What is liposuction?
Liposuction is one of the top five most popular cosmetic surgery procedures in the UK, with over 10,000 procedures being undertaken in 2019 alone. Liposuction is designed to remove areas of excess fat from certain areas of the body that have failed to respond to a healthy diet or physical exercise. Fat deposits can develop anywhere on the body and can be frustrating for those who are otherwise at their ideal body weight.
Liposuction is highly effective for improving body contours resulting in a more sculpted and defined shape. Common liposuction areas include the abdomen, thighs, knees, calves and ankles, back, upper arms, breasts and chin. Centre for Surgery are experts in body shaping liposuction for both women and men.
View our Liposuction educational videos
There can be a host of negative impacts from excess fat deposits:
- Negative body image
- Ill-fitting clothing
- Lack of body confidence
- Diminished social confidence.
What are the benefits of liposuction?
Liposuction has evolved to become a very effective and minimally invasive procedure to restore desirable contours. With the reduction or even elimination of fatty tissue in targeted areas, the body takes on a more sculpted and leaner appearance. Liposuction is often performed alone but also can be combined with other body contouring procedures including tummy tuck, arm lift, thigh lift and gynaecomastia correction.
Centre for Surgery uses the SAFElipo technique, which is an advanced method of fat reduction employing a multi-step process and uses power-assisted liposuction (PAL) to efficiently remove stubborn body fat. This means you will have less scarring and side effects that can occur with traditional liposuction methods. SAFElipo is considered a less invasive method and has a faster recovery time.
The power-assisted technique adds gentle vibration to the process to break up fat cells. The process is very selective so the connective tissue framework is preserved. A similar analogy is akin to plucking grapes off a vine whilst preserving the delicate structure of the vine.
2 weeks post-op liposuction (minimal bruising and swelling with use of gentle technique)
Ultrasound and laser-assisted lipo involve the application of heat or thermal energy to the tissues. PAL lipo is a heat-free method meaning the risk of burns is eliminated, making it a much safer method of fat extraction. An easier extraction means a quicker procedure and less bruising and swelling, leading to a faster recovery. Liposuction allows you to not only remove stubborn fatty tissue but it will help to improve your body proportions and contours, leaving you with an increased self-image and body confidence.
Common areas for liposuction:
- Hips and buttocks
- Upper arms
- Calves and ankles
Always check that your surgeon is on the GMC specialist register for plastic surgery before proceeding with a consultation. All our surgeons are fully accredited plastic surgeons and only perform procedures in CQC regulated facilities. Our clinic at 106 Crawford Street was recently inspected and rated as good across all five domains.
Learn more about the PAL lipo technique, which all our surgeons use as a standard for all liposuction procedures.
If you also have loose skin but are not keen on invasive surgery like a tummy tuck, arm lift or thigh lift, Centre for Surgery performs the BodyTite skin tightening procedure which can contract skin without the scars of more invasive surgery. All our surgeons are on the GMC specialist register for plastic surgery. The Royal College of Surgeons of England has an excellent information resource on cosmetic surgery.
Our surgeons continue to provide gold standard power-assisted liposuction for many patients who choose to have a procedure with us. The surgeon will always customise every liposuction procedure to your unique needs and preferences. Your surgeon will formulate an individualised treatment plan and carry out the most effective technique for you. The knowledge and skill we have developed in liposuction over many years make Centre for Surgery the pre-eminent choice for Liposuction in London.
Liposuction Surgery at Centre for Surgery Baker Street with Dr. Samet Sendur
|Procedure time ⏳||1-3 hours|
|Anaesthetic type 💉||Local anaesthetic or general anaesthetic|
|Length of stay 🛏||Day case|
|Up and mobile 🚶🏻♂️||1 day|
|Washing 🛁||3 days|
|Travel ✈️||4 weeks|
|Sexual activity ❤️||4 weeks|
|Driving 🚗||2 weeks|
|Postoperative garment 👕||6 weeks|
|Sleeping 😴||No restriction|
|Exercise 🏃🏽♀️||6 weeks|
|Full recovery 🕺🏻||6 weeks|
|Final results 😃||3-6 months|
Female liposuction before and after
Browse our liposuction photo gallery to see results achieved by our surgeons at Centre for Surgery. The before and afters below offer a sampling of the patient photos we have on file. When you come in to see us for a free consultation, a wide variety will be made available to you. At Centre for Surgery, we only show photos of our patients that have given written consent allowing use of their images on our website.
