Patients often ask what is the difference between liposculpture and liposuction and how it works. As liposuction grew more popular over the last few decades, many new terms sprung up that describe liposuction techniques. Whether that term is liposculpture, liposuction or lipoplasty, all refer to liposuction surgery.
It is important to understand that general weight loss cannot be attained with liposculpture. It provides an option for removing stubborn fat deposits that resist reduction through diet and exercise. Commonly involved areas are the neck or beneath the chin, upper arms, chest, breast, trunk, abdomen, hips, waist, thighs, inner knees, calves and ankles. Ideally, patients are near normal weight and desire some form of permanent contour change. The desired results are permanent improvement in the contour and proportion of the treated areas for a more flattering figure or physique.
Before you undergo liposculpture, you should undergo a complete physical exam so that your doctor can determine if you are an acceptable candidate. It is important for you to discuss any medical conditions that you have. To be a good candidate, one must usually be over 18 and in good general health, have an ongoing diet and exercise regimen, and have fatty pockets of tissue available in certain body areas. Significant disease limiting risk (e.g. diabetes, any infection, heart or circulation problems) weigh against the eligibility of a person for the procedure.
The procedure may be performed under general, regional, or local anaesthesia. The safety of the technique relates not only to the amount of tissue removed, but also to the choice of anaesthetic and the patient’s overall health. It is ideal for the patient to be as fit as possible before the procedure.
Dr. Francisco NOYOLA MARTíNEZ offers to the patients of our clinic tumescent anaesthesia. This technique, credited to Dr Jeffrey Klein, a dermatologic surgeon, allows liposuction to be performed with the patient under local anaesthesia while minimising blood loss and the risks of general anaesthesia. In the past, liposuction surgery required blood transfusions because of significant blood loss in the liposuction aspirate. The tumescent liposuction technique eliminates both the need for general anaesthesia and intravenous narcotics and sedatives while minimising blood loss.
Several factors limit the amount of fat that can be safely removed in one session. Ultimately, the operating physician and the patient make the decision. There are negative aspects to removing too much fat. Unusual “lumpiness” and/or “dents” in the skin can be seen in those patients “over-suctioned”.
There are a number of options for surgically removing excess fat. A surgeon will choose the best technique for you depending on the amount and location of the fat and whether you also have excess skin. At our clinic, the suction is provided either by a high-pressure vacuum pump or by a syringe.
Suction-assisted liposuction is the standard method. In this approach, a small stainless-steel tube (called a cannula) is inserted through a small incision into the deep fat layer. Working on this layer is safer than working on the superficial layer, because there is less risk of injuring the skin. The cannula is attached to a vacuum device. The surgeon pushes and pulls it in a forwards and backwards motion, carefully through the fat layer, breaking up the fat cells and drawing them out of the body by suction.
Pierre Fournier introduced syringe liposculpture almost a decade ago. Recent advances have improved the technique, making it easier for the surgeon to use. The syringe technique is usually used for smaller areas. Here, a very small “micro canula” does the fat removal with the negative pressure supplied by the plunger of the syringe. There is less blood lost when the syringe is used. In addition, syringe-treated patients appear to heal faster and have less pain.
Our patients will be fully informed about the used techniques in the clinic by our expert surgeon.
Recovery and healing
The areas treated with suction assisted lipoplasty will be sore and swollen for several days. Most people describe it as “feeling like a hard workout”. A compression garment is worn for the first 2 weeks. Bruising tends to last about 10 -14 days. Most of the swelling and thick feeling of the tissues will resolve in 6 weeks.