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High-Definition Liposculpture -- Art Books Required Staff Report

When John Millard, M.D. traveled to South America to learn a new plastic surgery operation, his first assignment was unusual: lay the medical text books aside and buy some human figure books for art students.

The procedure Dr. Millard learned during his month long stay is high-definition Liposculpture, a new application for liposuction that removes pockets of fat hiding well-defined and highly developed muscles. The master surgeon who invented the procedure, Dr. Alfredo Hoyos, M.D., is a Colombia plastic surgeon. Doctors Millard and Hoyos are patenting the process as VASER HD™. (VASER is the company that makes the system.)

Fat Hides Work

"VASER HD is both a medical procedure and an art form," says Dr. Millard. "Fitness buffs worldwide sweat and strain for endless hours in gyms to develop hard, firm muscles. But only a few pounds of fat can hide all that work." The procedure removes that extra fat, allowing chiseled, ripped muscles to shine.

Consider the example of one patient. Although 43-year-old Julie, a senior program manager, works out four times a week at a Denver gym, she still had a "muffin top," a roll of flab around her waist that just would not respond to even the most strenuous exercise or diet.


"The upshot was, I was always trying to hide my waist by wearing baggy tops and sweatshirts," says Julie who asked that her last name be withheld for privacy. "But after having liposculpture on my spare tire, I could stand in front of a mirror forever!"

She now wears low cut jeans with cute, fashionable tops and enjoys a fresh attitude.

"At work, I know I look good," Julie says. "So I store that in the back of my mind and approach work tasks, meetings and other situations with a new confidence."

With half a million U.S. patients opting for liposuction annually, the procedure remains one of the most popular invasive surgical procedures.

Chests and Buttocks

"Typical target areas for VASER HD include the muscles in the abdomen, men's chests and the lower back and buttocks in women," says Dr. Millard. "Studying with Dr. Hoyos, I learned to appreciate a concept known as 'negative space' which is one of the primary characteristics that make bodies look good at first glance."

Dr. Millard's Patient, Julie, LipoSculpture Before Image

Julie shows her form before receiving
VASER high definition liposculpture

Examples of negative space are the hip area at the top of a woman's bikini bottom where the bathing suit stretches across a small indentation, touching no skin. Well developed women also show an indentation on both sides of the spine where the lower back arcs down into the sweeping curve of the buttocks.

Dr. Millard's Patient, Julie, 3 Weeks After LipoSculpture Image

Julie, three weeks after the procedure.
(Photos, courtesy of Dr. Millard.)

On the well muscled man, negative space is found at the horizontal line just below the chest muscles at the top of his stomach muscles, among other places.

Workout Religiously

The technique uses ultrasound to liquefy fat before suctioning it out of the body. In most cases, the patient receives liposuction through three levels -- deep, middle and just under the skin -- of any given treatment area. Smaller cannulas additionally allow surgeons to reach harder to treat areas.

"VASER HD is directed at a whole new patient population -- the many millions who work out religiously," says Dr. Millard. "Before, most of these men and women would have never considered themselves right for any form of liposuction."

The typical patient is within ten to 15 pounds of ideal weight and works out three to five days a week. Some are found toiling away in the gym five or six days of every week. To have an excellent, well chiseled muscular definition, the body must contain no more than three percent body fat. And that takes tremendous effort, denial, and Spartan discipline to stick to a low-calorie, low-fat diet.

The VASER HD procedure may well have already caught the attention of some in the highly toned and buff crowd, judging by the four dozen or so plastic surgeons from all over the world who are waiting to be trained on the procedure by Drs. Millard and Hoyos.


The latest advance in liposuction techniques is SmartLipo, which removes fat with a laser tip on a very small cannula, the wand that actually enters the fatty pockets. As small as a thick needle, those cannulas are being used in the United States and are currently under study for use in Laser HD. The laser tipped canula is even more patient-friendly and forgiving, with some patients saying they have no problem going out shopping on the evening of their procedure.

"The actual art of VASER HD is knowing how to perform liposuction around muscle groups in the torso, arms, and legs and just under the surface of the skin," says Dr. Millard who practices near Denver. "Moreover, the procedure also requires knowledge of how much fat to leave in those areas."

Arnold Schwarzenegger

The result? Slender, athletic, muscular physiques for both men and women. After the procedure, patients must wait about a month before resuming workouts. The muscularity starts to show its stuff about two weeks after swelling and edema (fluid collection) becomes less apparent.

If you happen to be among the fortunate few who do have rippling muscles, remember the wise words of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

"I only use my muscles as a conversation piece, like somebody walking a cheetah down New York City's 42nd street," he once said.

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