SEE ALSO: Liposuction Before And After Photos
Am I suitable?
You will be a suitable candidate for liposuction if you have fatty deposits that you have been unable to reduce even with physical exercise and diets. Liposculpture is able to be performed in areas of the body such as chin, saddlebags, bra roll, mons pubis, thighs, arms, buttocks, abdomen and calves.
The skin should ideally be firm and elastic. This will minimise the occurrence of sagging, loose tissue after the procedure. Instead, an abdominoplasty is recommended for those with skin laxity.
Candidates will need to:
- Be physically and mentally healthy
- Not be considered obese
- Be at a stable weight for a minimum three months before the liposuction treatment. It is best to try and lose as much weight possible before the liposuction
- Have elasticity in the skin, as the skin will need to shrink after the procedure
Who is not a good patient for liposuction?
Patients who are:
- Heavy smokers
- Have a lot of loose skin – no liposuction causes skin tightening
- Have cellulite – liposuction can often worsen the appearance of cellulite. If you are interested in cellulite reduction, our surgeons perform the CelluTite procedure.
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. If you are considered to be a suitable candidate, you may wish to look at what finance options we have available for this procedure.
How much does liposuction cost?
There are several factors that will determine the overall cost of your liposuction procedure, and the final quotation will be given after your face-to-face consultation with your specialist plastic surgeon.
- Number of areas to be treated.
- Local or general anaesthesia
- Liposuction combined with fat transfer or abdominoplasty
- Primary or revision liposuction
Why not call 0207 993 4849 and speak to one of our expert patient coordinators, who may be able to give you a rough costing before your liposuction consultation?
Always remember that price should never be the determining factor when choosing a plastic surgeon for liposuction. We feel that safety and quality of service should be your number one priority and instil in you the confidence that our team will look after you before, during and after your procedure to the best of their ability.
Centre for Surgery is fully approved to offer finance for liposuction via our specialist finance partner, Chrysalis Finance. You no longer need to use your savings to pay for your liposuction treatment – you can apply to spread the cost of your procedure with Chrysalis Finance using their simple 1,2,3 application to pay for it. Don’t wait until you have enough money for your treatment. Apply today and (subject to status) pay for your procedure easily in monthly instalments using one of their payment options. Chrysalis Finance is the only ethical provider that focuses solely on the provision of specialist financing for medical procedures.
What is included in my treatment package?
- As many preoperative consultations with your surgeon as you like to make sure the liposuction procedure is right for you
- Treatment at a specialist day surgery facility recently rated ‘Good’ by the Care Quality Commission
- Enhanced same-day discharge with the added benefits of recovering in your own home thanks to advanced TIVA anaesthesia
- 24/7 clinical support from your surgeon for the first 48 hours and our expert postoperative support team
- Your very own dedicated patient coordinator as your point of contact throughout all stages of the patient journey
- In-depth preoperative medical assessment to make sure you are fully fit for your procedure
- Exceptionally high standards of postoperative care described as ‘outstanding’ by the CQC with regular telephone and face-to-face checks
What are the different types of liposuction?
Liposuction for body contouring has undergone many refinements over the course of the last 30 years. Patients now have access to a wide variety of different liposuction techniques and technologies to achieve aesthetically pleasing results. Your surgeon will determine the most appropriate method for you based on a full clinical assessment. Having said that, Centre for Surgery has developed a rigorous set of protocols utilising only the most effective techniques as explained below:
The basic foundation of liposuction whether performed under local anaesthetic or general anaesthetic is the injection of a solution of sterile saline containing local anaesthetic and adrenaline prior to the actual liposuction procedure. This solution is referred to as tumescent local anaesthesia or TLA and causes the fat tissue to become swollen or firm in character. The fat cells become enlarged with this solution and blood loss is minimised thanks to the added adrenaline. The subsequent use of specialised suction cannulas to gently remove the fat is greatly facilitated and made easier by the use of tumescent anaesthesia. Tumescent anaesthesia is common to all forms of liposuction:
Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL)
Ultrasound-assisted liposuction or VASER lipo uses a cannula which emits ultrasonic waves at a very high frequency which permits disruption of the fat cells. With fat cell disruption, the fat takes on a more liquified character which facilitates an easier extraction.
