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Original article published 10/26/2016 in MimiVanderhaven
by Patricia Nugent


When Melanie M.’s husband dropped the news that he was planning to buy a mint-condition Mustang, she took it well, announcing with delicious payback that she would finally be going through with the liposuction she had been considering for years.

“I was tired of wearing baggy clothes to hide my pouchy tummy, which had expanded above and below the waist over the years (and two pregnancies) and refused to respond to the amount of crunches I did,” she says.

The vivacious 50-something asked her friends who the best plastic surgeon was in the area and Dr. Paul Vanek’s name kept coming up.

Tailor-Made Treatment

Dr. Vanek immediately zeroed in on Melanie’s zany sense of humor and the two were joking back and forth during the first appointment.

“We genuinely laughed a lot, which made me more at ease,” she recalls. “Although I thought I was only interested in liposuction, Dr. Vanek showed me that lipo alone would not give me the results I wanted. I looked at many before-and-after photos and he explained exactly what would happen during the procedure.”

Dr. Vanek says that in her case, customizing a mix of Vaser Lipo on the sides and back (love handles) and a tummy tuck to remove fat, tighten skin and reconnect muscle tissues would produce the all-over sculpted results she desired.

He is proud to be the first to bring Vaser Lipo to the area, as it is less traumatic to the body than traditional lipo. First, Dr. Vanek injects a tumescent fluid to minimize bleeding and provide comfort when the patient wakes post-surgery. The fat deposits are broken up by an ultrasonic pulse and then gently suctioned out through a tiny cannula that leaves a minuscule scar of less than four millimeters.

She had the procedure on a Friday, stayed overnight in the hospital, then after having the drains removed was already going out to lunch and shopping with her girlfriends by the next Tuesday.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with my new flat, muscular stomach,” Melanie says. “It even makes my breasts appear perkier. The initial incision, which I called my ‘happy face,’ left a faint scar that has faded to almost nothing. I went from a size 10 to a size 8, and my posture has improved as well, no more sucking in my stomach. It’s like turning back the clock on my tummy to before I had children.”

One of the nicest benefits of lipo and tummy tucks is that once fat cells are gone, they’re gone. Patients can reasonably expect to keep their shape as long as they continue whatever lifestyle they had before.

“I’ve seen lipo patients come back 10 and 20 years after a procedure and still look the same as the day I performed it,” says Dr. Vanek.

Massage Rx Heals Body and Spirit

Melanie reports one of the best parts of her experience was the package of 10 deep tissue massages after the procedure.

Says Cosmetic Coordinator Mary Jo Somich, “We prescribe massage with our medical massotherapist for all body contouring packages, because on a medical level it softens tissue and reduces edema. Just as importantly, on a personal level it provides another layer of comfort and healing.”

A hip, youthful style is important to Melanie, who sports fuschia tweaks in her bangs and six festive tattoos on her body. Being able to wear a smoking hot bikini this summer after decades of one-piece swimwear was an unexpected treat. And as an avid golfer, she feels much fitter and leaner out on the links.

“It’s hard to describe how amazing it feels to go out without Spanx now, and no more only wearing clothes that will hide my tummy, either,” she says. “Form-fitting apparel actually looks fabulous; the shapelier the better.”

Most Advanced Body Contouring

In addition to tummy tucks, Dr. Vanek is always bringing new advancements in body contouring to the area for patients to realize the body they’ve been dreaming of.

“Whether it’s jiggly thighs or a flat backside, there’s no longer any reason for someone to stay unhappy with their body,” says Mary Jo. “New methods of liposuction allow Dr. Vanek to take cellulite management and redistribution of fat to the next level. For instance, he can remove fat from thighs or a muffin top and use it to plump lips, create a curvier booty or even add lift to sagging breasts.”

For Melanie, the experience went beyond rediscovering a flat, toned stomach.

“Everyone in Dr. Vanek’s office treated me like family,” she says. “For Christmas last year, I even bought the staff a case of wine, as I thought they all deserved thanks and cheer.”

She says next on the horizon in the body revitalization department will be a tightening of her neck area, and she wouldn’t go to anyone other than Dr. Vanek.

Dr. Paul Vanek is double board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Surgery and is a Fellow of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and Chief of Staff at Lake Health. His offices are located at 9485 Mentor Avenue, Suite 100, in Mentor. For more information, call 440-205-5750 or visit MentorPlasticSurgery.com.