4D VASER High-Definition Liposuction

Dr. De La Cruz is a Houston plastic surgeon who performs the 4D VASER High Definition liposuction Houston.  Check out our Before and After Liposuction Page.

Filtering by Tag: tummy tuck

Potential Complications of a Tummy Tuck Procedure (Abdominoplasty)

One of the most common cosmetic surgeries patients are interested in when they come to my office is the abdominoplasty. This procedure, generally known as tummy tuck, can flatten your abdomen by removing loose, excess fat and skin and tightening muscles in the abdominal wall. One benefit that patients appreciate the most is that it can also remove the stretch marks in your lower abdomen. It is popular following pregnancy, massive weight loss or whenever a saggy abdomen with weak muscles impairs body contour.

            When performed by an experienced board certified plastic surgeon, the abdominoplasty will result in flatter, firmer abdominal contour with narrower waistline that wouldn’t be achieved by liposuction procedures only. All in all, abdominoplasty is a very safe operation. Unfortunately, as with any other cosmetic surgeries, there are post-operative complications that should be addressed by a specialist in a time manner. The most likely possible complications after abdominoplasty are: swelling, infection, wound separation and fluid collections (seromas and hematomas). 

The swelling is manifested in the upper thighs and in some cases in the lower legs. The abdominal skin flap can stay swollen due to lymphatic blockage weeks after surgery. This type of swelling requires compression, because swollen tissues themselves can cause more scarring. To prevent the swelling that can occur following a tummy tuck procedure, I prefer the Lockwood technique because separates less tissues than the standard technique. Moreover, one significant thing you can do to control the swelling after the surgery is to wear the post-op compression garment 24/7 for at least eight weeks. Have in mind that tissues heal better and faster when there is minimal swelling.               

Infection is another possible complication that can occur after abdominoplasty. Usually, I prescribe patients antibiotics during their final pre-operative visit to prevent wound infection. It is important that patients make sure they are not allergic to the antibiotics prescribed by their surgeons. Oral temperature over 100.4 degrees, yellowish or greenish drainage from the incisions and/or foul odor are among the indicators of a possible infection. A suture abscess is typically not dangerous and it’s easily taken care of by lancing the area under a local anesthetic, and packing the small puncture with a medicated gauze. However, infections can also be life threatening, like those of MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus). It’s always best for patients to contact their doctor promptly if they have any sign of infection. Therefore, I facilitate my cell phone number to all of my post-op patients so they can communicate immediately if any problems or concerns arise.  

Wound separation can also be a possible complication after an abdominoplasty. Excess skin tension if too much skin was taking out during the procedure can cause the wound to separate. Small wound separations are easily taken care of by packing the wound with medicated gauze. Slightly larger wound separations can be taken care of by a suction device called a “Vac Dressing”. Large wound separations caused by poor blood supply may need revision and re-approximation of the wound edges in a procedure room.

In any case, I highly recommend patients to schedule an in-person visit to get the wound treated promptly and prevent further complications such as getting the wound infected or extending the recovery period.

Lastly, fluid collections (namely seromas and hematomas) are among the possible complications after a tummy tuck procedure. A seroma is a collection of wound fluid. Sometimes it occurs when patients do not wear the compression garment adequately or he/she has a lot of activity in the post-operative period. For its part, a hematoma is a collection of blood in the dead space. It usually needs to be evacuated because it can be painful, can lead to infection or cause excessive scarring. Although seromas and hematomas can be easily treated with a needle aspiration, the best remedy against fluid collections is prevention. The proper use of compression garments and foam pads (Topifoam pads) over areas of potential fluid accumulation are significantly beneficial to prevent these post-operative complications.   

4D VASER High-Definition Liposuction

Abdominal etching was initially developed by Dr. Mentz in 1993.  It was a liposuction technique defining the rectus abdominis muscle to create the 6-pack in men.   With this technique, the linea alba in the middle of the rectus abdominis muscle is etched with the outline of the muscles.   Horizontal lines are then created to sculpt a 6-pack.