Laser-assisted liposuction (LAL)
Laser-assisted liposuction or laser lipolysis uses a very fine optical fibre that emits laser energy of a specific wavelength – most commonly 1064nm, 1320nm or 1470nm. Like Vaser, the laser energy disrupts fat cells leading to their breakdown which enables an easier extraction of fat.
The disadvantages of ultrasound-assisted lipo also known as Vaser
While Vaser techniques have gained in popularity over the last 10 years, this is mostly down to the effective marketing methods employed by the manufacturers of these devices in targeting doctors. Both methods involve the generation of a significant amount of thermal energy and therefore there is a substantial risk of burns to the skin or soft tissue. Both methods also claim to simultaneously tighten the skin while also removing fat. The scientific evidence built up over the last 10 years does not support this claim. By causing liquefaction of the fat cells, the fat becomes useless for fat grafting applications whether to the breasts or buttocks because the fat cells have burst to leave an oily residue behind.
Power-assisted liposuction (PAL)
Power-assisted liposuction or PAL involves the use of a vibrating cannula to separate the fat cells which enables a more efficient extraction. PAL also better respects the soft tissue framework compared with UAL or Vaser leading to smoother results.
A useful analogy is like plucking intact whole grapes off the grapevine whilst preserving the structural integrity of the grapevine itself – PAL is inherently a much more gentle process.
With UAL and Vaser, the grapes have burst and the grapevine would be damaged, both effects are due to the thermal effects of UAL and Vaser technologies.
In power-assisted liposuction, a vibrating cannula handpiece moves at 5000rpm to separate and aspirate fat cells as the cannula is gently moved back and forth. PAL is a quicker technique compared with UAL and Vaser, and unlike ultrasound and laser can be used for all 3 applications below:
- Large volume liposuction
- Revision liposuction
- Fat grafting applications – breast and buttock contouring
The more gentle action of PAL means less force is used by the surgeon which means less bruising and swelling leading to a quicker and more comfortable recovery.
At Centre for Surgery, power-assisted liposuction is a minimally invasive procedure for body contouring that is undoubtedly the current gold standard for performing liposuction in the view of all our surgeons.
The results of PAL Lipo are evident even on the operating table. Both images below are actual on-table results. The result will continue to improve even more over time with skin contraction.
PAL lipo before and after:
Instant improvement in abdominal and flank contour is visible in both cases. Home the same day and back to work in 2 days – such results not achievable with ‘fat freezing’, ‘non-surgical lipo’, ‘fat busting’ injections or any other non-invasive option.
Properly performed liposuction is a one-time and done procedure that allows for higher volumes of fat cells to be removed as well as simultaneous contouring of the body.
SAFElipo™ is performed as outpatient surgery, so you will be able to return home the same day as your liposuction procedure, once the effects of the anaesthetic have worn off.
PAL improves upon traditional liposuction in every respect:
- Improved surgeon precision for body sculpting and contouring
- PAL is not heat-based, so patient burns are not a concern
- Shorter recovery time
- Less bruising, swelling and trauma
- Increased patient comfort and improved safety
- Greater cell viability for autologous fat grafting and reinjection
Using the power-assisted liposculpture (or PAL) method, which involves using specially designed precision cannulas, body proportions and contours are improved. PAL Liposuction is a minimally invasive procedure that leaves small scars and has a shorter operating time compared to traditional liposuction with minimal bruising and swelling.
The SAFElipo method of liposuction used at Centre for Surgery is used for one of our most commonly performed procedures, the Brazilian Butt Lift or BBL. The BBL procedure utilises the two highly effective techniques of SAFElipo and EVL (expansion vibration lipofilling) in combination. Read more about BBL.
RELATED: Brazilian Butt Lift London
Centre for Surgery work with some of the most renowned plastic surgeons in the United Kingdom. All our surgeons have years of experience in all types of liposuction.
