Interview with Dr. Simeon Wall about SAFELipo
SAFELipo was originally developed to address the challenges of revisionary liposuction. But it was quickly recognized that the gentleness, precision, and ability to remove large volumes of fat without increased risk of contour irregularities would benefit all liposuction patients. We talked with creator of SAFELipo, Dr. Simeon Wall Jr, to find out more about this technique. Here’s what he had to say:
- In layman’s terms, what is SAFELipo?
SAFELipo is a comprehensive, multi-step body contouring process that combines aspects of liposuction, fat shifting and fat grafting. The first step is Separation, during which the fat is gently loosened and emulsified. Since no heat is generated, the essential blood vessels, skin, and other tissues are kept intact. The second step is Aspiration, which uses gentle suction and a smaller cannula to preferentially remove the separated fat. The third step is Fat Equalization, where the remaining fat is sculpted to create a smooth, even layer of fat below the skin which prevents dents, ripples, or other surface irregularities.
- Why is it safer?
SAFELipo uses specially designed probes and cannulas to gently break up and emulsify fat without damage to surrounding tissues. This treatment allows for the separated fat to be suctioned more easily, preventing blood vessels and other structures from being damaged with the suction. Smaller cannulas can also be utilized, further diminishing tissue trauma. With SAFELipo, the fat removal step is quick and bloodless, and because SAFELipo does not utilize thermal energy, there is no heat damage to blood vessels and other support structures. SAFELipo significantly reduces or eliminates bruising, can decrease postoperative swelling, and prevents excessive internal scarring.
- Why is it different?
SAFELipo combines the benefits of liposuction, fat shifting and fat grafting to produce dramatic, yet very smooth, body contouring results. The process can remove even large volumes of fat without producing contour irregularities such as indentations or ripples. Unlike traditional liposuction, which simply removes fat, the SAFELipo process leaves behind a layer of healthy, local fat grafts that create a visibly smoother, more even surface appearance in the treatment area. SAFELipo is performed as a more comprehensive process, usually treating circumferentially as opposed to the “spot” reduction commonly seen with other techniques. SAFELipo also generates no heat, thereby avoiding thermal injuries to the blood vessels, support structures and skin. Liposuction techniques that utilize thermal energy can damage these essential tissues and can lead to excessive scarring, dermal adhesions, skin discoloration and skin burns.
- Who is a good candidate for SAFELipo?
Although SAFELipo was originally developed for very challenging revision liposuction cases, it soon became clear that it could benefit all types of body contouring patients. A good candidate is a healthy non-smoker who is close to his or her goal weight, who wants to slim and reshape areas of their face or body. Areas that can be treated with SAFELipo include any area with excess fat deposits- circumferential thighs and legs, upper back, circumferential trunk, breasts, arms, face and neck – any area that can be treated by standard liposuction. Anyone who is a good candidate for traditional liposuction can benefit from SAFELipo.
- Are there any differences in recovery time compared traditional liposuction or other liposuction techniques?
Recovery times from SAFELipo vary depending on the extent of the procedure and whether it is performed alone or in combination with other cosmetic procedures. In general, patients experience a quicker and more comfortable recovery, with significantly reduced postoperative bruising and swelling, due to the gentle and meticulous nature of the process. Most patients are able to return to work in just a few days, and in many cases they feel 100% recovered within a week. Patients that require larger volume SAFELipo procedures can have recovery times significantly longer, depending on the amount of surface area treated.