is the process where fat is sucked out of the body in order to improve
body contour. It is not designed to offer weight loss. The term "liposculpture" is exactly the same as liposuction, and has only been invented as a marketing
tool by some companies!
Liposuction is performed under general anaesthetic, and is a straight
forward operation, the length of which is determined by how much fat needs
to be removed and how many sites of the body are being dealt with. The
commonest sites treated are the abdomen, hips and flanks, and inner thighs.
Other sites include buttocks, arms and knees.
Liposuction simply removes the fat between the skin and the underlying
structures. Patients with young tight skin tend to get the best results
as their skin is able to take up the slack and tighten itself over a number
of weeks. More mature skin, with loss of its elasticity, gives more modest
results due to its age, although older patients can do very well with
Many patients ask whether the liposuction is permanent or whether the
removed fat will regrow. The process of liposuction removes the fat cells,
with the fat tissue on their inside. After the operation not all the cells
are removed, and the remaining ones in theory can re-accumulate fat. Therefore,
if a patient has had liposuction, then eats to excess with no exercise,
the fat can re-accumualte but often at a lesser amounts than before. The
best way of thinking about liposuction is that it is part of a calorie-controlled
There is nothing
special or complicated to be done by the patient. If you are on the oral
contraceptive pill you should continue to keep taking it, and inform the
surgeon or anaesthetist in the hospital. If you smoke it would be a good
ideal to try to stop for a month before and two weeks after as this will
improve wound healing and your post-operative recovery. It would be advisable
to stop any herbal medicines and avoid aspirin or ibuprofen-like drugs
for 2 weeks before the operation.
You will come
into the hospital on the morning of surgery. The operation is performed
under general anaesthetic and takes between one and two hours. When you
wake up you will have a tight dressing over the treated area or be wearing
a custom fitted pressure garment.
follow-up and after care.
You are advised
to stay in hospital overnight. All being well, you will be discharged
the following day with antibiotics and painkillers. It is import to leave
the dressing alone and wear the pressure garment 24 hours a day. You may
notice that the area being treated is swollen. This is normal and is related
to fluid under the skin. The extra fluid usually improves by 48hours and
is gone by 10 days. It is important to remember that the final result
of the liposuction is best viewed at 3 months after the surgery. At between
5 and 7 days you will be seen in the clinic and the dressings removed
and the wounds checked.
It is important to rest and take it very easy for at least 2 weeks after
the operation. You wound be advised to take 10 days to 2 weeks off work
and it is essential to avoid all strenuous activity during this period.
The pressure garment needs to be worn day and night for a month to give
the best result possible, and failure to wear it without doubt diminishes
the final appearance. Vigorous sport such as jogging or the gym should
be avoided for 6 weeks.
A check up clinic appointment at 3 months after the surgery will be arranged
carry a risk of complications, although in liposuction these are fortunately
low. There will be small scars made where the liposuction cannula is inserted
under the skin, however they often become completely unnoticeable with
time. Occasionally, scars may be red and lumpy for a few months but they
usually settle down by themselves without any treatment.
The risk of infection and significant bleeding are between 1 and 2 % and
precautions are taken to avoid this with antibiotics and careful operating.
Many patients will notice that there is bruising of the affected area,
the amount of which varies between individuals. Most bruising resolves
spontaneously at 2 weeks.
There is a very small risk of damaging structures under the skin with
the liposuction cannula, for example, the bowel during abdominal liposuction.
This is an extremely rare event, and great care is taken at the time of
surgery to avoid this, by using careful technique.
Unevenness or lumpy areas can be a problem and are most often related
to failure of the patient to wear the garment as prescribed. Any minor
irregularities that persist beyond 6 months may easily addressed by further
liposuction of fat grafting.
is a simple surgical procedure to improve body shape involving one overnight
stay in hospital, and about 10 days off work. The complication rate is
extremely low and many patients are very happy with the final result.
||1 - 2
||7 - 10