Our surgeons are full members of:
RealSelf Top Doctors
RealSelf top doctor status is awarded to less than 10% of the RealSelf doctor community. This status is earned by achieving consistently high patient satisfaction (from RealSelf reviews), getting excellent feedback on expert answers to patient questions, and investing significant time in Q&A and other doctor activities.
My overall experience has been nothing less than beyond exceptional! Centre for Surgery made me feel confident and comfortable from start to finish
Liposuction of back / bra rolls
360 liposuction + fat transfer to buttocks with EVL technique.
Liposuction of flanks and bra rolls
Liposuction of flanks and bra rolls
Liposuction of outer thighs
How to prepare for the liposuction procedure
As soon as you are booked in for your liposuction procedure, it is important that you commence preparation for your procedure. This ensures you will experience a smooth recovery and also makes sure you achieve the best possible results. If you have any questions about optimum preparation, you should call our patient advisor team at Centre for Surgery who will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
SEE ALSO: How to prepare for liposuction
At Centre for Surgery, liposuction is performed as a day case procedure. You need a responsible adult to escort you home because of the effects of the anaesthesia. You will need to collect your prescription for antibiotics and pain medications before the day of the procedure. The follow-up appointments will be scheduled with the nursing team and your surgeon on the day of your procedure. It is crucial to attend all your postoperative appointments to ensure you are healing correctly. It is useful to have someone on hand for the first few days after your procedure to help you with everyday small tasks.
Liposuction patient marking
What does liposuction involve?
Our surgeons perform liposuction as a day-case procedure at our state-of-the-art Baker Street clinic. This means you will be admitted and discharged on the same day thus allowing you to recover in the comfort of your own home. Liposuction is usually performed with TIVA general anaesthesia to ensure patient comfort. In some cases and for small well-localised areas, a local anaesthetic may be used. Liposuction takes about an hour per area on average, so liposuction of 4 areas will take about 4 hours to do. Once the surgeon is happy with the amount of fat removed and happy with the on-table result, dissolvable sutures will be applied to the tiny incisions which were made for cannula access. Finally, a well-fitting compression garment is applied to reduce bruising and swelling and ensure proper healing takes place.
What is SAFElipo?
SAFElipo is an innovative method of performing liposuction which has become the preferred method of liposuction at Centre for Surgery. SAFElipo is gentler on the body and preserves the delicate connective tissue framework permitting smoother results. Research has proven that SAFElipo is superior to traditional manual liposuction in a number of ways:
- Efficient fat extraction
- Improved skin contraction
- Preservation of vascular integrity
- Lipocontouring of many regions of the body
- Less risk of complications
SAFELipo (Separation, Aspiration and Fat Equalization) is a 3-step process
Centre for Surgery uses the SAFElipo™ procedure, which involves three precise steps:
Step 1 – Separation
Our surgeons will use power-assisted liposuction (PAL) which will separate the fat globules and cause a degree of emulsification. Local anaesthesia is simultaneously infiltrated during the separation stage. Unlike traditional liposuction methods, SAFElipo™ preserves the delicate connective tissue network and blood vessels. This step helps to loosen the fat cells, making them easier to be removed.
Step 2 – Aspiration
With step 1, the fat cells have been primed for efficient extraction. This step involves the suctioning of the fat cells using smaller and thinner specialised cannulas. This means the recovery process is much smoother with less bruising and swelling.
Step 3 – Fat Equalisation
The final fat equalisation step is crucial to achieving robust long-term results. Fat equalisation minimises the occurrence of contour irregularities at the skin surface. Without suction being applied, the vibrating cannula precisely distributes an even layer of internal fat grafts immediately beneath the skin. This internal fat grafting acts to prevent the undersurface of the skin called the dermis from adhering to the underlying fascia. This undesired adherence of the dermis of the skin to the deeper connective tissue fascia is what results in contour irregularities. Step 3 is the best possible prevention strategy to make sure patients do not get a wavy or bumpy appearance on their skin. The concept of internal fat grafting during all liposuction procedures is something our surgeons do routinely. It is like the polish part of a “car shampoo, wax and polish”.
