Dr. De Fazio Plastic Surgeon :: Procedures :: Body :: Calf lipofilling

Calf Lipofilling

chirurgia_estetica_polpaccioCalf reshaping without implants, using ADRCs-Enriched Fat Grafting (lipofilling with stem cells): natural, not invasive, permanent.

local with sedation / spinal o epidural
1 hour
not necessary (outpatient procedure)

General information

Lipofilling is a natural and safe procedure, which does not imply allergy risks; it is useful to improve the muscle definition in some areas like the calves.
Through this procedure, it is possible to harvest fat tissue from parts of the body such as the thighs or the abdomen (tummy) or from any other site where it is available and, then, graft it to the calves.
The grafted fat tissue is permanent and, since it is enriched with autologous stem cells, no allergic reactions can occur.
Lipofilling can also correct post-traumatic and post-surgical defects.
Nowadays, thanks to Regenerative Medicine, in particular to the Celution® System, it is possible to use stem cells obtained from adipose tissue harvested from the patient himself/herself, to make the result of lipofilling even more effective.

Benefits of the Celution® System:

- the fat tissue grafted is permanent, thus lasting a lifetime
- no allergic reaction can occur
- the result is extremely natural
- using autologous stem cells the adipose tissue grafted increases in volume.

The procedure

Lipofilling is performed in a surgery room if the areas to be treated need a big quantity of adipose tissue and, as a consequence, the harvesting (liposuction) must be from several parts of the body. In these cases, anesthesia must be spinal or local with sedation.

For a lipofilling procedure, the surgeon uses a small needle or cannula attached to a surgical vacuum or syringe, harvesting the fat tissue from the donor site, preferably from the parts of the body where fat tissue is firmer: abdomen, hips or thighs. Once the fat tissue is harvested, it is then processed with the “Celution®" device, which, inside the surgery room, automates and standardizes the extraction, washing, and concentration of the patient’s own adipose-derived regenerative cells (ADRCs), which can then be redelivered to the patient's calves using very thin needles.
This process can be repeated as many times as needed, until the desired correction is achieved.

The harvesting of fat tissue is normally performed in combination with a small liposculpture. The patients undergoing this procedure need to have the conditions for a liposuction suitable to harvest the necessary adipose tissue. As a consequence, the procedure will have a dual result: reducing adipose tissue in the areas where it is excessive and increase the calf volume. The surgeon will make a pre-operative study using the patient's photos, in order to assess which areas need to be corrected by liposuction and how to reshape the calves by lipofilling. There will be no visible scars in the calves, since the needles used leave no signs. In the donor sites, there will be a small scar of about 3 mm (the needle size).
The procedure is performed as day-hospital surgery except from the cases when it is performed late in the afternoon or upon the patient's request.
This procedure is very safe, since it is minimally invasive.

Preoperative Preparation

The patient will be asked to stop taking aspirin or other drugs containing it 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after surgery. Aspirin can cause bleeding and, as a consequence, increase the risk of complications.

It is recommended to female patients taking oral contraceptives to stop taking them one month before surgery.

Post-operative care

The first post-operative check-up will be one week after surgery, the second one 30 days after and, then, 90 days after. Six months after surgery the surgeon will check the patient at his consulting room.

Already from the first day after surgery, the patient can get some Tecar® therapy applications on the treated areas in order to reduce edema, ecchymosis and pain when occurring. At the first check-up, one week after surgery, no stitches need to be removed, since only resorbable sutures are used.
5 to 7 days after surgery the treated areas can be soaked and the patient can have a bath or a shower.
The calves should not be compressed or massaged for 30 days.

After the procedure

The patient will be able to perform his/her usual activities right after surgery.

Some little discomfort can be easily kept under control with proper drugs. 
Social activities should be reduced for one week after surgery if involving the treated areas (such as thighs, knees, hips, tummy and buttock) . Long walks should be limited, as well as strains and sports, for one month; yet, already from the day after, office work can be resumed.

Possible complications

Complications related to the procedure are rare and, when occurring, consisting of: infection, hematoma, asymmetry and irregular skin surface.
These complications as mentioned above, are rare and, anyhow, easily corrected with no major problems in most of the cases.
Although this is a low complication risk procedure, antibiotics are anyhow prescribed to prevent any possible infection. Amongst other possible complications, we can mention a temporary impairment of the lymphatic circulation in the treated area, and, consequently, swelling. This situation gets solved by itself or with the help of a Tecar® Therapy course in combination with massages within one month after surgery.
Possible irregularities or asymmetry can be easily treated with revision outpatient surgery with local anesthesia six months after the lipofilling procedure.

Recovery time (back to social life)

Recovery of the normal physical activities does not get longer because of edema and swelling. Possible redness, normally rare for this procedure, can require a longer time before resuming sun exposure, at least until the redness is gone, which normally happens within 10 days if a course of Tecar® Therapy is carried out.

Pain and discomfort can last for 2-3 weeks and could reduce the functionality of the lower limbs.
Social activities will be reduced for one week after surgery if involving the treated areas (such as thighs, knees, hips, tummy and buttock). Long walks should be limited, as well as strains and sports, for one month; yet, already from the day after, office work can be resumed. Sports can be resumed during the 3rd or 4th week after surgery. There are no special limitations regarding diet. Pain is normally not occurring and can anyhow be easily controlled by proper therapy.                                                   
Limitations in movement are depending on the donor sites involved and on the quantities harvested.
Driving is not affected by this procedure.