A step-by-step guide:
Your initial appointment
Lipogems® adipose therapy isn’t suitable for everyone. When you first contact us, you’ll be offered an initial assessment and consultation with an orthopaedic surgeon to discuss your condition in detail, review any recent diagnostic tests you’ve already had and/or carry out further tests. These may include MRI scans, CT scans, and X-rays. You’ll also be asked to fill in a detailed questionnaire to provide more information about your symptoms. We’ll then be able to advise you about whether Lipogems® adipose therapy is likely to be the right choice for you.
If you decide to go ahead, you’ll have an opportunity to discuss the treatment in much more detail with your specialist, who will be able to answer any questions you may have.
Before your treatment, you’ll be introduced to the plastic surgeon and radiologist who will carry out the treatment. You will also meet one of our team of physiotherapists who will help you to prepare for the procedure by following a programme of exercises designed to strengthen the muscles around your joint. These are designed to help you recover as quickly as possible.
At each stage of your preparation, treatment, and follow-up you’ll have access to a multi-skilled team of professionals who can advise you about your treatment and recovery options.
What do I need to do to prepare for my treatment/procedure?
No special preparations are required, apart from making sure you drink plenty of water so you’re well hydrated on the day. Before your appointment, we’ll ask you to update us about your health, including any allergies you may have, and any medications you are taking (e.g. blood thinning medication).
What happens on the day of my procedure?
Your Lipogems® procedure will be carried out at Weymouth Street Hospital.
The procedure normally involves having a local anaesthetic (with sedation) rather than a general anaesthetic, so there is only a short recovery time and you’ll be able to return home the same day.
Treatment with Lipogems® involves three steps
Harvesting: fat is removed from your hip or abdomen. This procedure, which takes around 30 minutes, is usually carried out using a local anaesthetic while you are sedated and normally involves making two small incisions (cuts) of about 1cm to enable the fat to be removed using a water-assisted suction tool. Slimmer patients may need to have more incisions to obtain enough fat for the treatment, but you’ll have an opportunity to discuss this beforehand. Immediately afterwards, you’ll be taken to a recovery suite for around two hours. During this time, the cells will be processed.
Processing: the regenerative cells are separated from your fat tissue using the Lipogems® system. Your cells aren’t changed in any way and no other chemicals are added.
Implantation: your adipose cells are injected into the damaged area by your radiologist using ultrasound guidance to target the precise location.
What should I expect afterwards?
Lipogems® adipose therapy doesn’t involve an overnight hospital stay or long recovery time. It’s a day case procedure, after which you’ll be able to return home.
Immediately after your treatment, you will be carefully monitored for several hours by our team of specialist nurses, to make sure that you are feeling well and the incision sites are healing correctly. One of our team of physiotherapists will see you to discuss your programme of exercises, which you’ll be able to begin around 48 hours after your treatment; these are designed to help you recover as quickly as possible.
Most people don’t need to have stitches to close the incisions which should heal naturally and will be covered with an absorbent dressing pad and compression wrap for 24-48 hours after the procedure. The wound may ‘leak’ a little for up to 24 hours; this is completely normal and you shouldn’t be concerned.
Before you leave, you’ll be given information about caring for your wound and a follow-up appointment date. You’ll also be given advice on post-operative medications.
If you are worried about any aspect of your recovery or have any questions, please contact us as soon as possible.
How can I help with my own recovery?
You’ll be encouraged to take an active role in your own recovery, even before your treatment. Working with one of our team of physiotherapists, you’ll be shown exercises to improve your muscle strength before your procedure and afterwards. Carrying these out regularly can help you recover as quickly as possible.
What are the risks and side-effects?
There have been no serious reported side-effects from Lipogems® adipose treatment. However, as with any other injection, you may have some mild to moderate swelling at the affected sites.
Lipogems® treatment involves using only your own fatty tissue, with no other substances added. This means that the chances of infection or reaction to the treatment are significantly reduced. The treatment is carried out using a sterile technique; however, as with any injection or procedure, there is a slight risk of infection.
If you experience any side-effects such as pain, redness, swelling or pus at the injection or tissue collection site, please contact us or your own GP as soon as possible for advice.