Common areas of liposuction for men
Chin liposuction and neck liposuction
The accumulation of fat deposits in the chin and neck region is mainly genetic but with age, there tends to be an increased accumulation of fat in the region. It is very important that chin liposuction and neck liposuction is performed meticulously and gently to avoid the risk of injury to a branch of the facial nerve at the lower jaw region. Smaller cannulas are preferred as they create a smoother result. The skin of the neck and chin is thinner compared with other areas and in men, the skin is not as elastic compared with women.
Because of the skin thickness which is thinner in the neck, the possibility for skin retraction is less although the formation of internal scar tissue following neck liposuction will cause some skin retraction leading to a better-defined jawline. Chin liposuction can be combined with FaceTite and Morpheus8 for significant skin retraction with results approaching that of a mini facelift. In patients over the age of 55, liposuction may need to be combined with skin excision in the form of neck lift surgery. There are a number of non-surgical treatments for this region including Ultherapy, also known as high intensity focussed ultrasound or HIFU, but their claims of treatment efficacy are not borne out by actual results and the results are very modest at best.
Arm liposuction and thigh liposuction
Similar to female patients, these are common areas for liposuction in men. In those who have significant skin laxity from significant weight loss, arm liposuction may be combined with an arm lift or thigh lift.
SEE ALSO: Can liposuction get rid of bingo wings?
Male breast liposuction
Liposuction of the male breast is a highly effective treatment for the removal of localised fat deposits in the male chest area. This is also known as pseudo-gynecomastia. In true gynecomastia, where glandular tissue is prominent, in many cases, male breast liposuction needs to be combined with surgical removal of the glandular tissue for effective contouring of the area.
Stomach liposuction (liposuction of the abdomen)
Men commonly develop bulging of the abdominal area and this can be due to fat beneath the skin (subcutaneous fat) or fat surrounding the internal organs (visceral fat). Only subcutaneous fat can be effectively treated by stomach liposuction. Many men will have a combination of both types of fat deposits. Visceral fat is better treated by a good diet and regular exercise. A male tummy tuck can be used in combination with abdominal liposuction for patients with both types of fat distribution.
RELATED: How to get rid of belly fat
Men who have lower levels of body fat and are looking for the definition of the abdominal muscles (also known as a 6 pack) will not achieve definition with stomach liposuction although thinning of the fat layer is possible. For these patients, HD lipo and abdominal etching are ideal treatments for precision contouring. A programme of regular exercise is required to maintain and enhance the results.
Male flank liposuction is also commonly performed for the reduction of male ‘love handles’. Liposuction of the abdomen can also be used for the flanks for the creation of a V-shaped appearance in many men.
The flank region can be a very problematic area for many men with bulges of fat that can protrude beyond the trouser line. Liposuction is a highly effective procedure for contouring male flanks. The procedure may be less effective in older men where skin laxity may lead to worsening of the appearance if only Liposuction is carried out.
Hip liposuction, inner knee liposuction, calf liposuction
Lipocontouring of these areas is much less commonly performed compared with the areas above. Treatment of these areas requires a surgeon very experienced in precision contouring using very small cannulas, especially in the calf and ankle region. There is a small but significant risk of nerve injury if liposuction is improperly carried out in the calf and ankle area.
Male liposuction before and after
Liposuction of male abdomen
Liposuction and male breast reduction.
PAL lipo to chest + excision of gynecomastia tissue.
Debulking liposuction of abdomen (2500cc removed).
Revision PAL lipo to abdomen – 1500cc removed. First procedure performed in Turkey. Home the same day and back to work 2 days later.
PAL lipo to abdomen. 1600cc removed.
Liposuction of the male chest with BodyTite is commonly performed in combination with glandular excision for gynecomastia correction.
SEE ALSO: Liposuction for men
As liposuction is a surgical procedure, you may have to take two to three days off work. Recovery after liposuction is generally quick due to the minimally invasive nature of the procedure. However, if you have had liposuction in multiple areas, you may require additional time off work.
RELATED: Liposuction recovery top tips
The recovery after liposuction commences as soon as the anaesthesia begins to wear off. Our anaesthetists use TIVA anaesthesia which is considered a more advanced form of general anaesthesia compared with traditional techniques carried out in hospitals. With TIVA there is a faster wake-up time and a reduced risk of postoperative nausea and vomiting. This means you can start your liposuction recovery much quicker. Your surgeon may recommend one week off work which will help to speed up the resolution of bruising and swelling which is commonly encountered after liposuction. Pain and discomfort are often minimal and can be effectively controlled with over-the-counter painkillers. A compression garment will help to reduce discomfort and swelling and should be worn for 6 weeks.
