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Liposuction is defined as the removal of fat from deposits beneath the skin using a hollow stainless steel tube (called a cannula) with the assistance of a powerful vacuum and through tiny incisions less than 4mm long.
Liposuction, or liposculpture, is a procedure that allows our surgeons to reshape almost any area of the body by removing excess fat deposits. At the same time, the procedure can improve your body contours, body proportion and provide you with a renewed self-image. It is considered less invasive than other procedures, with a faster recovery time.
Surgeons at Centre for Surgery have performed hundreds of liposuction procedures between them, as a stand-alone procedure or as an additional procedure to other body contouring surgeries. We use the Lipomatic technique which is regarded worldwide as the best technique to avoid tell-tale signs of liposuction.
Liposuction benefits (Lipomatic technique)
- Meticulous body sculpting
- Typically requires no general anesthesia
- 25% faster than traditional liposuction procedures
- Little to no discomfort
- removal of fat cells
- Immediate results
- Quicker recovery
- Reduced swelling and bruising
- Safety features ensure non-fatty tissue isn’t damaged
- Infrasonic energy ensures healthy tissues are preserved for better skin retraction
- Safe, easy and affordable
The body areas that can be treated by Liposuction are different for women and men. The most frequently treated areas for women are the abdomen, hips, outer thighs, inner thighs, knees, arms and buttocks. In men, who comprise about 15% to 25% of liposuction patients, the most commonly treated areas include the abdomen, flanks (“love-handles”), and breasts. At consultation, you can specify which areas you would like treated – your surgeon will then devise a treatment plan to create the most aesthetically pleasing result for you.
Centre for Surgery surgeons employ a technique that uses large volumes of very dilute local anaesthesia that is injected into the fat causing the targeted areas to become tumescent, or swollen and firm. Local anaesthesia is widely regarded as the safest form of anaesthesia for liposuction. The local anaesthesia persists for many hours, and there is no need for prescription pain medications after the procedure. Liposuction can be accomplished painlessly totally by local anaesthesia. The patient remains awake during the procedure and can communicate freely. See our videos here to show how comfortable the patients are during the procedure. Centre for Surgery employ the latest liposuction technologies to ensure fat deposits are removed in the safest and most effective manner possible.
After the liposuction procedure, there is a certain amount of blood-tinged local anaesthetic solution that remains under the skin. This excess fluid is either slowly absorbed over several weeks into the blood stream, or it can be rapidly removed by drainage through skin incisions and by special highly absorbent pads.Rapid drainage of blood-tinged anaesthetic solution out of incision sites, accelerates the rate of healing, and reduces post-procedure discomfort, swelling, and bruising. Post-liposuction drainage of blood-tinged anaesthetic solution can be maximised by:
1) Leaving incision sites open and not closed with stitches,
2) Placing pads on the skin to absorb the drainage, and
3) Wearing elastic compression garments to encourage drainage.
In our patient satisfaction surveys, the vast majority of patients remark upon how incredibly gentle the liposuction procedure was. The patient experience continues to be consistently highly rated for comfort, safety and quality of results. Liposuction has undergone a tremendous evolution over the last 25 years. A procedure which was previously only performed under general anaesthesia with significant risk of complications, has evolved into a procedure which can be performed totally under local anaesthesia with little or no downtime. The Centre for Surgery “walk-in walk-out” technique for liposuction is unquestionably the safest form of liposuction available today.
Tumescent local anaesthesia is the most widely used form of anaesthesia and is considered the reference technique for performing liposuction. During the procedure, a special mixture is injected into the body regions of interest. It consist of sterile saline, which helps in fat removal, an anaesthetic (lidocaine) to reduce pain and epinephrine to constrict blood vessels which helps to reduce bleeding. Small incisions are then made in the skin, and special cannulas are used to break up the fat, and then suction it out of the body. The Lipomatic vibrational technique ensures efficient break up of the fat prior to removal.
