Lipoedema is a condition that affects women across the world, preventing them from being able to lose weight. There is no cure, however liposuction has been widely recommended as the most long-lasting and effective treatment.
Microlipo, also known as micro-cannular liposuction, is often recommended as the safest and most comfortable method of liposuction. However with mis-information and mis-conceptions circulating the internet, some myths have developed about the procedure and how much fat it can remove.
This blog post aims to bust this myth by speaking to Dr Puneet Gupta, a leading aesthetic physician who was trained extensively by the inventor of microlipo, Dr Jeffrey Klein.
MYTH: Microlipo removes less fat
When people hear the term ‘microlipo’ it’s easy for them to think that ‘micro’ is synonymous with smaller amounts of fat being removed. However, the ‘micro’ part simply refers to the much smaller instruments used during the procedure.
As Dr Gupta explains: “The smaller instruments used during microlipo are actually to the patient’s benefit if they are suffering with lipoedema. This is because the procedure is more lymphatic sparing than the larger big bore cannulas used by any other technique.”
So, how much fat can be removed with microlipo?
Despite the use of smaller instruments, microlipo is capable of removing any amount of fat and the legal guidance on how much fat can safely be removed is the same for both microlipo and other techniques of liposuction.
However, traditional lipo has had some bad press over the years due to some doctors performing long procedures on 3, 4 or even 5 areas at a time and removing 8 to 10 liters of fat. When large amounts of fat like this are removed in one sitting it can cause a dramatic loss of fluids, and significantly disturb the hemodynamics of the body.
Therefore, when it comes to microlipo, the amount of fat removed is carefully calculated to ensure patient safety, and to ensure that the patient can recover in the comfort of their own home instead of at the hospital.
Microlipo is not a one size fits all procedure. The amount of fat that can be safely removed ultimately comes down to the patient’s age, bodyweight and general health. Not only is every patient different, every patient will want something different out of their procedure.
Dr Gupta states that, “When a patient wants to save money and get everything done in one go, I think that’s a very wrong approach to consider. There’s no price tag that one can put on one’s wellbeing and life.”
Microlipo better protects the lymphatic system
Lipoedema is a condition that we still do not know enough about, however it is known to eventually develop into lymph-oedema. For this reason, it is important to avoid as much damage to the lymphatic system as possible – which may not be possible with traditional lipo and Vaserlipo.
Although it may sound appealing to go with a doctor that claims they can remove 6-7 liters of fat via liposuction, this is probably crossing a line for your safety and wellbeing. The large cannulas used for traditional and Vaser liposuction do a significant amount of damage to the lymphatic system that your body will not be able to fully repair.
Whereas micro liposuction uses tiny cannulas that have a 2mm diameter, causing a limited amount of damage to the lymphatic system. Lymphatic damage is inevitable with any liposuction procedure, however the damage caused by microlipo will be repaired by the body within six weeks post procedure.
Dr Gupta says, “With lipoedema there is always that risk of lymphoedema. We want to avoid damage to the lymphatic system as best as possible and that is the biggest factor that any lipoedema sufferer considering liposuction should bear in mind.”
Seek a procedure that causes minimal damage
Traditional or Vaser liposuction and the removal of large amounts of fat can cause damage that goes beyond the lymphatic system. The large cannulas used during liposuction are typically connected to devices that generate a significant amount of heat that can damage the skin from the inside. When you suffer with such an uncomfortable condition like Lipoedema, it is important not to cause yourself any more discomfort, even in the process of trying to treat it.
Dr Gupta advises: “Lipoedema liposuction is not straightforward and there are lots of points to consider. Micro doesn’t mean less and bigger doesn’t mean better. There are lots of factors to understand and people can only get to know them once they see the doctor.”
If you are considering liposuction or microlipo for lipoedema, book your consultation with Dr Puneet Gupta to learn more about how he can help you.