Carbon dioxide therapy: effects on skin irregularity and its use as a complement to liposuction


For a successful conventional or superficial liposuction, it is necessary to consider the competence of the surgeon who is to administer the procedure necessary for this type of surgery as well as the physical and psychological evaluation of the determined patient. A poor result often is related to the persistence of adipose tissue irregularity in the form of fatty tissue accumulation. This complication, common to this type of surgery, has called for research to determine methods for its treatment. Carbon dioxide (CO2) therapy refers to the transcutaneous and subcutaneous administration of CO2 for therapeutic purposes. This treatment originated at the Royal Spas of France in 1932 with the treatment of patients affected by obliteration of arteriopathies. Recent studies have demonstrated the effect of subcutaneous CO2 therapy performed to improve local parameters of circulation (performed by Doppler, laser-Doppler, and trans-cutaneous partial pressure of oxygen determination), and to reduce localized adiposities (verified reporting variations in maximum circumference and performing histologic studies). With these results, the absence of toxicity, and the relevant side effects related to this treatment taken into consideration, the Plastic Surgery Unit of Siena has been committed to researching the role that CO2 therapy can play in the treatment of skin irregularity and as a complement to liposuction. The authors report their experience using Carbomed programmable automatic CO2 therapy apparatus and 30GA1/2 0,3X13 microlance needles for the treatment of patients with adipose tissue accumulations located on the thighs and knees. In their study, 42 patients were divided into three groups: A, B, and C. In Group A, only liposuction was performed. In group B 3 weeks after liposuction CO2 therapy was administered in two weekly subcutaneous applications of CO2 for 10 consecutive weeks. In group C, CO2 therapy alone was administered with the same contingencies used for group B (two weekly subcutaneous applications of CO2 for 10 consecutive weeks). The objective was to assess the effectiveness of CO2 therapy for skin irregularity and as a complement to liposuction for adipose tissue accumulation by reporting variations in circumference and skin elasticity monitored by the Cutometer SEM 474 in all treated areas. The data obtained were analyzed statistically. Values of p less than 0.05 were considered significant. The authors report their experience and the results achieved from the study.

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