Lipomatic is the newest technique that uses Tumescent Liposuction. It is a ‘tweak’ on the tumescent liposuction technique that has gained a lot of popularity among the liposuction experts because of its power in reshaping the body while avoiding some of the contour complications of other liposuction techniques like energy-based techniques.
The procedure is done under local anaesthesia with intravenous sedation for maximum patient comfort.
Depending on the area involved, several small incisions are made. Diluted local anaesthesia is then infused in order to numb the areas and reduce bleeding. A thin, hollow tube called a cannula is then inserted through the incisions to loosen the excess fat, which is then suctioned out of the body. This is repeated as necessary until results are achieved. The procedure may take from 1-3 hours, depending on the amount of fat to be removed. The incisions will be left open to allow efficient drainage of the fluid and promote optimum healing
While tumescent liposuction is less invasive and has less blood loss and bruising than the traditional form of liposuction, there will still be some bruising and swelling. There will be some discomfort, but this will be controlled by the oral pain medication prescribed by your surgeon. You will be required to wear compression garments for four weeks to help reduce swelling, as well as compress the skin to the new body contour. This will vary by body area.
Massage of the liposuction areas is an important component of the recovery. A technique called Manual Lymphatic Drainage is vital to ensure excellent recovery. All areas that had liposuction need to be massaged vigorously during the first three months to help ensure a smooth result. The surgeon and his team will explain the massage technique during your consultation.
Depending on the amount of liposuction, you can return to work in 2-3 days. If more extensive liposuction is performed, you may want to take off one week from work. Swelling will be present, but begins to reduce in about 7-10 days. Mild exercise is permitted after two weeks, and full activity can be resumed after six weeks. Swelling will continue to reduce, but there may be some remaining for up to six months before it is completely gone.
Liposuction candidates have localised fat deposits, and they are resistant to even the most vigorous exercise program or diet. These fat deposits can occur in the abdomen, arms, thighs, calves, buttock.
The best patients for liposuction should have a stable weight for at least three months prior to treatment, and should have lost the weight prior to the procedure. Liposuction is as long as body weight is stable.
Patients should be:
- Physically fit
- Good health
- Not significantly overweight
- Have realistic expectations of what can be achieved
A good candidate for liposuction should have firm, elastic skin. To achieve ideal results, the skin must shrink after the procedure. As people age, skin elasticity is lost, which can compromise the outcome of the procedure. However, if the skin quality remains elastic, age is no barrier to having liposuction.
Using liposuction (Lipomatic) to remove fat from specific areas of the body that have not responded to diet and exercise is a safe and effective practice. Areas of the body that can be treated with liposuction include:
- Hips and thighs
- Calves and ankles
Who is not a good patient for liposuction?
Patients who are:
- obese people
- heavy smokers
- have a lot of loose skin – no liposuction causes skin tightening
Liposuction is not a suitable treatment for obesity. There is no substitute for diet and exercise, but once the weight loss is complete, liposuction can be of significant benefit.
Liposuction can safely remove areas of fat in the abdominal area, it cannot be used to address loose and sagging skin. That’s why some patients choose to have a full tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty surgery – either at the same time or instead of liposuction.
Candidates for a tummy tuck usually suffer from excessive loose skin on the abdomen due to advancing age, after pregnancy or substantial weight loss. The recovery time is longer for tummy tuck compared with liposuction.
Liposuction is done either under local anaesthesia with intravenous sedation. The surgoen will discuss this with you and recommend what is best for your individual situation.
Depending on the area involved, several small, inconspicuous incisions are made. Diluted local anesthesia is then infused in order to reduce bleeding and trauma. A thin, hollow tube called a cannula is then inserted through the incisions to loosen the excess fat, which is then suctioned out of the body. This is repeated as necessary until results are achieved. The procedure may take from 1-3 hours, depending on the amount of fat to be removed. Depending on the type of liposuction used, your incisions may be left open to promote draining. It is NORMAL to have fluid draining out after a liposuction surgery during the first 24 hrs.
Following your procedure you may want to recover in one of our beautiful partner hotels including the world famous Grove hotel. You will receive a care package from us and our staff is available to you while you stay with us.