After the liposuction, you will be able to notice swelling, however, this will begin to reduce in 7-10 days. While swelling will eventually settle, it can often be present for three to five months. You can commence physical exercise after a few weeks, building up to more intensive levels of exercise after 6 weeks. Strenuous exercise should be avoided during the first 4 weeks after liposuction. It is important to keep mobile after the procedure to minimise the risk of prolonged swelling and DVT / PE. Liposuction recovery is generally complete by 6 weeks and results should begin to be apparent. The final results should be visible between 3-6 months after the procedure.
Regular and light massage to the areas where liposuction was performed is generally thought to optimise healing and recovery. In a small number of cases, especially after revision liposuction, manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) may be advised by a specialist MLD therapist over a number of sessions.
Everyone will have different treatment outcomes depending on the amount of fat extraction and the specific areas of treatment.
SEE ALSO: How to maintain your liposuction results
Risks and complications of liposuction
Liposuction has been performed with an impressive safety record for over 30 years and is considered by plastic surgeons to be a very safe procedure when performed correctly. All procedures at Centre for Surgery are performed by fully qualified and experienced plastic surgeons to get the best possible results. Although complications with liposuction are generally rare, they can still occur. Your surgeon will discuss with you in detail at your face-to-face consultation, all the potential risks and complications associated with the liposuction procedure.
Potential risks of liposuction
- Anaesthesia risks
- Seroma or haematoma
- Numbness can temporary or permanent
- Bruising and swelling
- Poor wound healing
- Stretch mark development
- Exacerbation of cellulite
- Surgical site infection
- Visceral perforation
- Contour irregularities
- Skin laxity
- Kidney or liver problems
- Fat embolism
- Skin laxity – In some patients, liposuction may exacerbate pre-existing skin laxity which may then require skin removal in a second procedure.
How to minimise scars after liposuction
The incisions with liposuction are very small in size – often just a few mm. It is still important to take care of your incision areas to optimise scar appearance. A key point is to avoid traumatising the incision sites and leave them well alone as well as keeping the dressings on for the recommended duration of time. Steristrips may have been used to cover the incisions. Steristrips should be allowed to fall off on their own. The nursing team may remove them at your follow-up appointment. Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothing which may catch on the incisions. The vast majority of incisions will heal well in about 2 weeks with compliance with the postoperative instructions. Once the incisions have healed, your surgeon may be able to advise you on optimum scar appearance methods. Silicone gels and medical-grade brown tape are often used to improve scar cosmesis. It is also important to avoid or minimise sun exposure to improve scar healing.
Choosing the right compression garment for liposuction
Wearing a liposuction compression garment is crucial to getting the best outcomes after liposuction. The purpose of a compression garment is to provide extrinsic and balanced pressure over the liposuction treatment areas. The compression garments come in a variety of designs and styles.
Benefits of liposuction compression garments
- Reduce bruising over the treated areas
- Reduce swelling
- Improve blood flow and vascularity which aids healing
- Facilitating proper skin retraction and reducing the risk of skin laxity
- Contouring of the treated areas
Compression garments must be worn continuously for a period of time after any liposuction procedure. The recommended duration of application depends on the areas that are treated as well as the volume of liposuction performed. Bigger volumes extracted require longer periods of wear to achieve optimal results.
For patients to get the best results, the compression garment should have a firm fit but not too tight as an overly tight-fitting can restrict body movement or even cause localised pressure sores or breathing difficulty in some cases. The post-liposuction swelling is due to excess tissue water collecting in the cavities created by liposuction. Swelling does gradually resolve and in some cases, the patient may need to switch to a smaller garment for the best fit.
Improperly fitting garments can prolong swelling and lengthen the recovery process. Excessive pressure can also disrupt the normal lymphatic drainage pathways in the body leading to prolonged inflammatory changes in the liposuction treatment areas. Be sure to notify your plastic surgeon if you feel your liposuction compression garment does not feel like it fits correctly.
