Liposuction, also known as lipoplasty, is a surgical procedure to reshape the body through the removal of fat. It is a popular choice for both men and women who have stubborn pockets of fat that will not tone up even with a strict diet and exercise regime.
Liposuction: Am I suitable?
Liposuction can remove fat from the following areas; the outer and inner thighs, knees, hips, arms, stomach, buttocks, chin, waist and back. It is not suitable for obese people – liposuction is best suited to patients who are as close to their ideal weight as possible.
Liposuction: What do I have to do to prepare?
Your surgeon or doctor will give you instructions on how to prepare for surgery; these may involve avoiding aspirin, stopping smoking and alcohol consumption.
Liposuction: What’s the treatment like?
Liposuction can be carried out either under local or general anaesthetic depending on the extent of the procedure. Through a small incision in the treatment area, a thin tube or cannula is inserted, which breaks up the fat cells prior to them being suctioned out.
New techniques have been developed to minimise the bleeding, bruising and discomfort that accompanies traditional liposuction.
Wet liposuction; a solution of saline, local anaesthetic and adrenaline is injected into the treatment area and this helps reduce bleeding, bruising and swelling and makes it easier to remove the fat. Both the fat cells and the fluid are sucked out at the same time. Another variation on this technique is called tumescent liposuction where a very large volume of fluid is injected.
Ultrasound liposuction; ultrasound devices are used to break up the fat cells, making them easier to remove. Depending on which technique is employed and how large the treatment area is, then the procedure can take anything from one to four hours.
Liposuction: What about after?
Your recovery is dependent on the extent of the procedure. Most patients are able to return to work within a week. There will be bruising and swelling for a few days and the treatment area might look uneven or lumpy for some time but this should fade. Wearing a compression garment for anything up to a month after treatment will help with this.
Strenuous activities should be delayed for four weeks but gentle exercise is usually encouraged.
The fat cells that are removed in surgery should not replicate in the same area so the results should be long-lasting, but it won’t stop you gaining weight in other areas so it is important to commit to a healthy diet and exercise regime post treatment.
Liposuction: Are there any risks or side effects?
Technological developments are constantly making the operation a safer, more effective and more comfortable treatments for patients. There is the risk of infections and blood clots but these are very rare. There is the chance of lumpy, uneven results which may require further treatment, but a skilled practitioner should be able to avoid this.
Liposuction: How much does liposuction cost?
Depending on the size of the area, liposuction can cost from £2,000.