What is mini-liposuction?
Removal of excess fat from areas of the body where it persists despite of exercising and diet. Areas suitable for this procedure are double chin, "love handles" around the waist, tummy, inner thighs or knees, "saddle bags" at the outer thighs, inner surface of the upper arms.
In contrast with the conventional liposuction, a mini-liposuction, like Vaser liposuction, requires only local anaesthesia, has fewer complications, better tolerated by the patients, less traumatic and has got a shorter recovery time. Only small amount of fat is extracted at a time, varying from 100-500 ml. This procedure is not suitable for people who are obese and it is ideal for people who have minor body contour imperfections and who find a conventional liposuction not acceptable
How is it done?
A small diameter canula is inserted via a keyhole incision. The canula is attached to a suction machine. A surgeon moves the canula in the target area, creating multiple small tunnels in the fat. The fat cells are dislodged and sucked out. The collected fat can be used to inject into the areas of tissue deficit. This is called then fat transfer. The whole procedure takes about 1 hour.
Diabetes, autoimmune disease, tendency to bleed or scar badly, pregnancy, breastfeeding, active infection, malignancy, psychiatric conditions, severe heart, lung, kidney or liver conditions. People using anticoagulation should consult their doctor and if possible stop their medication 3 days prior to the operation. Not recommended for immune-deficient patients.
Bruising is common and disappears within 10 days, swelling settles after 48 hours, loose skin and uneven surface take longer to recover and might take up to 2-3 months. Velasmooth treatment can aid in recovery by smoothing the lumpiness and tightening the skin. In fact it compliments the treatment for better and quicker results.
Infection is rare and will require antibiotics, damage to a nerve or a blood vessel is extremely rare, numbness of the overlying skin is common and improves in few weeks.
Ice pack application immediately after the operation reduces swelling and bruising. Wearing a compression garment or dressing is necessary for 2 weeks all the time and further 4 weeks at night only. Keyhole incision suture is removed in 1 week after the procedure. Moisturising cream is advised to apply on skin few hours after but avoiding the wound. Massaging the area can be started once it is not swollen and painful. Simple analgesia like Paracetamol can be taken but not Aspirin or Ibuprofen. Normal activities can be resumed once it is comfortable.
Recurrence of the problem
Fat can accumulate again in the treated area but to less degree and not so readily. However, patients are advised to maintain the result by exercising regularly, healthy diet and a maintenance treatment with Velasmooth once in 3 months, though the last is optional.
What are other treatment options?
Smart-Lipo treatment was widely publicised and is used for similar indications. A canula is inserted via a keyhole incision and laser is beam is passed to melt the fat cells. Fat gets resorbed and eventually drained via the lymphatic system. Treatment is costly and slow to obtain a satisfactory result; only a small area is treated at a time.
Injection lipolysis - using phosphatidylcholine, emulsifying agent. Multiple sessions are needed to obtain a satisfactory result, and currently this treatment is not licensed in UK.