Liposuction before and after
Extensive 360 liposuction of abdomen, flanks and back + bilateral breast reduction. Home the same day and the patient made an excellent recovery.
Power assisted liposuction + BodyTite
PAL Lipo before and after – 1 week later
The cases above illustrate early results only one week after the procedure. Patients vary in the amount of bruising and swelling but you’ll get a good idea of what to expect early in the recovery process.
SEE ALSO: Liposuction Before And After Photos
Can liposuction be combined with other body contouring procedures?
Liposuction is very commonly combined with other procedures:
With many excisional procedures, doing the liposuction component first helps to contour the area before the skin is surgically removed – combining the 2 techniques of liposuction and skin excision can produce very impressive results compared with either technique performed in isolation.
Centre for Surgery also specialises in the BodyTite procedure which is a minimally invasive approach to skin tightening without the traditional long scars from a tummy tuck, arm lift or thigh lift.
Can fat be used from liposuction to add volume to other areas of my body?
For patients who are considering volume enhancement such as breast fat transfer or buttock fat transfer then your surgeon will often recommend combining liposuction with fat transfer for optimum results. Liposuction would then be used to harvest the appropriate quantity of fat that would then be processed before re-injecting into the breasts or buttocks to enhance volume.
Further reading on liposuction
What is liposuction?Liposuction, liposculpture or 'lipo' is a surgical technique used to remove unwanted pockets of fat from the body. Excess fat is removed using a specialised device called a cannula which is connected to a high power vacuum. The extraction of fat beneath the skin surface creates a smoother and more contoured appearance in the treated area.
Liposuction is most commonly performed in the areas listed below:
- Stomach liposuction
- Hip liposuction (saddlebags)
- Flank liposuction (love handles)
- Breast liposuction
- Thigh liposuction
- Bra roll liposuction
- Arm liposuction (bingo wings)
- Chin liposuction
- Neck liposuction
Once the liposuction procedure is complete, a compression garment will need to be worn for a minimum of four weeks to minimise bruising and swelling.
How to choose the best liposuction surgeon?Before considering having liposuction to remove localised pockets of fat or for more extensive body contouring it is vital that all patients choose a surgeon who is highly qualified and has years of experience in carrying out liposuction and fat removal surgery. A skilled liposuction surgeon will be able to explain the benefits of liposuction after having taken a full medical history and examined you. He or she will be able to advise on how to look after yourself during the recovery period and what are the potential risks of liposuction surgery. The risks of liposuction are dependent on the area of the body that is being treated. Highly experienced surgeons such as those found at Centre for Surgery pride themselves on being open and honest about what can be expected with liposuction and the potential result that you can expect to achieve following surgery.
It is very important to verify that your surgeon is an accredited specialist in Lipo and at your face-to-face consultation you should take the opportunity to ask to see the surgeon's collection of before and after liposuction photos so that you can form a good idea of how you could look after liposuction. You should also view patient reviews found on reputable review platforms such as Trustpilot.
Highly ethical surgeons with a sub-specialist interest in liposuction will always take a holistic view of each patient including their physical and mental health. Patients who have a chronic uncontrolled medical condition may not be the ideal candidate for liposuction at Centre for Surgery.
Many surgeons may be members of professional bodies such as the British Association of plastic surgeons or the European or international equivalent. In many cases, there are surgeons who are recognised as leading practitioners in the field of liposuction but often choose not to be a member of a particular organisation.
What should I consider when choosing the best liposuction clinic?We believe that the best outcomes after liposuction happen when patients make the right choice of clinic and surgeon.
1. In deciding on the right clinic for you, always carry out extensive research and choose a well-established and reputable clinic. Centre for Surgery are specialists in cosmetic surgery and have been established for many years. Our patient coordinators and surgeons are here to answer any questions you may have to empower you with the right information.
2. Your choice of surgeon should be based on their qualifications, experience and a record of good patient feedback. You should know who you will be seeing before your consultation. At Centre for surgery, our surgeons are specially selected after a rigorous appointment process to ensure they have the right skill set to perform cosmetic surgery.
3. When choosing to have a cosmetic surgery procedure, you should not base your decision on price alone. It is important to make sure you are having treatment in a safe and regulated environment by staff who are both fully trained and caring to look after your needs – before, during and after your procedure.
