Liposuction… Sculpture of the body
Liposuction, also known as suction lipectomy, liposculpture, or microliposculpture, is a surgical technique that consists in extracting unsightly, unwanted fat deposits located in specific areas of the body, without hardly leaving any scars.
Many technics are available for liposuction, like the newest one: the SAFELipo, which gives amazing results and outcomes.
A lesson in anatomy… For a better understanding of liposuction
Fatty tissues, also called adipose tissues, form the deepest layer of the skin, or hypodermis.
The hypodermis is made up of millions of fat cells called adipocytes. These adipocytes cluster together to form little vesicles called fat globules which, in traditional liposuction, are visible to the naked eye as little gelatinous, yellowish globules.
The hypodermis contains blood and lymphatic capillaries, nerves and vertical elastic fibres that provide the skin with support (septa).
Most authors of medical literature dealing with genetics found that each adult has a set number of fat cells that do not regenerate themselves. During weight gain, the fat cells do not multiply but rather increase in volume. Therefore, logically speaking, if we remove a certain amount of fat cells, we must necessarily get permanent results.
Still, some questions remain to be answered. Why does excess fat accumulate in specific areas of the body only? And why does excess fat not respond to dieting or physical exercise? A number of studies mention enzymatic deficiency as a plausible reason. However, the one thing we definitely know is that we now have the means to extract fat.
Lipodystrophy is the medical term for abnormal fatty tissue formation. In women, lipodystrophy is found on the lower body half, such as thighs, knees and hips.
The importance of expertise
Liposuction is a procedure whereby fat deposits are extracted under vacuum pressure through a cannula inserted into the hypodermis, the layer of fat cells under the skin. To insert the cannula, an incision several millimetres long is made at a strategic point. Incisions always run parallel to natural skin folds. Others may also be concealed underneath natural body creases.
Liposuction performed closer to the skin allows for better skin redraping. However, more bruising will appear than with profound liposuction.
Liposuction may be done under local with sedation anesthesia. The total duration of the procedure varies according to the quantity of fatty tissues to be removed and the areas of the body to be treated. Convalescence can take 4 to 14 days.
On a technical level, liposuction can be done in different ways:
- SAL/Suction Assisted Liposuction (traditional method)
- UAL/Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction (Ex: Vaser)
- PAL/Power Assisted Liposuction
- Laser Assisted Liposuction (Ex: SMART-Lipo)
In all cases, fat cells can be removed from the outermost (closer to the skin’s surface) or from the innermost (located deeper inside the hypodermis) layers of fat cells.
SAFELipo- the newest technic consists in emulsifying fat deposits by using a specialized cannula: Backer Basket.
The emulsified fat will then be suctioned the same way as the traditional liposuction, with another specialized cannula (4mm). It will preserve the quality of fat cells and if needed, they could be injected in another body parts (face, breast, buttocks…).
The last step will be “fat replacement” .This technique has been clinically proven to remove significantly larger amounts of fat, and to have lower risks of skin irregularities.
A redefined body contour… Options and limits
It should be clearly understood that liposuction is not an alternative to a diet. It is designed to enhance silhouette and body shape. The ideal candidate will have a healthy weight with well-localised fatty excess, not likely to be eliminated via calorie-reduced diets or exercise.
The skin’s capacity to shrink after liposuction varies from person to person. That is why the surgeon sometimes deems it necessary to limit fat extraction, so that excessive accumulation of loose skin will not occur.
On the other hand, it is quite normal to have some loose skin following the procedure. For the skin to hug the natural body contours once again, the patient must wear a compression garment between 2 to 4 weeks.
It is generally said that liposuction is not a solution for cellulite control. Still, liposuction is able to improve the condition, especially so, since fat lobules that produce the state of congestion are removed on a permanent basis. As well, a close post-liposuction follow-up helps patients establish a certain routine that keeps hypodermic congestion cellulite from coming back.