About Liposuction

Liposuction is the removal of unwanted fat from specific areas of the body – particularly stubborn areas that don't respond to traditional weight loss methods.

A popular cosmetic procedure, both men and women opt for Liposuction for a number of different reasons. It may be to shift pockets of fat that are not responding to diet or exercise; it may be to re-sculpt a body which is perceived as being out of proportion (such as pear-shaped women, who store their fat at their hips); or it may be to achieve a desired shape or definition.

Whatever your reasons for considering Liposuction, it can help you look and feel more comfortable in certain clothes and can boost your confidence. It can be carried out on most areas of the body, including the abdomen, hips, inner and outer thighs, buttocks and knees. However, you should note that it is not designed as a weight loss treatment or a solution to obesity. You should also be aware that you will need to maintain your new body shape by eating healthily and exercising regularly.

Your Procedure

There are several liposuction techniques available. These include:

  • SAL (Suction Assisted Liposuction) – in which fat is removed from the body by aspiration using vacuum suction. SAL may be dry, wet or tumescent depending on the volume of saline (salt solution) injected into the operation site before the procedure is commenced.
  • UAL (Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction) – uses ultrasonic energy to liquefy the fat cells before SAL is used to remove the liquefied fat and to smooth the edges of the treated areas.

Liposuction can remove up to five litres of fat with relative safety during one session. Fluid is lost along with the fat, so this will be replaced during the procedure. Repeated treatments may be necessary to achieve the desired result in some patients.

The surgery is performed under twilight sedation or general anaesthetic, depending on the size and number of areas being treated. The length of your procedure will depend on the size of the area, the amount of fat being removed and the technique used. The duration of your surgery should be discussed with your surgeon.

You will be carefully monitored immediately after surgery and your total stay in hospital should be one day.

After Your Procedure

  • Some pain, discomfort and stiffness can be expected for a week or so after surgery. This will eventually settle and can be managed with oral pain medication.
  • The compression garment for which you were measured up at your initial consultation will be put on you in theatre once your operation is complete. This must be worn continuously for six weeks to help reduce swelling in the treated area.
  • Swelling and bruising is normal and should be expected. Some bruising may go down within the first week of surgery, but it can take several weeks before skin discolouration fades completely.
  • It can take several months before the treated areas completely heal and take on their final shape and contour.

At Home

  • You may notice slight redness, swelling and bruising around the wounds, this is normal.
  • Any pain should be managed with oral pain medication.
  • A small amount of discharge from your wounds is normal.
  • You will have dressings over your wound sites. These should be left on until the two week post-op review. These dressings are waterproof, so there is no need to cover them to have a shower. If the dressings come off before the post-op review, you may use Band-Aids™ over the wounds.
  • You must continue to wear your garment for six weeks after surgery.
  • Some people may be able to return to work anywhere between a few days and two weeks after surgery. It depends on the nature of your normal activities at work, the extent of your treatment and how well you feel.
  • Light, everyday activities can normally be resumed after two to three weeks. However, be aware that over-exertion can lead to increased swelling and soreness. Normal activities can usually be resumed after six weeks.
  • A post-op review will generally be carried out two weeks after your surgery.

Things To Look Out For

Surgery is not without its risks and we encourage all patients to be mindful of the warning signs that a complication may be developing. If you experience any of the following symptoms during your recovery, please contact us immediately.

  • Signs of infection such as; high temperature, heavy discharge from your wound site, an increase in redness or heat around your wound site, or a dramatic increase in pain that is not relieved by oral pain medication.
  • Increased swelling around your wound.
  • Nausea or vomiting which does not settle.

Outside of clinic hours, please contact your GP or closest emergency department.