Microlipo: An alternative breast reduction surgery
Microlipo is the latest treatment on the cosmetic surgery market to help women looking for a breast reduction.
Breast reductions in the past require quite major surgery. Also know as reduction mammoplasties, the procedure usually involves fat, tissue and skin being removed from the breasts before they are reshaped and the nipples repositioned. This sort of surgery means that patients are often left with quite hefty scars and because a general anaesthetic is used, a three night stay in hospital plus six weeks of recovery time is usually required.
The results from a traditional breast reduction are not always great either – there can be scarring, uneven results, plus all the complications associated with major surgery including infection and blood clots. Many women also lose some or all of the feeling in and around their nipples and many lose the ability to breast-feed.
However microlipo offers appears to offer a better alternative for some women looking to have their breasts reduced. As the name suggests, microlipo is similar to liposuction. A thin metal tube – known as a cannula – is inserted into the fat layer below the skin via a small incision. This cannula has two purposes – to break up the fat cells and suck them out.
During the microlipo procedure the cheat area is first disinfected with an iodine solution before a small cannula is inserted into around eight to ten points around the chest, injecting a local anaesthetic each time. Once the breast area is numb, another cannula is inserted to suck out the fat.
It is claimed that microlipo can reduce the cup size of a patient by up to four sizes.
After the microlipo procedure, the patient must wear a compression garment over the breast area to help reduce swelling and assist with the healing process.
The benefits of the microlipo procedure are clear – less down time, no general anaesthetic and less scarring.
Unfortunately the microlipo procedure is not suitable for all women. Any women with a family history of breast cancer may not be eligible as any scarring in the breast tissue may trigger changes that increase the risk of breast cancer. Women who are overweight are normally asked to try and lose some weight naturally as the breasts should reduce as weight is lost – although this is usually assessed on a case by case basis as a breast reduction may help larger women exercise more easily and therefore help them lose weight more quickly.
Any women who has loose skin in and around the breast area will also be advised not to have the surgery as reducing the volume of the breasts will only exacerbate this look.