Liposuction has been a mainstay in cosmetic surgery for over 30 years. The most recent statistics have shown liposuction to be the most popular cosmetic surgery in the US in 2011 with over 325,000 procedures performed by plastic surgeons alone. Many of the latest advances in liposuction have been around new devices to make the procedure easier and more effective. Unfortunately, some of these new technologies have resulted in an increase in complications or just additional cost to the patient without improved results.
However, there does appear to be a new approach to liposuction that is showing promise of better results with lessened complications and no additional cost – the best of all worlds. This technique is called SAFE liposuction and was first introduced by Dr. Simeon Wall in Louisianna. This technique involves three distinct steps to help improve the overall results.
- S – separate
- A – aspirate
- F – fat
- E – equalization
SAFE lipo begins with using an “exploded” tip for the lipo to help separate the fat from the underlying tissues without using a suction device. This helps to even out the fat to be removed to improve the suctioning process. You can see a close up of the “exploded” tip versus a normal cannula in the photo. The next step is the aspiration or removal of the unwanted and dislodge fat from the separation phase. This is much like the standard approach that most doctors use to remove fat. Finally, we then use the fat equalization technique to help ensure an even and smooth postoperative body contour. This helps to ensure the underlying fat is smooth and even, even after the previous steps. Each step of the SAFE technique helps to build an improved surgical outcome without the risks or additional costs associated with lasers, ultrasound or water jets.
Here is an example of a patient who was unhappy with previous liposuction and a tummy tuck with significant abdominal wall scarring – often a significant challenge for any liposuction technique. She is seen with a more defined waist with and even and smooth contour.