SAFELipo® – how does the latest body contouring technique compare?

Written by: Mr Mo Akhavani
Edited by: Jay Staniland


Originally designed to address the challenges of revision liposuction procedures, such as having to avoid existing scar tissue, it was discovered that this technique would be beneficial to all liposuction and body contouring patients. The procedure can be used on any part of the body, and doesn’t damage the surrounding tissue and blood vessels.



What does SAFELipo® involve?


SAFELipo® is a 3-step process:


  1. Separation – Power assisted liposuction (PAL) is used to separate the fat cells. This is a vibrating cannula that allows it to pass through the tissues with much less force than regular liposuction techniques. Using the vibrations, the fat cells are released from the surrounding tissue more easily, meaning much less trauma to the surrounding tissue and blood vessels.
  2. Aspiration – This is the stage of the removal of the fat cells by suction. The way that SAFELipo® differs from usual liposuction techniques is that due to the separation stage, the fat cells are looser, allowing for thinner cannulas to be used to remove the fat cells. This means a less traumatic and invasive approach, leading to less bruising, swelling and scarring.
  3. Fat equalisation – This stage is key to achieving the best long-term results. After the layer of fat cells are removed, a thin layer of subcutaneous fat is left remaining. This fat is equalised with fat equalisation probes that smooth the layer of fat, leading to easier reattachment of the skin to the muscle layer, which is vital for the appearance of smooth, natural skin.


Benefits over other liposuction and liposculpture techniques:


  • Consistent results
  • Causes less tissue damage
  • Fewer dermal adhesions (scar tissue)
  • Fewer surface irregularities
  • Optimised fat removal
  • Preserves vascular integrity
  • Fewer complications
  • The best skin retraction results

How long does the SAFELipo® procedure take, and how long is recovery?


The amount of time taken for a SAFELipo® procedure varies depending on the areas being worked on, but usually ranges between 30 minutes to 3 hours.

The recovery time again depends on the areas worked on, but patients can usually return to work after 2-3 days, and will feel normal again after around one week. It is advisable to refrain from sporting activity for two weeks after the procedure.


SAFELipo® vs. Laser Lipo


Laser lipo is a thermal liposuction method that uses heat to burn and coagulate the fat for easier removal. The problem with this technique is that the blood vessels and supporting tissues that keep the skin looking healthy are also burnt and destroyed, leading to scarring of the tissue. Laser lipo can also result in contour irregularities and uneven skin.

With SAFELipo®, the surrounding blood vessels and supporting tissue is left undamaged, meaning the skin remains healthy and supple. There is a much better chance that the final results of the liposuction will be smooth, even and without blemishes.

If you want to make an appointment for liposuction, click here.

By Mr Mo Akhavani
Plastic surgery

Mr Mo Akhavani is a highly skilled plastic surgeon based in London. An advocate of innovative quality with over 15 years of experience, he specialises in all aspects of aesthetic, plastic and reconstructive surgery, and currently operates at the Royal Free London NHS Trust and Harley Street Clinic in London. His main subspecialties include breast augmentation, liposuction, skin cancer, hand surgery, and labiaplasty, but to mention a few. 

Mr Akhavani achieved a BSc in 1998 and completed an MBBS in medicine in 1999, both from the University of London. He completed extensive training in London, Rio de Janeiro, Manchester, Toronto, Shreveport, and New York, while working under some of the most respected names globally. Mr Akhavani is one of the few plastic surgeons in the UK to hold both the British and European diplomas in hand surgery. 

Mr Akhavani was responsible for pioneering the ‘BEST’ body contouring technique. Impressively, he has won several prestigious awards to-date, including the Hunterian Professorship for his research in plastic surgery. Mr Akhavani's research has been widely published in both books and peer-reviewed journals and he is frequently invited to lecture both nationally and internationally. His current research interests include limb transplants.  

He is the chairman of the Body Contouring committee of BAPRAS, and in 2022 was appointed to the court of examiners for the coveted FRCS(Plast) examination for a period of five years. In 2021, Mr Akhavani was named by Tatler magazine as one of the top 40 cosmetic surgeons in the “Beauty and Cosmetic Surgery Guide”. 

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