Liposuction or liposculpture, is a minimally invasive technique which reshapes specific areas of the body by removing excess fatty deposits.
Liposuction can be used to treat most areas of the body, either as an isolated procedure or combined with other body contouring procedures. The best candidates for liposuction are normal-weight people who have firm, elastic skin with an abnormal distribution of fat in specific areas such as the hips, thighs, or neck. Liposuction is a major surgical procedure often taking many hours to perform. It is not a weight loss technique, nor does it reduce stretchmarks; rather it is a tool to target areas that are resistant to exercise.
Liposuction is performed through small, inconspicuously-placed incisions in the skin.
First, a local anaesthetic, saline and adrenaline solution is infused to help reduce bleeding, as well as aiding in post-operative pain. A cannula, which is a thin hollow tube, is then inserted through the incisions to loosen the targeted fat, which is then dislodged and suctioned out of the body using a surgical vacuum.
How long does it take to recover from liposuction?
Liposuction is performed under general anaesthetic as a day stay procedure, followed by about one week of rest to recover.
What are the potential risks and complications of liposuction?
Although modern surgeries are generally safe, there are potential risks and complications that may occur. I will discuss all of the complications and risks with you in detail. Some of the possible risks and complications that are associated with liposuction may include:
- Temporary and ongoing pain
- Shock, caused by excessive fluid loss
- A delay in healing, especially if you are diabetic or a smoker
- Irregularities on the skin surface, including uneven contours and rippling
- Some doctors use an ultrasound device during surgery to liquefy fat cells. This can cause a thermal burn or heat injury either on the surface of the skin, or in the deep tissues. This is a technique which I rarely use.
- A tumescent and super-wet liposuction may cause complications as a result of the anaesthetic fluid injections. These complications may include lignocaine toxicity which occurs if the solution has a high content of lignocaine, or the lungs may collect fluid if there is an excess of fluid given. I rarely perform liposuction of more than 5kgs, so these risks are greatly reduced.
- Infection may develop in the fatty tissues, which can be serious and will require hospital admission, IV antibiotics and surgery
- The surface of the skin can become “baggy” or asymmetrical
- Unacceptably visible scarring
- Changes to skin sensation, or numbness
- Skin swelling and discoloration
- Changes in skin pigmentation
- Allergic reaction to drugs
- Persistent swelling of the legs
- Blood or fat clots form and travel to the lungs; this can be life threatening
- Friction burns or other damage to the skin and/or nerves
- Damage to the abdominal organs, muscles, lungs, blood vessels, nerves, and other deep structures
- Additional surgery may be required to revise complications
- Cardiac complications, pulmonary complications and deep vein thrombosis may occur in some cases
How much does liposuction cost?
The cost of liposuction is highly variable dependent on:
- Whether the liposuction is performed as an independent procedure or as an adjunct to another procedure such as a tummy tuck or facelift
- How much liposuction is performed
- Anaesthetist’s fee
- Private hospital or day surgical facility fees
- Need for post-operative garments
- Length of hospital stay
- Whether you need other body contouring procedures such as labiaplasty, arm lift, thigh lift and tummy tuck.
After our consultation my staff will give you an itemised account of the total cost.