Advances in re-do (secondary) liposuction

Performing liposuction on an area that has been previously treated with liposuction is hard. The area often has a significant amount of scar tissue mixed with the remaining fat, and it’s hard to get the cannula to pass smoothly. Getting the fat out is much more difficult the second time, and the recovery may be more sore for the patient compared to the initial round of liposuction. It’s also a lot of effort and hard physical work for the surgeon.

So, I’m excited to report on a new technique from the recent ASAPS meeting that I’ve tried, and it seems to be a major improvement for treatment of secondary liposuction cases.

Dr. Simeon Wall presented his three-step liposuction method, which he calls “S.A.F.E. lipo”, short for Separation, Aspiration of Fat and Equalization. The initial separation step and the third equalization step are what’s new, compared to standard liposuction.

A special cannula is used to pre-tunnel the area to be treated, with the use of the power-assisted liposuction (PAL) machine. I used this yesterday, on a patient having secondary liposuction of the abdomen and waist – and it’s a huge improvement.

Then, usual PAL-type liposuction is performed, and the freed-up fat comes out much more easily than what we’re used to seeing, with less bleeding and bruising, as well.

A final step of contour equalization with the special tip cannula is used, to smooth out the contours and minimize post-operative irregularities.

The 3 step method does take a little longer, but I think the early results are looking very promising, with nice smooth contouring. The fibrotic areas are still not what I would call “easy” to treat by any means, but Dr. Wall’s S.A.F.E. lipo method does appear to be a significant step forward. This looks like a winner.

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