What is the liposculpture?
The surgical technique of liposuction started in the 1970s with the aim of removing the unsightly fat deposits which are resistant to dieting and physical exercise. Over the years the procedure has been perfected progressively, both in technical and aesthetic terms; so we have moved on from the original terms of liposuction or lipoaspiration to the modern concept of liposcuplture (or lipoplasty), that is, a selective re-modelling of the fatty tissue, which is generally reductive but can sometimes be of the additive type (lipofilling) and leads to a redefining of the patient’s body contours. That said, the following are some fundamental concepts on the indications for carrying out this operation: liposcuplture is not a slimming method, liposculpture is not a treatment for cellulite (on which it has no effects), liposcuplture is not carried out in overweight patients, who must first go on a suitable diet.
When does it do the liposculpture?
Liposculpture is carried out instead when wishing to correct areas of localized fatty deposits, which are most commonly to be found on the hips, outer thighs, inner knees and the abdomen in women, and on the hips and abdomen in men. Every area of the body where localized fat deposits are present can be treated, however, with this method (for example in the case of the face, the chin, neck and cheeks). Localized fatty deposits are areas of adipose tissue that are particularly resistant to dieting and to physical activity which can even be treated non-surgically with intra lipotherapy or with cavitation, but which find their therapeutic choice in liposculpture, as it is able to confer a more harmonious appearance to the silhouette. Liposculpture is one of the most frequently performed aesthetic plastic surgery operations; it has a high safety profile but must be carried out in full accordance with surgical rules and it cannot substitute a diet, but may possibly be linked and integrated with one to improve the overall silhouette.
Today the progressive improvement in anaesthetic techniques and the introduction of new instruments allow us to carry out the operation on patients who are no longer as young as they were, giving a good retraction of the skin overlying the areas which have undergone suction.
As in the case of all surgical procedures, you are advised not to take Aspirin, anti inflammatory treatment or anticoagulants for a week preceding the operation. The operation is carried out, according to the indications and to the extent of the areas to be treated, in pure local anaesthetic or in local anaesthetic in conjunction with intravenous sedation. In accordance with recommendations we do not carry out operations on overweight patients and therefore the entity of the area to be remodelled is always limited. This means that we never need to resort to more significant forms of anaesthetic and therefore the operation is always carried out in day-surgery, with discharge in the same day. The area to be treated is firstly infiltrated with the anaesthetic solution, after which the excess adipose tissue is removed using the cannulas that are connected to an aspirator.
In the case of small operations and ones in which we want to traumatize the adipose tissue as little as possible with the aim of re-injecting it (lipofilling) the aspiration is carried out using a syringe.
When the operation is over, a dressing is applied with a compression bandage or even an elasticated garment which must be worn for a month. The pain after the operation is of a moderate entity and is kept in check with normal painkillers. Following the operation it is useful to carry out some light physical activity and to undergo manual lymph-draining treatments, which are useful to reduce the post-operative swelling. It is quite normal for there to be swelling and bruising in the area treated. The post-operative swelling may go on for a long time and it is advisable not to judge the results before a month and a half after the operation. The area treated may feel hard and lacking in sensitivity for several weeks. The final result can be appreciated after six months, even if in some areas, such as the hips, the recovery is generally faster and for other areas, like the ankles is slower.
Effects of liposculpture
Contrary to some belief, complications are very rare and are often common in many surgical operations on the lower limbs, for example phlebitis. To prevent these we recommend early walking and the prescription of heparinic medication. One complication that is peculiar to this operation is the fat embolism, which has now become very rare since small dimension cannulas are used. Some complications are instead of a purely aesthetic nature and essentially consist of irregularities and asymmetries, which can be solved nevertheless with a possible readjustment after a few months.
The result of a liposculpture procedure is definitive, as the adipose cells have only a minimum capacity to reproduce themselves after the period of adolescence and once the tissue has been eliminated mechanically there is no possibility of the cells growing again. Only in the case of a really substantial increase in weight may you have some increase in the contours. Moreover, liposculpture is the preparatory procedure to lipofilling (or additive lipoplasty), that is, the operation that allows us to remodel some areas of the contours of the body in an additive sense (the buttocks, the calves, all the depressed areas that we want to emphasize) or the face (the cheekbones, the nasolabial folds, the line of the jawbone, the lips etc).