Liposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures in the UK, with over 5000 procedures being carried out in London alone in 2019. Here we present the key information to help you consider whether liposuction is a suitable treatment option for you.
What is liposuction?
Liposuction, or Lipo for short, is a body contouring procedure involving the removal of excess subcutaneous fat that has proven resistant to diet and exercise alone. Liposuction is not a method of weight loss. It is a highly effective treatment to get rid of fat that a sensible diet and physical exercise cannot do on their own.
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What are the common liposuction areas?
Some of the most popular liposuction areas include:
- Under the chin (submental lipo)
- Back of the neck or ‘buffalo hump‘
- Breast liposuction in women
- Abdomen and love handles
- Male breast reduction
- Upper arms
- Bra rolls
- Calf and ankle fat
360 liposuction is a treatment designed to contour the midsection and involves stomach lipo, love handles and middle and lower back to achieve circumferential body contouring results that liposuction of isolated areas cannot achieve on its own. The areas of the body treated would depend on what you hope to achieve from the procedure, your lifestyle and genetics. Some people are more likely to accumulate excess fat in certain areas than others. Once you have had an in-person consultation, your surgeon will provide customised recommendations on the best liposuction options.
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Am I suitable?
Ideal patients for liposuction include those who are physically and mentally well and are at or near the ideal body weight, and should ideally be non-smokers. Liposuction is most suitable for patients who have areas of localised subcutaneous fat which lie directly beneath the skin. Liposuction is not a treatment for visceral fat, which is the fat that surrounds the internal organs beneath the muscle.
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Patients with excess visceral fat should focus on losing weight before liposuction. Patients should have good skin elasticity before having liposuction surgery in London. If you have loose or sagging skin, there is a higher risk of getting unsatisfactory results with lumpy and wavy skin, as liposuction is likely to worsen pre-existing loose skin.
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Is liposuction a weight loss procedure?
Many people believe liposuction is a method for losing weight. It is not. Liposuction is best suited for patients who are already at healthy body weight and wish to contour and sculpt their bodies. The amount of fat that can be removed with a Liposuction is determined by several factors, including your treatment expectations and what the surgeon can safely remove to achieve aesthetically pleasing results.
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How to prepare for liposuction
You will receive detailed preoperative instructions from your surgeon before the procedure. You should ensure you have a responsible adult who can drive you to and from our clinic and help you recover during the first 24 hours after your procedure. Certain medications, such as aspirin and medicines containing aspirin, should be stopped before the procedure as they are associated with an increased risk of bleeding during and after the procedure. Depending on your state of health, your surgeon may recommend certain blood tests before the procedure. You will also be assessed for potential allergies to medications, including anaesthetics. You will need to fast on the day of the procedure for six hours for solids and two hours for clear fluids, including black tea, black coffee and still water.
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What does the procedure involve?
Liposuction involves making small skin incisions to permit the insertion of cannulas into the subcutaneous fat. The cannulas are connected to vacuum suction and are moved back and forth to gently extract fat with a power-assisted liposuction technique. Once the procedure is complete, dissolvable stitches are applied to the small incisions, followed by the application of a sterile dressing and compression garment. Liposuction is performed as an outpatient at Centre for Surgery which means you can go home later the same day. Most liposuction procedures involve a general anaesthetic, and you must have a responsible caregiver to take you home and look after you for the first 24 to 48 hours.
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How long does it take to recover?
Most patients who have had liposuction can return to light work after three days. Strenuous exercise should be avoided for up to 6 weeks to minimise excessive swelling, which could impair your healing. The speed of recovery difference between patients and the amount of liposuction carried out. Some patients can return to certain activities in less than a week, while others may need several weeks to return to normal. Revision liposuction would involve a longer recovery than patients who are having liposuction for the first time due to extra scar tissue being present.
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What does liposuction scarring look like?
Most liposuction cannulas are no more than 5 mm in width and often much smaller than this. Liposuction scars reflect this and are barely noticeable once they are fully healed. The number of scars you have will depend on how many areas of liposuction have been carried out. Your age and skin quality determine the appearance of liposuction scarring. Darker-skinned people may have a high risk of developing excessive scarring. Most patients have virtually invisible scars by three months. The only way to have no scars it’s not to have the procedure. All types of surgical incisions will result in a scar. Fortunately, our surgeons are experienced in positioning scars, so they appear as inconspicuous as possible.
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What results can I expect?
Patients should have realistic expectations of the level of liposuction results achievable. It is normal to have bruising and swelling after the procedure; patients may notice temporary loose skin during recovery. It can take up to 3 to 6 months for the final liposuction results to become visible.
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Is liposuction permanent?
Once the fat is physically removed from the body with liposuction, it does not return. However, if you gain weight, then other areas that are not treated may become more noticeable. We recommend adhering to a healthy and nutritious diet with plenty of exercise, such as running. This is the best way to maintain your liposuction results for the long term.
Liposuction at Centre for Surgery
Centre for Surgery is renowned for its expertise in liposuction and body contouring using the most advanced liposuction techniques available in London. We are home to some of the best liposuction surgeons in the UK. Our surgeons have many years of experience performing liposuction, and we perform more liposuction procedures than anywhere else in London. Once you are ready to take the next step and schedule an in-person consultation, call us today on 020 7993 4849 and speak to one of our friendly and knowledgeable patient coordinators.
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