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International study reveals benefits of lower-body liposculpting

A team of plastic surgeons on opposite sides of the world says they are getting excellent results and low complication rates with liposculpture of the hips, flanks and thighs.

Yixin Zhang, M.D., of Shanghai JiaoTong University, and Manuel Francesco Castello, M.D., of Clinica Villa Salaria in Rome, and their respective colleagues in China and Italy reviewed 4,000 charts of patients who had undergone lower-body liposuction sculpting. The results showed limited complications, including 50 patients experienced a postsurgical seroma that was resolved after syringe aspirations. One patient developed a major mycobacterial infection that was resolved after antibiotic therapy. Twenty patients complained of minor asymmetries that were corrected six months later under local anesthesia, while 18 experienced minor skin irregularities that improved after lipofilling.

Also, there were six cases of transient hyperpigmentation before suction drainage in the removal of large adiposities in patients with light skin, and two cases of transient paresthesia. No skin necrosis or deep vein thrombosis occurred, and no one died.

The authors stress that a key aspect of the technique is to promote and guide skin retraction after fat removal. This includes careful thinning of the skin so it can better retract and adapt to the new shape.

“The main implication of our finding is that liposculpture should not any longer be considered a method of simple fat aspiration but a very sophisticated method that allows the surgeon to modify the shape of the body and re-contour the profile,” Dr. Zhang tells Cosmetic Surgery Times. “Indeed, the remodeling properties of superficial liposculpture should be used to reduce fat volumes and for promoting skin retraction, and the skin should no longer be considered a passive element during superficial liposuction but instead as an active, structural and dynamic constituent.”

Dr. Castello says he thinks the most significant finding is the procedure’s durability: “The long-term results in terms of body contouring and skin retraction have also been maintained in those patients who had pregnancies and weight losses or increases after the surgery.”

The study was published in PRS-Global Open, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ open-access journal.

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