Cellulite  (liposhifting)

What Is Cellulite?

Cellulite is the expression used to describe pockets of fat which are trapped and cause dimpling in the skin. This dimpling is irregular and patchy and has been identified with orange peel.
90% of post-adolescent women go on to develop cellulite at some time during their life although it is very hardly ever seen in men. The thighs, buttocks and the abdomen are the most common areas for a woman to develop cellulite. Although it is often mistaken for obesity, cellulite is not actually obesity related because it can also take place in thin lean women.

Underneath the dermis and epidermis are three specific layers of fat. Cellulite tends to develop in the subcutaneous fat layers. This layer of fat is unique in its structure compared to the other layers because its fatty parts are structured into specific chambers by strands of linked tissue around it.

Hormones also help out with the storage of fat along with the body's metabolism in the subcutaneous fat layer.

Hormonal factors such as estrogen and folliculine also play a role in cellulite formation. Cellulite is for the most part found in women during their hormonal changes such as puberty, pregnancy, and menopause and also whilst taking birth control pills. A woman's hormones are usually responsible for the regulation of their blood flow, fat, connective tissue and lymphatic drainage.

The fat cells between the two reserve fat layers situated under the subcutaneous fat layer dissolve into a slack network. A person's genetic makeup predicts their fat storage and metabolism in these layers which are predisposed by diet, exercise and lifestyle. These layers have no responsibility for cellulite forming on a person's body.

The subcutaneous fat layer in a woman is organised into large upright chambers allowing fat to be stored. In men, these chambers are organised into small slanting units. These store smaller fat quantities and are not likely to form cellulite.

Cellulite's formation is a result of complex physiological changes that occur in the subcutaneous fat layer. Regular exercise and well balanced diets do not always reverse or prevent its formation, although an unhealthy lifestyle will make the overall appearance worse over time due to poor nutrition, weight gain and lack of sufficient water intake.

With age there is a loss in the thickness and tone of the connective tissue in the superficial fat layer and the dermis. Unfortunately noticeable, flaccid cellulite is the result.

What is Liposhifting?
Liposhifting is a very modern type of surgery used for what cosmetic surgeons call “body contouring”. During body contouring, the cosmetic surgeon uses an instrument to emulsify existing fat and then push remaining fat into a new position (fat transfer) or shape. It is used to remove and redefine the look of cellulite as well as to reshape fat deposits on the lower part of the body.  The liposhifting gets good results in cases of cellulite whereas liposuction can actually make cellulite appear worse.

Unlike liposuction, liposhifting does not remove fat from unwanted areas of the body. The instrument does not vacuum fat away, but rather it is designed to emulsify the fat that is there and then regurgitate it back into the body so that the overlying skin contour appears smoother.

The procedure was practically invented to correct the cellulite that can spontaneously occur after standard cosmetic surgery treatments such as thigh lifts and buttock lifts. It liquefies hard lumps of fat so that the skin has a more polished, smooth appearance. It is also used for deep indentations and scars.

Application of Liposhifting
Liposhifting is only recommended for areas of the body that require large areas of fat to be altered.  However, the ideal candidate for liposhifting is an individual who is good health and be overweight by more than 25%. A good cosmetic surgeon will not agree to displace more than 10% of the body fat during a liposhifting procedure, as it is dangerous for your health.
Liposhifting Procedure
In a standard operation, the cosmetic surgeon makes an incision on the appropriate area on the body. He then inserts the liposhifting instrument beneath the skin. The instrument resembles a miniature cheese grater and is called the Micro Fat Cutter. Dr Gamage uses standard power assisted triport cannula for liposhifting which achieves smoother liposhifting with less damage.  The broken down fat is then released back into the body through the unit and back under the skin so that the skin lies flat in a neater, smoother layer.

Liposhifting is usually only done with local tumescent anesthesia. The area beneath the skin is flushed out with lidocaine (a local anesthetic), saline (salt water) and epinephrine (a drug that narrows blood vessels and prevents bleeding during surgery.) The tumescent technique of liposuction is now considered the safest form of cosmetic surgery for removing very large amounts of fat because there is virtually no blood loss. Tumescent liposuction also eliminates the necessity for general anesthesia as the treatment is localized. The less bleeding there is the less likely there is to be infection and the epinephrine reduces the capillary size so there is less swelling. This means that patients no longer need intravenous sedatives, narcotics, or general anesthesia when undergoing a liposhifting procedure.

Liposhifting - Risks & Complications
As with any cosmetic surgery procedure, there is always some risk involved. Like all cosmetic surgery, liposhifting does come with some serious risks including the risk of bruising, bleeding, disfiguration, scars and infection. Also if the cosmetic surgeon’s use of the cannula is sloppy, it can cause permanent depressions and dimpling of the skin that resemble the cellulite that was supposed to be removed in the first place.

However, since liposhifting requires only a single incision and the fat is never removed from the body, risk is greatly reduced. As it is used in conjunction with tumescent anesthesia, there is very little bleeding and the use of addictive narcotics is not needed to treat pain afterwards.
Are You an Ideal Candidate for Liposhifting?
Individuals with AIDS or a serious underlying disease such as cancer may be discouraged from having this type of cosmetic surgery. Liposhifting is also risky for individuals with vascular, heart or nerve problems. If you are a smoker you will be advised to quit smoking before you have the operation to minimize the risk of bleeding and to speed the healing process.

As liposhifting is part of “body contouring” you are best to find a cosmetic surgeon that is skilled in the craft. In essence, the more experienced the cosmetic surgeon is at body contouring, the more able he/she will be able to perform a liposhifting procedure without damaging surrounding tissues.

New liposuction techniques can remove cellulite in the outer thighs very successfully. It is best to remove when it is a small collection so it will not become a big problem.

Inner thigh cellulite is another area which should be removed when it is a small collection. Otherwise the fat keeps collecting in the same area leading to very lose skin.