When choosing a surgeon for liposuction, it’s important to consider not only the talent of the surgeon, but the instruments available to him or her. Think about a chef and the quality of the ingredients he chooses. Or an artist and the brushes he favors. It is no different with the surgeon and liposuction technique. Once I experienced the results I was able to achieve with this advanced technique, I could never go back to treating my patients with traditional liposuction. So, how does SAFELipo® differ from traditional methods?
#1 All liposuction techniques are not created equal.
Traditional liposuction simply uses a cannula to suction out the fat that has not been separated. Laser (Smart Lipo®), Ultrasound Lipo, and Radio Frequency Lipo use heat, high frequency pulsing waves, and radio frequency energy respectively to remove fat. The potential problem with methods such as these is that they create non-selective tissue injury to increase the fat volume removed–they have the potential to damage tissue such as nerves and blood vessels along with destroying fat. Water jet uses water to help with fat removal. While there is less damage to tissue, there is minimal fat recovered. You may also hear about “Spot lipo” or “Awake lipo” but they simply cannot compare. It is not how fast or easy that matters—it is the quality of the final result. SAFELipo® stands for Separation-Aspiration-Fat Equalization. SAFELipo® uses specialized cannulas and equipment that are time tested and have grown in popularity with the aesthetic community over the last 10 years because of the extraordinary results and minimized complications.
#2 It takes a bit more time because there are more steps.
In traditional methods, fluid is introduced and once it takes effect, a cannula is run back and forth sucking out fat. Essentially the surgeon is using the cannula to break up the fat while suctioning it out simultaneously. SAFELipo® gently loosens the fat first, then goes back and suctions it out. Think of fat as peaches on a tree. The multiple steps of SAFELipo® would compare to gently removing the peaches from the tree without suction. The suction would be used to retrieve the unattached peaches that lay freely on the ground, leaving the tree and its limbs unscathed. SAFELipo®’s separation method is so important because it is the step that releases the fat so it flows out. The final step of fat equalization ensures that everything is smooth and has great contour.
#3 SAFELipo® maximizes the amount of fat removed.
The first thing to keep in mind is that liposuction is surgery and all surgery carries risks. To minimize risk we limit liposuction by blood loss, surgical time, and the amount of fat removed. In my experience, SAFELipo® allows for less blood loss. What this means for patients is the ability to remove more volume. The only limiting factor is now volume of fat and the time in surgery. The multi-step process—separation of fat and then removal is more work for the surgeon both physically and mentally, but the results are worth it. The quality of the fat collected also influences the success of any fat grafting desired by the patient. In my hands, because the fat has been “handled with care” a greater percentage lives in its new location.
#4 SAFELipo® is ideal for creating a smooth contour.
One of the most common reasons for liposuction revision surgery is ripples and bumps on the skin. These areas are known as contour deformities and occur when skin adheres to the deeper tissue. This is why we want to leave a nice smooth layer of fat between the skin and deep tissue. The final step of SAFELipo® is called fat equalization. This step is used to create the nice, smooth layer in order to minimize the chance of getting a contour deformity. It’s similar to greasing the pan when baking a cake so the cake doesn’t stick to the pan.