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Treating Lipoedema: MicroLipo vs. Traditional Liposuction

Considering liposuction to treat lipoedema? It's important for your health and wellbeing that you know the key differences between traditional & microlipo.

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 effective and long-lasting treatment.

If you have been looking into lipoedema liposuction, you might have heard about microlipo and wondered how it differs from traditional lipo. In this blog post, we tackle some of the key differences and misconceptions of the two procedures, and why choosing the right one for you could be vital for your health and wellbeing.

What is MicroLipo?

Microlipo, also known as tumescent liposuction, is often recommended as the safest and most comfortable liposuction method. It is a minimally invasive procedure that allows for the best cosmetic results without lengthy recovery times.

Although lipoedema has no known cure, microlipo is being widely recognised as the appropriate method for easing the pain and strain of symptoms.

However, with so much information readily available on the internet, some misconceptions have developed about the procedure. This blog post aims to bust some of the myths circulating the internet by speaking to Dr Puneet Gupta, a leading aesthetic physician who was trained extensively by the inventor of microlipo, Dr Jeffrey Klein.

‘Micro’ doesn’t mean less fat is removed

When people hear the term ‘microlipo’ it’s easy for them to think that smaller amounts of fat are being removed than with traditional lipo. However, the ‘micro’ part simply refers to the much smaller instruments that are used during the procedure.

Dr Gupta explains:

“The smaller instruments used during microlipo are actually to the patient’s benefit if they are suffering from lipoedema. This is because the procedure is more lymphatic spearing than the cannulas used by any other technique.”

MicroLipo makes patient safety a priority

It’s not that traditional liposuction is generally unsafe, but it has had some bad press over the years due to doctors recklessly performing long procedures on 3, 4 or even 5 areas at a time and removing 8 to 10 litres 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.

Microlipo is also capable of removing 5-10 litres of fat, and the legal guidance on how much fat can safely be removed is the same for both procedures. However, the amount of fat removed with microlipo 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.

As Dr Gupta says,

“It’s important when so many people have access to the internet and come across all this information about liposuction that they interpret it correctly and save themselves the damage that it can do.”

One size doesn’t fit all

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, body weight and general health, and a wellbeing-focused approach will take all of these factors into account. However, not only is every patient different, every patient will want something different out of their procedure.

Dr Gupta:

“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.”

It’s important to protect the lymphatic system

Lipoedema is a condition that we still do not know enough about, however, it is known to eventually develop into lymphoedema. For this reason, it is important to avoid as much damage to the lymphatic system as possible - which may not be possible with traditional liposuction.

Although it may sound appealing to go with a doctor that claims they can remove 6-7 litres of fat via liposuction, this is probably crossing a line for your safety and wellbeing. The large cannulas used for traditional 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:

“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 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 from such an uncomfortable condition as 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.

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