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What Is Liposuction?


Almost everyone has areas of fat on their body they just can’t seem to shift. Whether it is your thighs, your love handles or your tummy that is causing your confidence to crash, liposuction (also known as lipoplasty, liposculpture, or lipectomy) can help. Contrary to popular belief, liposuction is not a quick-fix weight loss treatment, it is designed to contour and improve the shape of your body and is best suited to people who are a healthy weight but have stubborn areas of fat they can’t get rid of with diet and exercise alone. Traditional surgical liposuction is done under general anaesthetic and involves a lengthy recovery period, however there are now new forms of liposuction, such as liposculpture, which can be done under local anaesthetic and involve less down time. As a non-surgical alternative, some candidates may be suitable for laser lipolysis, a less invasive treatment that is also done under local anaesthetic.

Am I a Candidate for Liposuction?

The ideal candidate for a liposuction procedure is someone of average weight with firm, elastic skin who has pockets of fat in specific areas that they would like removed. Liposuction is not a solution for obesity, it is designed for removing small areas of fat that do not respond to a healthy diet and regular exercise.  Look here for liposuction before and after photos.

Before Surgery – Before liposuction surgery, it is important to have a detailed consultation with a cosmetic surgeon and to clearly outline your expectations of the procedure. It may be the case that a less invasive option, such as laser lipolysis, can deliver the results you desire without a costly and expensive surgical treatment.

During Surgery – During a liposuction procedure, small 5mm incisions will be made around the treatment area, and a hollow suction tube (also known as a cannula) is inserted and moved around under the skin to break up the unwanted fat. The fat is removed either manually with a large syringe, or with the use of a vacuum pump. The overlying skin remains attached to the connective tissue and underlying muscles of the skin during the operation and a thin blanket of fat is left under the skin to help prevent dimpling or bumpy skin after the liposuction procedure. 

Recovery from Liposuction

Expect the treatment area to be sore, with some bruising and swelling after a liposuction procedure. Depending on the extent of your treatment, you should allow for 5-7 days of recovery time.

Benefits of Liposuction 

Liposuction is a surgical is a method for removing areas of stubborn fat that do not respond to a healthy diet and regular exercise. Fat can be removed from the back, chest, stomach, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, upper arms, underneath the chin and the neck with the aim of reshaping and slimming that specific area. However, liposuction cannot prevent you gaining weight and it is also not a treatment for cellulite. Learn more about liposuction results here.

Types of Liposuction

As the liposuction procedure has been improved and developed, several variations on the original technique have been introduced. These include tumescent liposuction, where fluid is injected into the fatty areas before liposuction to ease the removal of fat, reduce blood loss and minimise discomfort; and ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty which uses ultrasonic rays of energy to break down the fat to ease removal. A reputable practitioner should be able to discuss all the possible procedure options with you.

Risks and Complications – Some pressure, movement, and stinging may be felt during a liposuction procedure whilst the fat is removed, but it is rarely painful. Bruising, swelling, and some blood-coloured fluid leaking from the wounds may be expected for a few days. Very rare potential complications include infection, unevenness, numbness or nerve damage at the site of the liposuction. Although good liposuction results can be permanent with a sensible diet and exercise, some patients may require a repeat procedure in the future in order to achieve or maintain a desired result.

How much is Liposuction? – the cost of a liposuction operation can range from £1,500 to £5,000 depending upon the areas being treated.

Choosing a liposuction Surgeon – It is important to select a reputable, experienced cosmetic surgeon in order to maximise the results and minimise the possible risks and complications of a liposuction procedure.

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