LiposuctionThis involves suction of fat to contour various areas of the body. It is not useful as a weight reduction treatment. Liposuction/Liposculpture can be performed on various areas of the body and can be performed under either general or local anaesthesia.

What can liposuction be used for?

Liposuction is a treatment for the removal of excess fat. It is ideally suited for the removal of localized fat deposits especially on the thighs, buttocks, hips, loins, abdomen, arms, neck, inner knees and ankles. It can be very useful to treat stubborn areas that are resistant to diet and exercise. It is not a suitable treatment for generalized obesity and will not improve cellulite or stretch marks.

Liposuction may also be used for the treatment of lipomas (benign (non-cancerous) tumours of fat), gynaecomastia (fatty breast development in men), and for adjusting the shape of breasts after reconstructive surgery.

What does the treatment involve?

Liposuction is usually performed under a general anaesthetic (the patient is asleep). In some cases, for treatment on the lower body, it can be performed with an epidural like that used for women in labour. This involves a needle in the back which numbs the lower half of the body but leaves the patient conscious. Local anaesthetic is only suitable for liposuction on very small areas of the body and is not often used. In most cases the surgery can be performed as a day case and therefore does not usually require an overnight stay in hospital.

After the anaesthetic, the surgeon will make small cuts in the skin between 1 and 2 cms long in the areas to be treated. A rigid tube can then be passed under the skin into the fat. The tube is attached to a strong suction device. The tube is passed back and forth to break up the fat which is then sucked out by the vacuum. For very small areas a simple syringe may be all that is needed to create the vacuum.

There are a few different techniques that can be used. “Wet” liposuction involves injecting fluid into the fat before removal. The fluid may contain local anaesthetic and adrenaline to help reduce bleeding. Ultrasound liposuction can be used for stubborn fat deposits and involves the use of ultrasound before the surgery to break up the fat.

There are limits on the amount of fat that can be safely removed in one go and so multiple operations may be required at intervals of a few months.

*Results will vary from person to person and a thorough in-depth consultation will first take place.