Dr. Angelo Cuzalina: Life-Changing Cosmetic Surgical Art
“I do a lot of surgeries where I move the entire facial skeleton around. I can treat the soft tissue with face-lifts and eyelid surgery, but having the background of both degrees, the medical degree and the dental degree, it gives me a little better perspective on complete treatment of the face,” says Dr. Angelo Cuzalina.
Nose jobs and Rhinoplasty are one of Cuzalina’s favorite procedures. He finds it an interesting challenge, since it’s often concerned with micro-millimeters. Some patients need a rib graft to improve their face after a cleft lip and palate has left them with a deformity of the nose, while others require a more routine rhinoplasty, where just the hump or the tip of the nose needs to be reduced. “That can really help someone’s self-esteem, explains Cuzalina.
Dr. Angelo Cuzalina enthused, “I love doing big facial reconstruction surgeries where someone comes in and they really need a little bit of everything.” He has written five different chapters on endoscopic forehead and brow lifts and eye lifting. These endoscopic procedures are elegant in that the patient has no scars on their face, and no hair or skin is removed. Everything is done through small incisions hidden in the scalp, making it especially useful for elevating the outer brow, or creating a type of permanent Botox effect for wrinkles between the eyes.
Cuzalina has also given many lectures and written chapters on the subject of lower face and neck lifting, “You take someone that has a really heavy neck or significant jowling and lift all the tissues to give them a natural result, but one that’s really dramatic, especially with someone who has really had a hanging neck all their life. Now, all of a sudden, they’ve got a flat neck that looks like they’re 17 years old again! When we tuck that fully and really nicely, people love that procedure. Almost everyone, with time as they get older, is going to have some degree of laxity in their neck.”
Otoplasty is described by Cuzalina as another, fun procedure that he likes to do for people whose ears stick out, often children in the 8 to 12 year range, but even as young as 6, as well as some adults, “A lot of kids have been teased about their ears sticking out. It’s a really simple procedure that you do from an incision behind the ear. It’s nice to get them pinned back just perfect, where they look completely natural, and you can’t tell that they’ve had surgery. They heal quickly, and they look good immediately after the surgery, so I love doing that as well.”
As one of the editors for the Journal of Cosmetic Surgery and the section editor for surgery after post-massive weight loss, Dr. Angelo Cuzalina is always up to date on the latest techniques. Such patients have lost 100 pounds or more, either on their own or because they’ve had a gastric bypass. This leaves them with a massive amount of skin everywhere and droopy breasts. Some of the most common procedures to deal with such problems are a full tummy tuck, or a body lift, with a tummy tuck on the front and a butt lift on the back, or breast lifts, which are also becoming increasingly popular with men who have sagging in their chest.
Other procedures might include thigh lifts or Brachioplasty, which is an arm reduction, removing excess fat and skin. “It’s life-changing for these patients. They feel great that they’ve lost the weight, but until that excess skin is gone, their journey hasn’t been completed. No matter how much they exercise, they’re always going to have that loose skin, unless they have surgery,” says Dr. Angelo Cuzalina.
So called mommy-makeovers are another of Cuzalina’s most common procedures, usually involving a simultaneous tummy tuck and breast lift, or augmentation using breast implants. “Not all women after having children will need this. They can sometimes get away with just a mini tummy tuck, or just a breast lift, or implants, but their breasts get a little droopy. They sag down and get a little smaller, so they want to get them back up where they belong or where they used to be and a little fuller, so that involves a lift and implants. You can also do a tummy tuck which will get rid of the loose skin and tighten the muscles again, which have been stretched out in the middle, to give them a smaller waist, and flatter belly, and to get rid of all of the loose tissue,” explains Dr. Angelo Cuzalina.
Ultimate or extreme mommy-makeovers involve a little bit of everything. Beyond the more common breast and tummy procedures, additions might include liposuction of the hips, fat grafting to the buttocks, or even what’s known as Labiaplasty or Vaginalplasty, where the labial tissue or vaginal canal that’s stretched out with childbirth is tightened up.
In his practice, Cuzalina actually does as many as three different kinds of gluteal or butt lifting procedures. One is a formal butt for people who have lost weight, where an incision is actually made to lift it. But, there is also augmentation procedures for people who have no fat and a really flat buttocks, which involves gluteal implants below the muscle for a very natural look.
According to Dr. Angelo Cuzalina, the most common and popular butt procedure though is his Brazilian butt lift. “This involves removing fat from the waist and hip area and injecting that into the gluteal area to make the buttocks pretty and round, both around and into the muscle. I have a special machine that actually harvests the fat, keeping it completely sterile. Then, it runs through a system that vibrates the fat down in a very dense fashion, followed by an injection, immediately, so you don’t have to expose the fat to air, and it’s much healthier for the fat with the lowest risk of infection that there could possibly be,” says Dr. Angelo Cuzalina.
This also means that Cuzalina can give each patient exactly what they’re looking for. Caucasians often want a more athletic look, but Hispanic and Latino patients, typically like a tiny waist but a fuller buttocks, especially on the outer thigh region. Black and African-American patients, on the other hand, are often looking for a much more rounded buttocks, with more of a shelf to the upper buttocks, compared to the other two groups.
“You really have to know who you’re dealing with ethnicity wise. There are about an equal number of white and black patients, but twice as many Hispanic and Latino patients getting the butt procedures, but all of them absolutely love it because they’re all going to get a smaller waist out of it and a more rounded prettier buttocks, and that’s what every female is looking for. You’re hard pressed to find a single woman that doesn’t want a smaller waist or pretty or looking bottom,” explains Dr. Angelo Cuzalina.
As a triple board-certified surgeon, Cuzalina has been in private practice doing nothing but cosmetic surgery for the last 18 years. His accomplishments are many. In 2011, he was the president of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, and in 2013 he was president of the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery.
Cuzalina is the chairman for an AACS accredited fellowship training program for future cosmetic surgeons who have finished their surgical residency. They assist him and receive an extra year of training. This can also provide a lower-cost option for some of his patients. Cuzalina’s certified and accredited surgery center, Tulsa Surgical Arts http://www.tulsasurgicalarts.com/ has two overnight guest suites too, since many of his patients are from out-of-state.