Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure designed to remove unwanted fat deposits from specific body areas, including thighs, abdomen, buttocks, hips, neck, and chin.
It aims to improve the body’s contours. Liposuction is not a substitute for standard weight loss methods, and patients should already have a proper routine of healthy eating and exercise before surgery. Most patients find that maintaining the results of liposuction is a good motivator in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Liposuction can often be combined with other surgeries where the removed fat is redistributed to other body areas such as the breasts, face, or buttocks to enhance and improve your body’s overall silhouette.
Liposuction takes 1-3 hours and is performed under general anaesthetic in an accredited hospital facility. Depending on the extent of the liposuction it can be performed as a day procedure or require an overnight stay. Plastic surgeon Dr Alaina Taylor will make a few tiny incisions in the chosen area where fat will be removed. Fluid will then be injected to help soften the fat and reduce potential bruising, after which a small, thin tube known as a cannula will be inserted to begin removing the fat that exists between the skin and muscle. This process is continued in the chosen areas multiple times until the desired amount has been removed. If the fat is being reintroduced elsewhere on the body, the recipient site will be prepped as the removed fat is put through a purification process to eliminate any fluids present. Once complete, this purified fat is injected into the chosen areas where the patient has experienced volume loss, such as the cheeks, breasts, and buttocks. The incisions are then closed with sutures to finish the surgery.
Immediately after the procedure, you may experience swelling, numbness, and some pain, but this will subside after several weeks and can be managed with pain medication. You will also be fitted with a compression garment on the surgical site to reduce bruising and swelling and reinforce your body’s new contours. You may be able to return to work after a few days of rest, but you may need up to several weeks’ downtime depending on the extent of liposuction done. You will also need to avoid vigorous exercise and activity for roughly one month. It may take up to six months for the final results of your liposuction surgery to be revealed.
Risks and complications
Risks and complications have the potential to arise with any procedure you undergo, whether it be medical or cosmetic, and understanding these risks is vital in helping you decide if liposuction is suitable for you.
The potential risks and complications associated with liposuction can include:
- Uneven skin, with ripples or dimples
- Changes to skin sensation and temporary numbness
- Poor scarring
- Skin colour changes
- Excessive bleeding
- Fluid accumulation under the surgical site
- Fat necrosis (if fat is being redistributed elsewhere)
It is crucial that you follow the post-operative instructions given to you by Dr Taylor if you choose to undergo your procedure. This will minimise the potential for risks or complications to arise and reduce the chances of visibly poor scarring occurring.