You will see the surgeon one week after your surgery and at specified intervals during the weeks and months following your surgery.
When liposuction is completed, there will be swelling and bruising. You will have some discomfort, which can be controlled by the pain medication prescribed by your surgeon. You may also be required to wear tight compression garments or elastic bandage for several weeks to help reduce swelling, as well as compress the skin to the new body contour. This will depend on the area that had the procedure. If needed (very rarely), temporary drains will be placed beneath the skin to help remove any excess fluid or blood. While results will be seen almost immediately, swelling will distort the actual results. Final results will take several months to subside.
Depending on the amount of lipo, you can return to work in 2-3 days. If more extensive liposuction is performed, you may want to take off one week from work. Swelling will be present, but begins to reduce in about 7-10 days. Mild exercise is permitted after 2 weeks, and full activity can be resumed in about 4-6 weeks. Swelling will continue to reduce, but there may be some remaining for 3-5 months before it is completely gone.
Liposuction performed using general anaesthesia is the traditional procedure to remove fat deposits. London Lipo Institute use tumescent anaesthesia to perform advanced liposculpture.
Type of anaesthetic used
Liposuction employs general anaesthesia. The patient is put to sleep with a breathing tube and muscle paralysis. This means a mechanical ventilator is used to support your breathing. You cannot be repositioned during the procedure without a significant risk of dislodging the breathing tube. Liposuction must always be performed in the hospital environment. The cost of general anaesthesia makes the procedure financially unaffordable for most except a tiny few. Extensive pre-operative fasting is required – the patient must fast from overnight. This means the patient will have significant degree of clinical dehydration prior to the procedure even taking place.
Liposculpture involves local anaesthesia only and is performed in a fully equipped and accredited clinic facility. The patient is awake and cooperative throughout. A calming tablet is given to the patient to help relaxation during the procedure. Soothing music can be played, or the patient may watch television during the procedure. There is no pre-operative fasting involved. The patient may eat a light breakfast prior to the procedure. The awake patient is constantly able to readjust their position to allow the surgeon multi-directional capability in addressing the areas of concern. This three-dimensional approach to fat removal explains why our procedure is true advanced liposculpture for the most pleasing aesthetic results.
Blood loss can be very significant with liposuction performed under general anaesthesia. In over half of all cases, a blood transfusion may be required. Blood transfusions carry their own unique set of risks including allergic reactions, infection and even potentially giving the wrong type of blood which can have catastrophic consequences for the patient.
Liposculpture performed under local anaesthesia results in total blood loss of less than 20ml on average. More blood is lost from having a routine blood test. We never need to resort to blood transfusions during or after your procedure.
All patients who have liposuction under general anaesthesia must remain in the hospital overnight and often must stay for 2-3 nights because of the substantial blood loss involved. The extensive bruising and swelling hampers mobility. A reduction in the ability to mobilise increases the risk of complications such as bedsores. The duration of time away from work can be significant – They are unable to return to work for at least 1-2 weeks.
Patients who have liposculpture are able to walk in and walk out of the clinic in the space of a few hours. Most return to work the next day or the day after. Some are even back to work the same day.
The use of general anesthesia with liposuction means that highly volatile anaesthetic gases will be used to maintain you in a deep sleep. These gases substantially increase the risk of nausea and vomiting occurring after your procedure which delays recovery and slows down the healing process. Patients often cite the risk of nausea and vomiting after the procedure as their greatest fear. Patients often dread the headache and ‘groggy’ feeling after waking up from general anaesthesia. The bruising and swelling associated with liposuction performed under general anaesthesia demands significant pain relief after the procedure. Often Morphine-based medication is required to control the pain. The very large cannulas used with liposuction mean that the risk of skin unevenness and even skin breakdown is much higher. The incidence of venous thromboembolism (deep vein thrombosis) is a very significant risk with liposuction performed under general anaesthesia. This is the most common cause of patient mortality following the liposuction procedure under general anaesthesia.
