What is liposuction?

Liposuction often called ‘lipo’, is a fairly common cosmetic procedure aimed at removing unwanted body fat from certain parts of the body. There are various different types of liposuction, such as tumescent liposuction, ultrasound-assisted liposuction, and laser-assisted liposuction. Surgical liposuction is also referred to as liposculpture and may be carried out to remove excess body fat in combination with an abdominoplasty, or ‘tummy tuck’.

Why do it?

People may choose to undergo liposuction for a number of reasons all revolving around a general dissatisfaction about the shape of their body. Often, even after exercise and dieting, excess fat can remain in some places. Due to its immediate results, liposuction can greatly boost a person’s confidence. Liposuction may also be used on people who are not necessarily overweight but rather unhappy with their physical appearance. Other reasons to undergo liposuction include reducing fat production, improving one’s health, and stimulating collagen growth.


How is liposuction performed? 

Liposuction involves sucking excess fat out through a tube. After marking the parts of the body to be treated, the surgeon then injects the area with medication and anaesthetic-containing solution that reduces blood loss as well as bruising and swelling. Fat cells are then broken up in order to make them easier to extract before a small incision is made and a suction tube is inserted. The tube is moved around the area in order to suck out the fat. After, excess fluid and blood is drained before the patient is stitched up and bandaged. The operation usually lasts around one to three hours, and is carried out using a general anaesthetic or epidural anaesthetic in lower areas of the body. The patient usually has to remain in hospital overnight.

How can you prepare for liposuction?

In order to prepare for liposuction surgery, the patient may be recommended not to take specific medications, such as blood thinners, for at least two weeks before the operation. Liposuction preparation depends on each individual, and a specialist will provide advice on what to do beforehand.

Post surgical care

After liposuction, the patient may have to take antibiotics in order to reduce the chances of infection. Compression bandages or an elasticated support corset are fitted in order to reduce bruising and swelling. These are worn for several weeks post-operation. In some cases, such as when a large area of fat is removed, some time off work may be necessary. If the patient had a general anaesthetic, they won’t be able to drive for a few days. Full recovery after liposuction surgery generally takes two weeks. 

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