Meet Dr Meaghan Heckenberg, liposculptor at BE SCULPTURED in Crow’s Nest, Sydney.
Meaghan has performed over 500 liposculpture procedures after gaining her medical fellowship from The Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery, specialising in liposculpture. She is a full member of the Cosmetic Physician’s Society of Australasia.
Meaghan particularly enjoys sculpting the body to improve one’s shape and size and has made liposculpture her primary procedure in cosmetic surgery. Meaghan believes that the highest level of surgical skill is achieved by performing the same procedure often. She understands the desire to improve one’s shape and has had liposculpture procedures herself with “most satisfying results”.
Meaghan’s own experience is what led her to specialising in the area of liposculpture. Years ago, despite training harder or losing more weight, it never reduced the fat in some areas of Meaghan’s body. Meaghan says, “It only made me look gaunt around the face, neck and chest. Liposculpture improved my shape substantially. It made me feel more confident, plus working out became more pleasurable too. My desired shape was finally achieved. Improvements thereafter came from increased muscle tone achieved by exercise and training.”
From that moment Meaghan had a desire to learn the art of liposculpture so she could help others achieve their goals. She has had the fortunate opportunity to train with some of the best liposculpture cosmetic physicians and dermatologists in Australia and USA.
Meaghan is also a liposculpture trainer for The Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery (ACCS). She teaches other doctors how to do the procedures. She is also a council member of the ACCS, ensuring members of practise with integrity and honour in the best interests of the patient; with patient safety and quality of care as their highest concerns.
Liposculpture can essentially be performed on most areas of the female body from the neck/chin, down to the ankles, including female breasts as a less invasive alternative to the more conventional breast reduction surgery. Liposculpture can be used to reduce male breasts/chest (gynaecomastia), the abdomen, hips (love handles) and chin/neck. The procedure can benefit those people who are not overweight but have isolated deposits of fat resistant to diet and exercise. It can also be a good “kick-start” for anyone overweight to change their lifestyle and embrace diet and exercise, especially as they can see what may be achieved after the procedure. This can be a serious motivator.
Liposculpture using local anesthesia is a more refined method of removing fat than doing liposuction with general anesthesia. The instruments are smaller and the procedure is gentler and allows for true “sculpting” of the body. Twilight sedation is added for patient comfort but the procedure can be done completely under local anesthesia. The local anaesthesia numbs the fat and the overlying skin. The procedure is considered safer using a local anesthesia – much less risk of infection, deep venous thrombosis (clots in the legs) and pulmonary emboli (clots in the lungs). Patients are awake and are able to move during the procedure to allow for true sculpting. At the end of the procedure, the patient stands so all treated areas may be viewed. At this stage, adjustments are able to be made, producing even more pleasing results. This cannot be done if the procedure is performed with general anesthesia. Post-operative recovery is shorter too, with less pain and mobility more quickly restored.
The procedure is time consuming and it is not unusual for it to take in excess of 4 hours, especially if more than one area is treated at the same time.
There is swelling and bruising that appears a day or two after each procedure. The bruising should essentially have disappeared by two weeks but the swelling and skin sensitivity may take 4-6 weeks or more to settle. Compression garments are fitted at the end of the procedure and are usually required for the first two weeks, sometimes less in certain areas of the body (chin/neck, arms). These garments are worn 24 hours per day and help to reduce swelling. Walking as an exercise may be started the day after the procedure and more intensive exercise may be recommenced 3- 4 weeks post operatively. Final results may take 3-6 months to achieve and provided the patient adheres to diet and exercise, the results are even better at 12 months.
The skin retracts (bounces back) after liposculpture in most people, especially young people. Skin qualities can however vary in individuals, and older people must be willing to accept some contour irregularities and laxity of skin. Liposculpture is not a treatment for cellulite. However, reducing the surface area of a body area with cellulite can assist to improve the overall appearance of that area.
Meaghan performs all her liposculpture procedures at a surgicentre in Crows Nest and are day-only procedures.
The cost of the procedure varies according to the areas treated. Generally, each area costs $3,000 plus the theatre fee is $2,000. All follow-up consultations and garments are included in the price. The price may reduce if multiple areas are treated at the same time. Generally, a maximum of three areas may be treated at the same time. Only a limited amount of the local anesthetic drug called lignocaine may be given at any one time – the maximum dose is calculated according to a person’s body weight. This limits what areas may be treated in the one procedure.
There are many fat reducing devices on the market today (cryolipolysis, ultrasound sound waves, low-level light laser, radiofrequency) promising similar results without the need for surgery. Generally, these devices require several treatments, only treat small areas at a time, and are generally unable to “sculpt” the body the way liposculpture can.
Dr Meaghan Heckenberg
MBBS FRACGP DRANZCOG FFMACCS
Liposculpture Cosmetic Physician
c/o Crows Nest Cosmetic and Vein Clinic
Level 1, 10-12 Clarke St
Crows Nest NSW 2065
Ph: 02 9906 1555