Liposuction is a surgical technique which removes fat from under the surface of the skin through small incisions. To be effective the fat must be removed evenly and the overlying skin must have enough thickness and elasticity to allow it to shrink down smoothly over the treated area. This operation allows for shaping of areas with excess fat but is by no means a weight loss procedure.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are the risks?
Although bruising is extensive, excessive bleeding is rare. Infection is rare and scars are very small. The most common problems are related to not being able to remove enough fat to meet expectations or removing too much fat, producing dents, grooves and hollows. Repeat surgery can remove leftover fat but it is very difficult to correct dents. Surgery therefore is usually somewhat conservative.
What about recovery?
The treated area is bandaged and a compressive garment is applied. The bandages are removed in 2 days but the garment is worn for 3 weeks or more; it controls bruising and swelling and keeps the remaining skin and fat smooth as it heals. Sitting or standing for long periods of time is not possible for 2 weeks. It takes several months before swelling is gone and the final result is achieved.
How is it done?
Usually liposuction is performed under a general anaesthetic in an outpatient facility. Small incisions are made near the areas where fat is to be removed in locations which will make the resulting small scar inconspicuous. A saline solution with local anaesthetic and adrenaline is infiltrated into the treatment area to assist with post-operative pain, decrease bleeding and facilitate fat aspiration. A metal pipe or cannula, which is connected to a powerful suction pump, is then moved back and forth under the skin to loosen and remove unwanted fat.