I was pushing myself to the limits of endurance, doing everything I was supposed to do, but I wasn't getting the results I wanted," Rashe recalls. "I still had pockets of fat that weren't coming off. That's what prompted me to take the next step and consider lipo."
Cool Lipo, in conjunction with a liposuction technique called abdominal etching, helped bring out Rashe's six-pack abs.
"Before surgery, I ask patients to flex their muscles, then I make drawings on their skin where I can feel the spaces between the muscles," Dr. Parungao explains. "During Cool Lipo surgery, I give a little extra attention to melting the fat in those depressed areas."
"Cool Lipo allows me to melt and suction away the fat, then it gently heats the underside of the skin to tighten the collagen -- and reveal the muscle definition," Dr. Parungao explains.
Today, Rashe's six-pack is clearly visible. "With Cool Lipo, I had something taken away to bring out what was already there. I plan to turn pro next year," he adds.
Traditional liposuction melts and removes fat, but can sometimes lead to sagging skin due to lost volume. "Cool Lipo's collagen-tightening effect helps avoid loose skin after liposuction," Dr. Parungao explains.
Cool Lipo also offers patients an easier recovery than traditional liposuction. "There's less bruising and swelling after Cool Lipo, so there's less downtime. Patients are springing back a bit quicker after their surgery," says Dr. Parungao.
Women also benefit from Cool Lipo, although Dr. Parungao acknowledges that most women don't want quite as much abdominal muscle definition as men. "I give women a little softer look," he explains. "Women want some muscle definition, but they don't want to look masculine."
Dr Allan Parungao
Plastic Surgeons Associated
Hinsdale Center for Plastic Surgery
908 North Elm Street, Suite 104
Hinsdale, IL 60521