Liposculpture Surgery or Suction Assisted Lipectomy
The physical basis for body surface contour improvement is quite simply shrinkage of the overlying skin when the fatty tissue is removed. One should understand that there must be sufficient elasticity or skin tension present so that contraction of the skin, rather than wrinkling, will take place afterwards.
In some respects, the results are quite similar to those associated with generalized weight loss; older patients may show some redundancy or wrinkling of the skin, whereas younger patients’ skin will contract more smoothly. Liposuction surgery is therefore best suited for younger patients.
Thighs, hips, abdomen, chin, etc; may all be improved by this method. It is quite beneficial for such localized fatty tissue deposits; but it is not a treatment for generalized obesity. Under some circumstances, the suction procedure may be combined with the customary surgical procedures that stretch and remove excess skin and fatty tissue.
One example is the use of the suction method to reduce fat tissue accumulation under the chin. In this case, the regular facelift operation is also required to remove the extra skin and tighten the facial muscles.
In removing fatty tissues from the thighs, a small incision is made within the buttock crease and the metal tube is passed under the skin to the side of the thigh. The small surface scar (less than one centimetre) is well hidden in the crease line. Abdominal fat deposits are removed through a small incision near the navel, located in much the same position as for tubal ligation.
It is important to understand that some problems may occur as a result of suction lipectomy. Bruising and swelling is a normal but temporary condition, the degree depending upon the extent and location of the area treated. Following this procedure, a pressure garment is used for three weeks afterwards to control swelling and bruising.
I prefer this technique to be performed under general anesthetic unless a small volume is to be removed. Small diameter liposuction cannulae are used to aspirate the fat by a strong vacuum pump using a dry technique or the tumescent technique (which involves introducing a large amount of fluid into the area) depending on the individual case. The modern technique of lipo-sculpture involves the use of extremely narrow diameter cannulae through which fat can be aspirated from the most superficial areas of the fat layer retaining a far more pleasurable and smooth aesthetic result without lumpiness and with encouragement of contraction of the over-lying skin.
You are required to stay in hospital for a period of one day and your recovery will take approximately seven days.
Plastic Surgeon Dr. Saul Braun operates from the Netcare Rosebank Hospital, situated in the up-market Northern Suburbs of Johannesburg.