Liposuction can be used to radically and permanently remove localized fat deposits. These localized fat deposits do not disappear, as a rule, despite a diet or physical exercise. However, liposuction is not a weight loss method and its aim is not to control the patient’s weight. Therefore, liposuction is not a treatment for obesity. In practice, liposuction WAL can be applied to a large number of areas of the body: the “saddlebags”, but also the hips, thighs, ankles, calves and arms
The BODY-JET machine allows the injection of water and suction simultaneously. This liposuction technique is not very traumatic for the lymphatic tissue. It limits physical suffering, allows the body to recover better and causes much less bruising than with traditional liposuction. Very few plastic surgeons use this technology in France. Dr Nicolas Zwillinger has been using this technique since 2012.
A pre-operative check-up is carried out as prescribed. An echo-Doppler +/- a lymphoscintigraphy are performed to measure the extent of the oedema and the quality of the venous and lymphatic network. The anaesthetist will be seen in consultation at the latest 48 hours before the operation, particularly in the case of associated risk factors (obesity, poor venous condition, coagulation disorder, etc.).
The operation is performed under general or spinal anaesthesia. The patient will be asked to fast (not eat or drink anything) for 6 hours before the operation, and no aspirin-based medication should be taken for 10 days before the day of the operation.
The principle of liposuction WAL is to introduce, from small incisions (3 to 4 millimetres), foam cannulas with a rounded, non-sharp tip, perforated at their end with several holes. BODY-JET infiltration and fat suction are then carried out simultaneously.
Insofar as these fat cells do not have the ability to multiply again, there will be no recurrence of this overpopulation of adipocytes. The quantity of fat extracted must of course be adapted to the quality of the overlying skin, which is one of the determining factors for the quality of the result.
At the end of the operation, a modelling compression aimed at limiting post-operative oedema is carried out, most often with the help of an adapted panty or compression bands.
The duration of the operation varies from 30 minutes to 3 hours (on average 2 hours) depending on the volume of fat aspirated.
It should be noted that the time needed to recover from liposuction is proportional to the amount of fat extracted. In the aftermath of the operation, bruising and swelling appear in the treated areas. The pain is variable, such as aches and pains. They can be soothed with painkillers. Fatigue may be felt in the first few days, especially in the case of major fat extraction. This is mainly linked to anaemia and can be prevented by a pre-operative iron treatment (almost systematic). This iron treatment will also be continued postoperatively.
Normal activity can be resumed 15 to 20 days after the operation. This also depends on the extent of the liposuction and the type of professional activity. The bruises will disappear within 10 to 20 days after the operation. Wearing an elastic support garment is recommended for 3 to 6 weeks. It is possible to resume sporting activities 3 to 4 weeks after the operation. The operated areas of the body should not be exposed to sunlight or UV light for at least 3 weeks.
There is no clear change in appearance during the first 3 to 4 weeks, as there is initially a post-operative swelling of the operated tissue (oedema). Following the operation, lymphatic drainage is recommended in order to make the swelling disappear more quickly.
It is only after one month, and after the resorption of the oedema, that the result will start to appear. The skin will take about 3 to 6 months to retract completely on the new curves and readapt to the new silhouette.
The aim of this surgery is to bring about an improvement, to treat the lipedema locally. It is not about achieving perfection.
The first of the symptoms that decreases considerably is the pain of lipedema. It is important to know that certain skin irregularities or a “cellulite” appearance may persist even after a perfectly performed liposuction WAL.
If your wishes are realistic, the result should give you great satisfaction.
WAL liposuction is the sustainable answer for people with lipedema, but it may require several procedures. Do not hesitate to consult a cosmetic surgeon who performs this technique to find out if this surgery is possible in your case.