Liposuction or liposculpture – what is the difference?
Liposuction is a procedure performed under general anaesthetic to remove fat from the body. It was devised by Dr Giorgio Fischer in Rome and refined by Dr Pierre Fournier in Paris. Liposculpture is a term for liposuction when it is performed under a special type of local anaesthetic called tumescent anaestheisa which was devised by Dr Jeffrey Klein in California in 1987.
For optimal sculpturing of body contours the liposculpture surgeon needs to be able to view the body from many different angles to ensure a three dimensional approach. Because the patient is awake she or he can be moved as often as necessary to refine the optimal contour.
With liposculpture we tend to use finer cannulas which are the tubes placed into the fat space. This means less fat is removed with each stroke which makes it much less likely that you will get irregularities in the skin. The smaller cannulas also result in less trauma and this results in a much quicker recovery time. Most of my patients return to work on day 3 and only need to wear garments for three days instead of the six weeks which is common with liposuction performed under GA.
A further benefit of tumescent anaesthesia is that the adrenaline in the anaesthetic causes vasoconstriction which results in minimal blood loss – in general you would normally lose no more than a teaspoon of blood during the procedure.
Obviously being able to avoid a general anaesthetic also makes the liposculpture safer.
For all these reasons I only perform liposuction using the liposculpture technique under local tumescent anaesthesia.