While the surgeon’s skill sets and qualifications will largely determine the success of liposuction—a body contouring surgery that breaks up and removes “unwanted” fat—the techniques and equipment will also have their influence.
Dr. Tarick Smiley, a leading Los Angeles plastic surgeon, has recently posted a video on Snapchat to demonstrate one of his liposuction machines imported from Germany.
Dr. Smiley says the Moller liposuction machine can perform “liposuction, lipo-filling, and infiltration all at the same time,” hence the operative time is shortened and thus may contribute to improved patient safety.
Hence, the liposuction machine is ideal for Brazilian buttock lift (BBL) in which large volumes of fat are suctioned out of the body, purified, and re-injected through a process called lipo-filling.
Nowadays, lipo-filling—also referred to as fat injection or structural fat grafting—is an established technique that can be applied to various plastic surgery procedures including BBL, three-dimensional facelift, cheek augmentation, and breast surgery (cosmetic and reconstructive).
Because BBL typically requires “aggressive” or large volume liposuction, one of the most pressing issues is the increased bleeding. During fat extraction, the cannula (straw-like device) inadvertently removes some blood.
Large blood loss can result in longer recovery, more fluid imbalance, and higher risk of complications; therefore all efforts are made to minimize the amount of bleeding. For this reason, Dr. Smiley uses another equipment called Cell Saver.
Cell Saver is a liposuction machine that can process the fluids, collect the red blood cells, and re-infuse them into the patient while the surgeon is doing liposuction. This piece of equipment is also used in hospitals to control bleeding, which is a risk when an operation takes too long (more than 6 six hours).
To further reduce the amount of bleeding, prior to liposuction Dr. Smiley infiltrates the fatty area with tumescent fluids, which are infused with several drugs that include epinephrine.
The renowned plastic surgeon says that epinephrine works by constricting the blood vessels, ultimately reducing the amount of blood loss by up to 90 percent compared to the dry liposuction, which is now a passé technique as it entails prolonged recovery and increased risk of skin asymmetry.
(Note: Dry liposuction means the fatty area is not infiltrated with tumescent fluids or any wetting solution before the fat is removed with cannula.)