Liposculpture vs liposuction. Are they two different procedures?
While both terms are often used interchangeably by plastic surgeons, they have some subtle differences, says Orange County plastic surgery expert Dr. Tarick Smiley.
Liposuction strictly concerns itself with the removal of superficial fat that sits beneath the skin, while liposculpture also uses the same method although with the intent to sculpt the body and so it is sometimes referred to as high-definition liposuction.
A good example of liposculpture would be abdominal etching in which fats are removed in order to create grooves that resemble the “washboard abs.”
Recently, Dr. Smiley performed liposculpture on a female patient who was relatively thin prior to surgery and thus a standard liposuction—i.e., debulking the area of fat—may not be able to deliver the amount of definition she desired.
The patient specifically requested for an improved waist-to-hip ratio, which translates to having a narrow waist juxtaposing the curvy hips. Several studies have found a strong preference for a WHR near .70, which means that the waist circumference is 70 percent of the hips measurement.
While liposuction and liposculpture can narrow the waist, Dr. Smiley has warned that it is impossible to go past the muscle and bone; hence, the final results also depend on the patient’s underlying anatomies.
Since the goal was to narrow the waist and create smooth flanks, Dr. Smiley made multiple puncture holes to access the unwanted fats from different angles, which is one of the keys to achieve smooth results.
To further ensure smooth, natural-looking results, the celebrity plastic surgeon has emphasized the importance of “feathering technique” and moving the cannula (thin hollowed tube) in a fan-like and criss-cross fashion.
In liposculpture or liposuction, feathering means that the areas adjacent to the actual treatment site are “slightly” included to ensure a smooth transition. Preserving the natural contours of the body is one of the keys to high patient satisfaction.
To further ensure a more feminine physique, Dr. Smiley injected some of the fat volume into the hips.