Liposuction (also known as liposculpting) is used to remove fat and contour areas of the body where it is difficult to lose fat through diet and exercise. It can be very effective in sculpting and defining these difficult areas.
Indications for Liposuction:
Limitations of Liposuction:
Pre and post surgery clinical photographs of the treated areas will be taken. Liposuction is carried out through very small incisions where fluid is infiltrated and then a suction cannula is used to remove the fat. A narrow metal tube (suction cannula) attached to a suction pump is inserted through the very small skin incisions and used to remove the unwanted fat by moving it through the area to be treated under the skin. Most surgeons inject a local anaesthetic and adrenaline solution beforehand to help reduce pain and bleeding.
It has the advantage of having very small scars and of being very effective in removing subcutaneous tissue. It does rely somewhat on the ability of the skin to snap back and this is something that varies from individual to individual and lessens with age.
Power or suction assisted liposuction is normally used. For very small areas, hand held syringes may be used. Variations of liposuction utilise ultrasound or laser to assist in breaking down and removing the fat.
Liposuction can be carried out under local anaesthetic (while you are awake) or general anaesthetic (while you are asleep) depending on the extent of the surgery planned and your wishes.
Depending on the extent of surgery, you may be able to go home the same day or after one night in hospital.
Liposuction is often combined with other procedures to give the best possible results for those procedures. Some common combinations include:
You will have bruising and swelling in the treated area afterwards which will peak at day 2 to 3 and slowly resolve over the weeks following this. Most of this will go in the next 4 to 6 weeks but swelling can persist for up to 6 months especially in areas such as the ankles. You will have small scars in the areas the suction cannulae have been inserted and you often have some temporary numbness of the overlying skin. Some fluid may ooze from these areas in the beginning.
You will need to wear a compression garment for 4 to 6 weeks postoperatively. This helps to provide support to the skin and to keep swelling controlled.
Most people return to work between 5 and 14 days depending on the extent of the liposuction and the nature of their work. Light activities can be resumed within 2 weeks and normal activities are usually unrestricted after 4 to 6 weeks.
While most liposuction surgeries go very smoothly and patients are delighted with the results, as with any procedure there are some risks associated with liposuction.
Longevity of Procedure:
Liposuction surgery has a high success rate and is considered an excellent procedure for contouring the body.
The fat cells that are removed during liposuction are permanently removed. However the remaining fat cells can increase or decrease in size if you gain or lose weight. It is important to realise that if you gain weight after liposuction, you can regain it in the areas treated by liposuction as before or in a slightly different pattern of weight gain than before. This is why liposuction is best viewed as a body contouring rather than a weight loss procedure and best performed when you are at a stable weight with no further weight changes planned. The change to your body contour should therefore last.
The natural ageing process of the body also continues regardless of surgery and so may over time alter your body shape.