Liposuction surgery removes localised fat deposits from the body by means of a vacuum-suction procedure. Although undertaken for cosmetic reasons the procedure is not a way of loosing weight and should only be considered by people who maintain a steady body weight and a balanced diet but who are still unable to shift small areas of fat.
Liposuction is most commonly used on the hips, although other areas include the neck, upper arms, tummy, thighs, knees, ankles and buttocks.
What does the operation involve?
Liposuction can be carried out under local or general anesthetic depending on the procedure and takes between 30 to 90 minutes.
At the beginning of the operation fluid may be injected into the fatty areas in order to reduce bleeding and swelling and to make the removal of fat easier. Next an incision is made in the skin near the area to be removed and a narrow metal tube is inserted. A vacuum pump or syringe is drawn back and forth to break down the fatty tissue, which is then sucked out by vacuum machine or removed by syringe. The skin then retracts and stitches are used to close the incision.
The treatment area is firmly strapped with bandages as well as a support garment.
What to expect post surgery?
Specialist post–op care:
> Pressure garment to be worn day and night for 2 weeks but can be removed once a day for a quick shower.
> TED stockings to be worn for 2 weeks.
> Drink a lot of fluid to replace the fluid removed during the liposuction.
> Moisturise the scars after the first 3 months.
Please click here for more general post-operation care.
What are the risks?
Common side effects:
> Considerable pain and bruising will occur after the operation and will increase the larger the area treated.
> Swelling can take up to 6 months to settle and numbness in the affected skin can last for several months.
> Treatment in the legs may also cause swelling in the ankles.
Uncommon but potential complications:
As with any operation problems may arise with an unexpected reaction to the anaesthetic, excessive bleeding, blood clots or infection. Complications can occur during or after the procedure.
Further risks relating specifically to liposuction include:
> Some numbness that gets better in 4 to 6 weeks.
> Lumpy or uneven areas left by the treatment and skin discolouration.
> The most serious risks connected to liposuction only occur when very large volumes or fat (greater than 6 litres) are removed. For this reason Mr Richard does not remove more than 5 to 6 litres of fat in one session.