Figure 1: 4-D VASER High Definition Liposculpture by Dr. Alfredo Hoyos from Colombia. www.alfredohoyos.com

4D VASER Liposculpture performed by Colombian Plastic Surgeon Dr. Alfredo Hoyos.  Note that the procedure involves sculpting the chest, abdomen, flanks, back and arms.

4D VASER Liposculpture performed by Colombian Plastic Surgeon Dr. Alfredo Hoyos.  Note that the procedure involves sculpting the chest, abdomen, flanks, back and arms.

This technique was further enhanced and improved by a Colombian plastic surgeon Dr. Alfredo Hoyos using the VASER liposuction technology.  VASER (acronym for Vibration Amplification of Sound Energy at Resonance) is an ultrasound-assisted liposuction that utilizes ultrasound energy to selectively remove fat without harming the surrounding structures of the area being liposuctioned.

Figure 1: Before & After Photos of 4D VASER High Definition Liposculpture (6 weeks after surgery) performed by Houston Plastic Surgeon Dr. Emmanuel De La Cruz MD, PLLC. Note that final definition is typically seen 3-4 months after surgery. Patient went from a size 6 to a size 2. Result may vary individually.


Figure 3:  Dr. Alfredo Hoyos, the pioneer of the 4D VASER Liposculpture and other plastic surgeons from all over the world (Slovenia, USA [Dr. De La Cruz], Colombia, Egypt and Spain) who perform the 4D VASER High Definition Liposuction.

How Does the VASER Liposuction Work?

VASER liposuction is a minimally invasive liposuction procedure performed in conjunction with tumescent anesthesia that utilizes advanced ultrasound technology designed to gently reshape the body. The ultrasound energy is transmitted through the small VASER probes that diffuse the ultrasound waves and liquefy the fat for easy removal. The ultrasound energy is gentle enough that it can break apart the fat with minimal damage to surrounding tissues, creating smooth, predictable results with fast patient recovery.


Clinical Study

A multicenter, prospective randomized controlled trial in 2012 recently showed that the VASER-assisted liposuction resulted in a statistically significant improvement in skin retraction of 53 percent relative to the traditional regular liposuction (17 percent per liter versus 11 percent per liter, p = 0.003). Moreover, the VASER-assisted liposuction group also resulted in a statistically significant reduction in blood loss of 26 percent relative to the traditional liposuction (p = 0.019 with n = 20 using a two-tailed t test).


• The VASER-liposuction method demonstrated improved skin retraction compared with traditional/conventional liposuction.
• The VASER-liposuction method demonstrated reduction in blood loss compared with traditional liposuction.
• No serious complications reported in a clinical study involving VASER liposuction in over 70,000 VASER liposuction procedures.
• No burn complications, contour irregularities or prolonged swelling seen in one clinical study.
• No revisions needed after a VASER liposuction found in a multi-center pilot study.


• Single procedure results with speedy recovery times
• Less bleeding & more skin retraction
• Improved body contouring over traditional liposuction
• Refines and accentuates appearance of muscles
• It's the RECOMMENDED type of liposuction for treatment of gynecomastia in men

Recovery after a 4-D VASER High Definition Liposuction

  • May return to work 3-5 days after surgery
  • May resume exercise or work out 1-2 weeks after surgery



Emmanuel De La Cruz M.D. PLLC

Houston Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon | Cosmetic Surgeon

Certified 4D VASER High Definition Liposculpture Surgeon

Call NOW at 832-520-1844

Clinic Locations: The Galleria in Houston, TX & The Woodlands, TX

The Galleria Clinic

1700 Post Oak Boulevard

2 BLVD Place Suite 600Houston TX, 77056(Next to Whole Foods, above North Italia Restaurant)

The Woodlands Clinic

2219 Sawdust Road  #1203  The Woodlands, TX 77380

Call us at 832-520-1844