Liposuction continues to be one of the most popular body contouring procedures at Centre for Surgery. Our surgeons carry out hundreds of liposuction procedures each year. One of the most common questions we get asked is about choosing the most effective type of liposuction to remove stubborn fat deposits anywhere on the body. There is no single technique for carrying out liposuction, and a great variety of liposuction techniques and technologies are available in the UK.
Patients often carry out a great deal of online research and are often faced with a bewildering amount of information about liposuction and the many ways of performing the procedure. Our practice philosophy is always to choose clinically proven advanced technologies that often help the surgeon carry out the procedure without getting tired. Liposuction can be a physical procedure, and there are now techniques that involve gently extracting fat whilst preventing the surgeon’s arms from becoming fatigued. Both expertise and surgical technique are essential factors get the best liposuction results. Our liposuction surgeons are highly experienced in performing liposuction on many different liposuction areas such as the abdomen, thighs and hips.
At Centre for Surgery, our plastic surgeons are experts in the SAFElipo technique of liposuction. It is essential to distinguish the differences between SAFELipo and VASER Lipo as SAFElipo is a surgical technique and VASER lipo is a technology.
What is SAFELipo?
SAFELipo is our preferred technique for carrying out all types of liposuction, including fat grafting and fat transfer. SAFE is an acronym which stands for the three key processes which make up the SAFELipo procedure:
- Separation – ‘S’
- Aspiration – ‘A’
- Fat Equalisation – ‘FE’
These three steps are designed to tackle some inherent problems with traditional liposuction to ensure that risks are kept to a minimum, and that patients get the best possible results. There are several recognised side-effects of any liposuction procedure, including the development of skin rippling or visible dimpling of the skin due to the uneven removal of fat. The SAFELipo technique utilises similar liposuction processes, including the injection of local anaesthetic and power-assisted liposuction (PAL lipo) and adding an extra two steps.
The first step of SAFE liposuction involves making tiny incisions through the skin to permit the insertion of specialised cannulas, which have an expanded tip resembling a lantern. This cannula can vibrate at high speed, which facilitates the gentle separation of the subcutaneous fat from adjacent connective tissue, blood vessels and nerves. Once this step is complete, the fat cells should be efficiently detached from the surrounding attachments, which facilitates the second step involving aspiration. The aspiration step consists of the use of more delicate cannulas with smaller diameters for gentle removal of fat to minimise common liposuction side effects of bruising and swelling as well as to avoid any localised damage to the connective tissue framework under the skin.
The final step of SAFELipo is fat equalisation which involves evening out and redistributing any residual fat to prevent the risk of skin irregularities or an uneven distribution of fat. By eliminating contour abnormalities, SAFE Lipo, when carried out by an experienced surgeon, can result in beautiful and natural-looking results.
What is VASER Liposuction?
VASER Lipo is a third-generation ultrasound-assisted liposuction technology and is not a specific technique for performing liposuction. VASER Lipo utilises high-frequency ultrasonic vibrations to facilitate the fat being broken up into smaller globules. VASER technology is designed to detach and separate fat cells from surrounding supporting tissue, and this is thought to result in a minimal risk of bruising, bleeding and tissue damage. The result may mean a faster recovery for patients who have VASER Lipo.
However, in our experience, VASER liposuction has a higher risk of developing skin irregularities and uneven fat distribution. VASER Lipo generates thermal energy during the procedure, which is similar to laser liposuction. The significant risk of both VASER Lipo and Laser lipo is the development of excessive scar tissue and even skin burns in the most severe cases. Whilst VASER liposuction can yield satisfactory results in some surgeons’ hands, we believe the procedure’s risks outweigh the potential benefits. That is why we prefer advanced liposuction with SAFELipo as the most effective way of carrying out liposuction.
Why is SAFELipo the best type of liposuction?
At Centre for Surgery London, all our surgeons are trained in the safe Lipo technique combined with power-assisted liposuction, which is a heat-free technique, unlike VASER liposuction, which eliminates the risk of excessive scarring or skin burns.
SAFELipo is commonly used to address many undesirable complications caused by other types of liposuction, including VASER Lipo and laser liposuction. Many patients come to us having developed unsightly contour irregularities from having VASER Lipo performed elsewhere and now require revision liposuction using the SAFELipo technique.
VASER Lipo carries several unwanted complications, which include not only contour irregularities but also seroma formation. A seroma refers to a localised collection of fluid which forms beneath the skin, often in the space where fat has been removed. Seromas are very characteristic of patients who have VASER Lipo, and in cases where these go untreated, the risk of developing skin complications increases considerably. You should now know clearly the difference between liposuction technology (VASER Lipo) and a liposuction technique (SAFELipo). VASER Lipo is simply a type of liposuction device, whereas SAFELipo is a specialist surgical technique used by experienced surgeons for precision body contouring. SAFELipo has a favourable side-effect profile and has a greater than 95% satisfaction rate from patients who have the procedure with us.
The number of liposuction devices continues to increase each year, with each device claiming several advantages for the surgeon. We believe devices should be designed with the patient in mind and optimising safety and ability to produce effective results consistently. Getting the best liposuction results depends primarily on the surgeon using the device instead of the equipment itself. It is fair to say that a good surgeon can generate great results with any liposuction device.
If you are thinking of having a liposuction procedure in London, we recommend choosing the best liposuction surgeon and a clinic committed to providing the highest medical standards throughout all stages of your patient journey. If you are interested in learning more about SAFELipo, please call us on 020 7993 4849 to book an in-depth liposuction consultation with one of our expert body contouring surgeons in London. Our surgeons love meeting new patients and are committed to providing you with the best liposuction experience possible.