Despite the number of non-surgical devices and treatments now available for fat reduction, Microcannula LipoSculpture – a refined form of liposuction also known as Tumescent Liposuction – remains one of the most effective ways to remove excess fat. One of Australia’s LipoSculpture pioneers, Dr Michael Rich from Rejuvenation Clinics of Australia, has over 25 years of experience performing LipoSculpture procedures. We spoke to him and his theatre assistant Nurse Jenny about Liposculpture in Sydney, and why this is still one of his preferred methods for fat reduction.
What is Liposculpture?
Liposculpture is a technique to permanently remove fat and provide body contouring for a more pleasing aesthetic on the patient. The procedure is also known as Tumescent Liposuction because it can be done with tumescent anaesthesia – or in other words, local anaesthesia. The treatment area is numbed completely, so the patient can be conscious throughout the procedure.
Once the area is numbed, punctures are made with small cannulas (only 1 mm in diameter) to break up and soften the fat, and then suction it out. Thanks to the numbing, you don’t feel any of this. “If a patient does feel discomfort during the procedure, we can increase the numbing fluid,” Nurse Jenny assures us.
The small cannula can be used to sculpt the area for a smoother result. The friction of the cannula beneath the skin also prompts the skin to produce new collagen, which helps the skin tighten itself up after the procedure.
“With a big cannula, you can cause much more trauma, much more bruising. With a small cannula under local, you’re more careful. You get a nicer shape than I think you would under general anaesthetic with a big cannula,” says Dr Rich.
Taking between 30 minutes and 2 hours, depending on the size of the area being treated, liposculpture can be done pretty much anywhere on your body where you have excess fat including:
- Love handles
- Breasts (yes, you can liposculpture your breasts! This is really popular among males who want to get rid of their “man-boobs”)
- Double chin and jowls
- Legs, knees and ankles (thighs are quite a popular spot)
According to Dr Rich, LipoSculpture under local is safe and the recovery is quick. “There has never been a death anywhere in the world with Tumescent Lipo under local,” he says, “and my patients can go to work the next day. They’re belted up and a little bit sore, but they can function quite well.”
Only a little discomfort is felt during the procedure because of the numbing, and recovery varies between people. Some people feel fine, others are tender for a few days. “We advise patients to work within their own comfort zone,” says Nurse Jenny. “Some patients return to work the next day, some take a couple days of rest.”
This counts for exercise, too. Nurse Jenny explains that the muscle is not compromised in the procedure, so you can go back to exercising within a few days, as long as you aren’t feeling sore.
Dr Rich says there is minimal scarring involved with LipoSculpture, as the cannula entry point is only 1.5 mm in diameter. You won’t need to stay overnight at the clinic as there’s no suturing or post-anaesthesia monitoring required. By using 1 mm in diameter microcannula, it also allows for finer sculpting, resulting in much more even and smoother fat removal, with fewer valleys and hills.
Once you’re healed, results take a bit of time to show. Any swelling and fluid should resolve in 1-2 weeks, revealing some results of your fat reduction. Over the next 6-8 months, your skin continues to tighten up. At about 8 months is when you see your best result.
Dr Rich shared some of his liposculpture patient results with us to highlight how effective this method of body contouring can be. Keep in mind that LipoSculpture only requires the one procedure to see results and they are permanent as long as they’re maintained with a healthy lifestyle (eating right and exercising). Other non-surgical treatments for fat reduction often require several visits to your physician.
“As a procedure, the way I’ve been doing it for 25 years, it’s not as invasive as the general anaesthetic, my patients recover well and they love their new shape, so for my patients, it’s a beautiful procedure.”