The authors, in the Preface of Body Contouring and Liposuction, acknowledge that this challenging and constantly evolving branch of plastic surgery lies at a unique intersection of “surgical skill, artistry and new technology”. Their book aims to deconstruct and simplify this complex concept and provides a practical and comprehensive review of the history, principles, techniques and new developments in body contouring surgery for the practising plastic surgeon.
The book is divided into nine major categories. Each category represents an organised and comprehensive database of knowledge pertinent to a specific anatomical part or aspect of body contouring surgery. The initial section on patient safety provides an in-depth account of patient selection, preoperative nutritional, psychiatric and behavioural assessment, as well as laboratory work-up, intraoperative practice with a focus on optimising surgical timing and postoperative management with reference to every practising plastic surgeon’s questions especially regarding antibiotics, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) prophylaxis and glycaemic control to optimise postoperative down-time.
The next five sections deal with upper extremity, breast, upper trunk, abdomen and lower limb contouring. Each section is divided into a multitude of chapters dealing with every aspect of body contouring relevant to that region as well as adjacent regions; e.g. the section on breast contouring has chapters on autologous tissue and implant-based contouring of the breast, ultrasound assisted breast contouring, combined abdominal and breast contouring, different scar placement techniques and two separate chapters on breast reshaping after massive weight loss. The last three sections explore liposuction and fat grafting, employment of ultrasound and injectables in body contouring and a concluding chapter on special considerations for the massive weight loss patient.
Each chapter is introduced with a summary of key points and a reference to the online portal (www.expertconsult.com) where additional content (including videos) can be accessed. The history and principles of the procedure are then discussed and the text which follows is beautifully illustrated with numerous colour photographs and impressive medical illustrations which aid in communicating surgical techniques on a practical level. There are also ‘summary text’ boxes to highlight the salient points for the reader. The text of each chapter is written in a clear and concise manner and the concepts proposed are based on preservation of function, acceptable location of scars and aesthetic results. The changing trends in body contouring surgery are highlighted with reference to new technologies, and difficult concepts (e.g. pertaining to mastopexy) are simplified in a practical manner.
The content clearly draws on the mastery that the international body of authors have amassed during their illustrious careers as well as their expert knowledge of this domain of plastic surgery. Reading through the chapters, I felt that the amount of detail is perfect for both plastic surgeons in training as well as in full-time practice. Every chapter in the book is also rounded off with an extensive and relevant list of up-to-date references and suggestions for further reading.
As a plastic surgery trainee I felt that this empowering book guided me through the fascinating world of body contouring surgery and introduced me to concepts, techniques and the technical details of body contouring procedures while keeping me focused on basic principles.
The key point of body contouring surgery is improvement in the quality of life of the patient. Body Contouring and Liposuction emphasises this point at multiple points in its text. The international body of authors are all pioneers in body contouring surgery and should be commended on effectively organizing this comprehensive review to teach others what they have themselves mastered. Overall, Body Contouring and Liposuction lives up to the concluding remark of Ivo Pitanguy “As an almost encyclopaedic text, this book presents a culmination of years of development of body contouring surgery, which is certain to remain the solid reference on this subject”.