Health Cover Stories

New Look: Washington University Physicians

Most of us look in the mirror and wonder what we could do to improve our physical appearance, especially as we age. Modern medicine offers a number of safe and effective methods to turn back the clock, and liposuction is one way West County Plastic Surgeons of Washington University can help, according to Dr. Terry Myckatyn. He practices with Dr. Marissa Tenenbaum and a staff of experienced professionals on the campus of Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital in Creve Coeur.

“We make sure our patients know all the options open to them when considering fat reduction and body contouring procedures,” Myckatyn says. “Liposuction has been around for a long time, but it has become much more popular in the past 15 to 20 years with advancements in technology. Today, it’s one of the most common esthetic procedures we offer for adults.” There are a few different types of liposuction, but basically the treatment involves removing excess fat in a particular area of the body by rupturing fat cells under the skin, then suctioning them out through a thin tube.

Liposuction is a permanent solution, and the procedure can remove 70 to 80 percent of fat cells in a treated area, Myckatyn explains. It can be used in a variety of spots, but it’s most commonly performed in areas like the abdomen and thighs. It’s done as an outpatient procedure with local anesthesia or sedation, depending on the patient’s needs and preferences. After the treatment, there may be some pain, bruising or swelling at the site, but these are temporary and can be well controlled, Myckatyn says. Patients usually can return to work and their normal activities shortly after the procedure, and they may wear a compression garment for two to three weeks. “We encourage people to get up and move around the same day as the procedure because it helps with recovery,” Myckatyn notes.

Liposuction also can be used in fat grafting to shape and contour different areas of the body, Myckatyn says. It can enhance and refine the results of tummy tucks and breast surgeries. Patients should remember that liposuction is not intended as an alternative to diet, exercise or weight-loss surgery, according to Myckatyn. It’s performed after a thorough consultation with a physician, and current health conditions and other factors are carefully considered. Cost usually depends on the number of areas treated and the type of anesthesia used.

Myckatyn adds that patients looking for noninvasive fat reduction may consider Coolsculpting as an alternative. “Every individual is different, so we offer a number of options to serve their needs,” he says.

West County Plastic Surgeons of Washington University offers a variety of safe, effective fat reduction and body contouring services for patients. For more information, call 314.996.8800 or visit

Cover design and photo provided by Washington University Physicians.

Pictured above: Dr. Marissa Tenenbaum and Dr. Terry Myckatyn