Liposculpture performed with local anaesthesia does not carry the risk of nausea or vomiting. Patients can return home shortly after the procedure. The local anaesthesia used in liposculpture means patients are pain-free for the first 18-24 hours. More than half of all patients will require no pain-killer medication after their procedure. Minor discomfort after this period can be treated very effectively with just Paracetamol only.
The risk of infection is very much greater with liposuction performed under general anaesthesia. In many cases, retained collections of blood from the significant blood loss can form a haematoma (organised collection of blood). This often becomes infected and turns into an abscess, and is potentially life-threatening as the patient can develop septicaemia (blood poisoning). Surgeons who perform liposuction often use drains after the procedure to address this issue. However, the use of surgical drains in themselves is also an infection risk as microorganisms are able to track up the tubing into the wound.
Liposculpture has one of the best safety profiles for infection risk. In our practice, we are proud of our ZERO percent infection record (over 800 procedures performed). We take the risk of infection very seriously and take proactive steps to prevent its occurrence. This includes proper patient selection, washing in a special antiseptic solution and antibiotics to take after the procedure. Our operating rooms have a special air filtration system creating super clean air compliant with the most stringent of government healthcare regulations.
Liposculpture incisions are tiny 3-4mm holes which seal in 1-2 days. There is no need for closure with sutures, paper strips or metal staples. The cosmetic results from keeping the surgical wounds open are far superior to closure with the aforementioned methods.
What is the Lipomatic technique for liposuction?
The Lipomatic system is probably the best technique to provide a safe, natural-looking liposuction result without any of the undesirable side effects of older forms of liposuction such as lumpy skin.
Why do you use Lipomatic instead of Ultrasound or Laser Liposuction?
It is the surgeon who creates great results and not the specific technique. Having said this, the lipomatic technique ensures a very smooth and controlled fat removal for the most pleasing aesthetic results.
Am I a good patient for liposuction?
Patients should have localised fat deposits, and should be close to their stable weight. In addition, the skin should be firm and have elasticity to it in order to shrink following the procedure.
You should be a non-smoker with good overall health.
How do I prepare for liposuction?
Stop smoking four weeks prior to liposuction
Stop certain medications as directed by your surgeon
Use an antiseptic wash before surgery to reduce the risk of infection
How long does the procedure take?
About 2-3 hours on average
What happens during the liposuction procedure?
Tumescent solution will be injected and several small incisions are made, and a cannula is inserted in the skin to break up the fat, which is then suctioned off. A compression garment will be placed in order to help reduce the swelling and promote healing.
How long before I can return to work?
On average between 2-3 days to 1 week depending on the size of the procedure.
How long is the recovery?
Bruising and swelling will be present, but should begin to resolve in about ten days. You can resume mild exercise in about two weeks, and full activity can be resumed in about six weeks.
Is Liposuction painful?
Thanks to tumescent anaesthesia, the procedure causes minimal discomfort.
Will I feel dizzy after liposuction?
If a large amount of fat is being removed (4 L+) then there may be symptoms of lightheadedness and dizziness. One week off work is recommended.
What is the maximum amount of fat that can be removed in one session?
Our surgeons limit their liposuction volumes to a maximum of about 4 litres. If any more fat is removed, the risk of complications increases significantly. Therefore if you think you have more than 4L of fat you want removed, you may need more than one session of liposuction.
Is it normal to be draining fluid after the liposuction surgery?
It is normal to have reddish coloured fluid draining from the incision sites for the first 24-48hr after the liposuction procedure. The procedure involves injection of tumescent fluid to help break up the fat, minimise bleeding, and ease the suctioning of the fat. Some of this fluid is removed during the liposuction, some is absorbed by your body, and some of it drains out following the surgery. Patients sometimes think they are bleeding when in fact it is just the normal drainage after liposuction.
Are there any risks associated with liposuction?
The main risks following liposuction include bleeding, infection, swelling and blood clots, but these are very rare.
The surgeon will take all appropriate precautions to minimise the risk of complications developing.