Lymph sparing liposuction should also be the gentle and low risk liposuction. Before any liposuction can be performed, complete decongestion of lipedema tissue needs to occur. This is achieved with compression garments, manual lymph drainage, wraps, and intermittent compression pumps. Ensuring complete decongestion of the tissues with compression is important because it not only reduces swelling which inevitably gets worse temporarily after liposuction, the compression also reduces inflammation, tenderness, fatigue and heaviness. It also ensures the patient can appreciate the significant benefits of compression and increase the likelihood of compliance through the post-operative period which ensure the best results.
Patients with Lipedema often have other medical comorbidities and are generally at higher risk for complications than patients undergoing liposuction for cosmetic reasons. Therefore, all efforts must be made to minimize the risk of complications.
Liposuction complications have been shown to be lower when performed under the following conditions
If the patient has significant varicose veins greater than 4.0mm in the area that liposuction is planned, and/or significant underlying venous reflux, this should be treated before undertaking liposuction because large varicose veins increase the risk of bleeding and/or fat embolization during the liposuction procedure. Since Lipedema patients frequently have varicose veins this is especially important for lipedema patients.
Liposuction with generous tumescent technique that avoids general anesthesia operative and peri-operative complications, which even with modern techniques is often as high as 0.3%, 3 in 10,000, in lipedema patients with comorbidities. So avoidance of general anesthesia and reliance on tumescent anesthesia alone makes liposuction safer for lipedema pateints.
Liposuction that limits the amount of fat removed in one liposuction procedure should be adhered to. While lipedema patients have more subcutaneous fat than most other liposuction candidates, and there is a temptation to remove very large amounts of fat, it is a liposuction surgery that does cause trauma to the skin. Generally, 5.0 liters of fat removal is considered to be safe. There is literature supporting that the risk of complications triples once more than 5.0 liters of total volume aspirate is removed in one procedure. Since lipedema patients have more subcutaneous fat per surface area treated, they often can have 5.0 liters of fat safely removed with a total aspirate of only slightly more than 5.0 liters while still performing liposuction on only 5 – 8% of total body surface area. Although more liposuction at one time may be requested and performed, our current medical literature shows an increased risk, and in some states, there are medical mandates or policies against exceeding these volume limits (California and Florida).
Small liposuction cannulas should be used. Larger diameter liposuction cannulas are more traumatic and more likely to disrupt lymphatic vessels and small venules.
Finally, the surgical technique with which the suction cannulas are used in the tumesced subcutaneous tissue is also very important. Intimate knowledge of the locations and anatomic variations of the lymphatic drainage in the limb or body area that is going to be treated is crucial. Great care should be taken to orient the suction cannulas in a longitudinal manner parallel to the lymphatic collecting ducts in the epi facial areas. Knowledge of location and orientation of pseudo-fascial lymphatic pathways and the afferent lymph vessels is also important to avoid transecting this pathway during the liposuction procedure.
References by topic:
Smaller Cannula Size Less Traumatic Liposuciton
Jayashree Venkataram Tumescent Liposuction: A Review J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2008 Jul-Dec; 1(2): 49–57. doi: 4103/0974-2077.44159 or Google Scholar Link
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Risk of General Anesthesia
People in excellent health , no medical condition have .04 %[ .4 / 100,000 chance of death from general anesthesia ] however if you have medical mild or moderate significant medical conditions the anesthesia related mortality increases to .27 % or 27 /100,000 Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2011 Jul; 108(27): 469–474. or Google Scholar Link
Published online 2011 Jul 8. doi: 3238/arztebl.2011.0469
Is Anesthesia Dangerous?
André Gottschalk, PD Dr. med. MBA,*
Volume of Fat Removal and Risks with Liposuction.
Is There a Limit? A Risk Assessment Model of Liposuction Volume on Complications in Lipoabdominoplasty.Chow I, Hanwright PJ, Gutowski KA, Kim JYSPlast. Reconstr. Surg. 2015-10-01 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26313819 or Google Scholar Link
Large Volume Liposcution refers to removal of more that. Large volume liposuction clinically refers to the removal of more than 5 liters of total volume from the patient.
Tumescent liposuction complicated by pulmonary edema.
Gilliland MD, Coates N
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ReviewSafety issues in ultrasound-assisted large-volume lipoplasty.
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[PubMed] [Ref list]
>Large cannula cause more trauma
“large cannulae instruments caused damage to neurovascular bundles and occasionally led to uneven contours and seromas or hematomas in patients. ”
Indian J Plast Surg. 2008 Oct; 41(Suppl): S27–S40.
Lakshyajit D. Dhami
Higher BMI Increased Risk of DVT
Prevention of Venous Thromboembolism in Body Contouring Surgery . Ann Plast Surg. 2011 Mar; 66(3): 228–232.
A National Survey of 596 ASPS Surgeons
Julio A. Clavijo-Alvarez, MD, PhD,