Liposuction (Fat Removal)
What is a fat removal procedure and why is it
A liposuction procedure can help men and women of all ages
(dependent on skin condition) to overcome the embarrassment caused
by localised areas of excess fat. It is most suitable for the
reduction or removal of stubborn areas of fat that have previously
proved resistant to normal diet and exercise regimes, and is
especially suitable for areas that remain out of proportion to the
rest of the body shape, irrespective of a person’s weight loss.
The procedure involves the permanent
surgical removal of fat from just below the surface of the skin
through suction keyhole surgery and can be performed under local or
general anaesthetic. It often involves a one night stay in hospital
The ultimate objective of liposuction surgery is to produce a
well-contoured and permanently slimmer profile on the area treated.
The aim of the surgeon is to create a new shape that will
complement and work in harmony with the other proportions of a
What kind of men and women request this procedure?
What are the results like?
This particular procedure can provide dramatic results,
correcting a disproportionate shape. This corrective procedure is a
lengthy and potentially challenging one and needs to be performed
by a Consultant Plastic Surgeon who is fully qualified and well
experienced to skillfully perform this type of surgery.
Results will be obscured by the inevitable swelling that takes
place following this type of procedure. After the initial
post-operative swelling has settled down, subtle improvements to
the contour and newly created shape will take place for up to six
months following liposuction surgery.
Which areas normall respond well to fat removal surgery?
- Outer thighs
- Inner knees
- Lower abdomen
- Lower buttock folds
- Chest area (in men only)
How is a liposuction (fat removal) procedure
A liposuction procedure involves the surgical removal of surplus
fat through a slender tube called a cannula. This cannula can
either be connected to a large syringe or a special surgical vacuum
device, through which, excess fat cells are carefully sucked
During the procedure the surgeon gradually reduces the fatty
deposits of any problem area until the area resembles a
proportionate and more normal contour.
Patients can either be fully anaesthetised or sedated throughout
this procedure, which can take an average of between one to two
hours to perform.
The type of anaesthetic chosen will usually determine whether a
patient is treated as a day case or be required to stay
in hospital overnight to recover.
Techniques vary between surgeons and according to the individual
needs of each case. However, most commonly, the surgeon injects the
selected area with a clear solution that limits bleeding and
bruising and numbs the surrounding tissue for up to eight hours
following surgery before excess fatty deposits are removed by
suction. This solution will be absorbed in part by the body and the
remaining solution will leak out of the tiny cannula incisions for
24 hours after surgery. This is a normal process and patients
should not be alarmed by such leakage.
Following surgery, the small keyhole incision sites left after
the suction surgery are either sutured together with a tiny single
stitch or closed with a simple elastoplast dressing. Patients are
then dressed in a firm support garment, which must be worn at all
times for four to six weeks following surgery. This support garment
is important, as it adds compression to the newly formed shape and
assists with the early reduction of swelling and helps healing.
How will you feel after fat removal surgery and what is the
recovery period like?
The operated area is often quite tender, bruised and painful for
several weeks following surgery.
Analgesic tablets (pain killers) are always provided for any
discomfort and patients are encouraged to stay as mobile as
possible during their early recovery stage to help improve their
circulation. This in turn will help diminish residual swelling and
bruising and aid a more speedy recovery.
In the early days following discharge, patients are strongly
advised to avoid any excessive level of activity that would put
undue strain on the operated areas. Whilst the healing wounds are
well hidden beneath the skin, they still need the same
consideration that any visible wounds require during a recovery
In order to help the newly shaped fatty tissue and skin bond
firmly together, patients are usually advised to wear an elastic
support garment day and night for at least one week and then for a
minimum of another three weeks during the daytime. Patients will
also be advised to take a specific amount of recovery time away
from work, dependent on the type of work they perform, but it is
usual to take around 7–14 days away from work, dependent on the
volume of the fat removed and individual recovery.
Are there any risks involved in fat removal surgery?
All surgery involves an element of risk from developing
complications. However, cosmetic surgery is usually undertaken
voluntarily and only when a patient is in good health. Therefore,
the probability of experiencing complications from this kind of
surgery are substantially lower than those who undergo surgery for
ill health reasons. Risks such as irregularity, bleeding,
alteration in sensitivity, infection and scarring will all be
discussed quite openly at consultation, as well as our scrupulous
efforts to manage and minimise these risks to their lowest possible
This procedure can involve the removal of reasonably large
volumes of fat. The elasticity of an individuals skin will
determine how moderate or dramatic the shape change can be. In
appropriately selected cases and in the hands of a skilled surgeon,
loose skin following surgery should not be a significant problem,
but it is worth bearing in mind that not everyone is suitable for
this procedure for this reason. A careful assessment of an
individuals skin condition will always be made by the Surgeon,
before any decisions are made about a patient’s suitability for
The surface contour over the treated fat removal area/s can
sometimes be irregular, particularly if a lot of fat has been
removed, however if the technique is properly carried out by our
appropriately skilled surgeons these irregularities are usually
very minor. Dimpled skin, (cellulite) will not usually be improved
by undergoing a liposuction procedure.
The loss of superficial skin sensitivity following liposuction
surgery in an entirely variable one from patient to patient.
Post-operative skin sensitivity can often be interrupted because
of swelling developing around the nerve endings of an operated
area. Sometimes it can take several months for skin sensitivity to
completely recover and on very rare occasions, a treated area may
remain permanently numb.
Typically, the key hole incisions made during a procedure are very
small (a few millimetres across). However, the appearance of scars,
(which generally fade progressively after surgery), are a highly
individual matter. Usually these extremely small scars mature,
soften and fade to a negligible level by 6 months following
surgery. Very occasionally however, customers can develop
discoloured, unsightly firm scars, known as hypertrophic or keloid
scarring, which may require further corrective treatment.
The importance of a thorough pre-operative consultation with the
Consultant Plastic or Specialist Surgeon who will perform your
operation cannot be over stressed. You need time to consider all
the benefits and risks of liposuction and the opportunity to
reflect and consider all the information your Consultant Surgeon
offers you before you make a decision regarding your potential
With Vive, each consultation is tailored to an individual’s needs,
but the consultation will always involve a thorough evaluation of
your present and past medical history and a physical examination of
the problem area. Your surgeon will take time to listen to your
concerns and will take care to ensure that you have a thorough
understanding of what can be done to help, the procedure itself,
the recovery stages and a clear explanation of the risks