Surgical treatment: WAL liposuction
Liposuction allows the localized fat deposits to be completely and permanently removed.
Generally speaking, these localized fat deposits do not disappear despite a strict diet or intensive physical exercise. However, the aim of liposuction is not to lose weight and therefore it is not intended to control the patient’s weight. Liposuction is not a treatment for obesity. In practice, WAL liposuction can be applied to a large number of areas of the body: “saddlebags”, but also hips, thighs, knees, calves, ankles, arms.
A brief overview of the WAL technique with BODY-JET
The Body-Jet machine allows for the simultaneous injection of water and suction. This liposuction technique is less traumatic for the lymphatic tissues. It reduces physical suffering, allows the body to recover better and causes much less bruising than with traditional liposuction. Very few plastic surgeons use this technology in France. Dr. Nicolas Zwillinger has been using this technique since 2012.
Before the WAL liposuction procedure
Before the procedure, a pre-operative check-up is performed according to the prescribed requirements. An ultrasound Doppler +/-, a lymphoscintigraphy of the lower limbs are performed beforehand to measure the extent of the oedema and the quality of the venous and lymphatic network. A consultation with the anesthesiologist will take place at least 48 hours before the operation, especially in case of associated risk factors (obesity, poor venous condition, coagulation disorder).
The procedure is performed under general anesthesia.
No medication containing aspirin should be taken within 10 days prior to the procedure : depending on the type of anesthesia, you may be asked to fast (not eat or drink anything) for 6 hours before the procedure.
How the procedure is performed
The principle of WAL liposuction is to introduce, through very small incisions (3 or 4 millimeters), foam cannulas with rounded, non-sharp ends, perforated at their extremities with several holes. The HYDRO-JET infiltration and the fat suction are performed simultaneously.
Given that these fat cells do not have the ability to multiply, there will be no recurrence of this overpopulation of adipocytes. The quantity of fat extracted must of course be adapted to the quality of the overlying skin, which is one of the determining factors for the quality of the result.
A modelling compression is performed at the end of the operation in order to limit postoperative oedema. This is most often done with the help of an adapted panty or elastic bands.
The duration of the procedure depends on the quantity of fat to be removed and the number of locations to be treated. It can vary from 30 minutes to 3 hours (on average 2 hours).
After the WAL liposuction procedure
It should be noted that the time needed to recover from liposuction is proportional to the amount of fat extracted. Bruising and swelling of the treated areas may occur after the procedure. Pain can vary, such as aches and pains. They can be relieved with the help of painkillers. Fatigue may be felt during the first few days, especially in the case of major fat removal. This is mainly related to anemia and can be prevented by a pre-operative iron treatment (almost systematic). This iron treatment will be largely renewed postoperatively.
Normal activity can be resumed 15 to 20 days after the surgery. Again, this will depend on the extent of the liposuction and the type of professional activity. The bruises disappear within 10 to 20 days after the procedure. Wearing an elastic compression garment is recommended for 3 to 6 weeks. Sports activities can be resumed 3 to 4 weeks after the operation. It is advisable not to expose the operated areas to the sun or UV rays for at least 3 weeks.
During the first 3 to 4 weeks, there is no clear change in appearance, as there is initially a post-operative swelling of the operated tissue (oedema). Following the operation, lymphatic drainage is recommended in order to make the oedema disappear more quickly. Similarly, wearing flat-mesh tights is strongly recommended.
The result will only begin to appear after one month, and after the oedema has disappeared. The skin will take about 3 to 6 months to retract completely on the new curves and readapt to the new silhouette.
The purpose of this surgery is to improve and treat the lipoedema locally. It is not about achieving perfection.
The first symptom that disappears is the pain of lipoedema. It should be noted that certain skin irregularities or a “cellulite” appearance may remain (this can be treated with other techniques such as radiofrequency) even after a perfectly performed WAL liposuction.
Provided your wishes are realistic, the result should give you great satisfaction. You can see examples of the results after the operation by clicking HERE
WAL liposuction is the long-term answer for people with lipoedema, but this technique usually requires several procedures, so don’t hesitate to consult a plastic surgeon who practices this technique to find out if this surgery is possible in your case.