Article Published In: Women on Top Magazine (1999)
Introduction: The body conscious people of LA do everything to stay slim and toned. Nevertheless, a little bulge can sometime show up, even on the best bodies.
When diets and exercise fail to take away those pesky little reminders of imperfections, we find ourselves sitting in our plastic surgeon’s office.
I spoke with Dr. Nikolas Chugay in his Beverly Hills office (he has two other fully accredited surgical facilities, in Long Beach and Newport Beach). In the 23 years since Chugay has been in practice, he has received numerous honors; most recently, “Best Scholarly Article” from the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery. The article, “modification of Buttock Augmentation,” appeared in the January American Journal of Cosmetic Surgery.
Chugay is fluent in eight languages, which comes in handy when speaking to an international clientele who seek out his surgical expertise.His practice includes all facets of plastic surgery, but liposculpting is his favorite. Chugay’s liposculpting expertise has produced many of the perfect bodies that we see on the pages of magazines, on T.V. and on the movie screen.
Born in Harbin, China, of Russian parents, Chugay was raised in Brazil. His mother was determined he become a doctor, so he followed in the footsteps of a close relative who was a well known physician. He came to the U.S to study pre-med at the University of California Berkeley and says with a big smile, ” I fell in love with America.” He studied medicine at the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his internship and a clerkship at the University of Miami, under the guidance of world-renowned plastic surgeon, Dr. Ralph Millard. “Millard says Chugay “was very colorful, capable and artistic. Watching him operate was inspiring. I went into plastic surgery to help people develop a better self image, feel better and gain greater self-confidence.”
In 1972, Chugay was drafted into the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky for two years, where he carried out his duties as 3rd Brigade surgeon. When his stint in the army was completed, Chugay entered his facial plastic surgery training at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and Temple University, where he did his residency in head and neck surgery.
Soon after there was a yearlong fellowship in Rio De Janeiro under the surgical brilliance of Dr. Ivo Pitanguy, who, according to Chugay, “was the most famous plastic surgeon in the world for a quarter-of-a-century.”
Chugay points out that the concept of plastic surgery is changing dramatically. “The emphasis now is on smaller procedures, quicker recovery and smaller scars. People want to get back to their lives as soon as possible.
The average age range of the patients Chugay sees is mid-30s to early 40s. Men, as well as women, are becoming increasingly concerned with body image. Over 30% of Chugay’s patients are men, and the most popular surgical procedure requested by both sexes is body contouring and most notable, liposculpture.
What is Liposculpture?
Liposculpture is precise contouring of the body. I liquify fat with ultrasonic waves, which allows it to be easily removed. There is less swelling and bruising which means a quicker recovery. Four or five months after the surgery, the results are better because the detail of the contouring is more defined.
Who is the ideal patient for liposculpture?
Ideal patients are healthy, well exercised, an need only a small amount of fat removed.
What is the recovery time?
Most people are back to work within three days following surgery. The bruising is gone in 10 days to two weeks. In the third week, there is improvement in the body contour, and by three or four months most patients are fully recovered.
Are there any scars?
The scars are very tiny, are placed in the belly button or public hair line an fade out between four and five months.
When can one return to a regular exercise program?
Patients can swim, walk, or do the treadmill in a week. They have a full range of physical exercise activity in three to for weeks.