4. Avoid clinics that offer a ‘hard-sell’. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Ask the surgeon what type of liposuction will be used. Centre for Surgery does not perform VASER liposuction as our surgeons believe it carries serious risks.
We believe patient safety and happy satisfied patients are the bedrock of our reputation as an ethical provider of cosmetic surgery. Our doctors are known for giving straightforward honest advice and you can be assured that your journey with Centre for Surgery will be a positive experience on the path to renewed self-confidence.
What is Vaser liposuction and why is this not offered at Centre for Surgery?Vaser liposuction is a third-generation form of ultrasound liposuction that employs the use of very high-frequency acoustic waves to shatter and emulsify fat cells. This is claimed to make the fat cells then easier to extract via traditional liposuction.
Vaser liposuction is not performed at Centre for Surgery due to its overhyped claims and growing evidence base of poor outcomes in untrained hands.
What are the common liposuction areas?Liposuction can be used on the body areas listed below:
Chin and neck
Female breast reduction
Abdomen and flanks
It is important to keep in mind that every individual has a distribution of body fat that is determined by genetic factors. Although good diet and exercise habits can have an effect on body fat levels, the overall body proportions of fat will not alter significantly. This is where liposuction can exert a positive body change through the targeted removal of excess fat deposits on any region of the body using fine cannulas. Liposuction can be used on small areas as well as multiple large areas up to a maximum of 5L in a single procedure.
Is liposuction worth it?Liposuction is an effective and minimally invasive surgical technique to address unwanted fat deposits in affected parts of the body permanently. When individuals undergo weight loss through eating a good diet and regular exercise, the body's fat cells known as adipocytes undergo a reduction in size but are not eliminated completely. The liposuction procedure is ideal for patients with localised fat deposits that are resistant to diet and exercise in areas such as the abdomen, hips and under the chin. The liposuction procedure leads to physical extraction of the fat cells and these cells will no longer be able to enlarge in response to excess eating or lack of exercise. After liposuction, the treated area will not increase significantly with an overall increase in weight. Having liposuction means that clothing better fit you and the level of scarring is minimal compared to more invasive procedures. The extracted fat is linked to the actual amount of weight loss however this will not be apparent immediately after the procedure as the body will undergo a degree of fluid retention in response to surgery. Generally speaking, the removal of 1kg of fat will lead to 1 kg of weight loss. Liposuction addresses localised fat deposits in areas of the body that are prone to developing areas of fat excess. For selected patients, liposuction can be used on a number of areas in the same procedure up to maximum removal of 5l of fat. Liposuction is well known for being a safe and effective procedure for fat removal. You have the option of both local anaesthesia for small areas and general anaesthesia for larger areas depending on your preference. All liposuction procedures at Centre for Surgery are carried out as a day case which means you can recover in the comfort of your own home later the same day. It is important to remember that liposuction is not a treatment for cellulite or patients who are significantly overweight or obese and are looking for liposuction as a treatment for weight loss. Our surgeons offer a highly effective treatment for cellulite known as 'CelluTite' which can be combined with liposuction if preferred. At your consultation, your surgeon will be able to advise you on the available treatment options which could be best for you. You should ensure to follow all of the postoperative instructions given to you by the surgeon to ensure the best results are achieved. It is important to wear your liposuction compression garment for the time recommended, drinking plenty and keeping mobile to reduce the risk of complications occurring.
What is power-assisted liposuction?Power-assisted liposuction or PAL lipo is performed under a general anaesthetic although you may be suitable for other forms of anaesthesia if appropriate. The areas to be treated will be marked before the procedure. The marked areas are injected with a special local anaesthetic solution which also helps to soften the fat cells to be extracted. The local anaesthetic solution is also known as tumescent anaesthesia and helps to reduce bruising and swelling after the procedure. The surgeon makes small incisions to permit access for the liposuction cannula. The cannula vibrates which helps to break down the fat more efficiently whilst allowing simultaneous extraction. At the end of the procedure, the areas are dressed in a sterile dressing and a compression garment is applied.
Can liposuction be combined with a tummy tuck?Yes. With proper patient selection and with meticulous preoperative preparation, a liposuction and tummy tuck can be combined and is actually the most common method of performing a tummy tuck at Centre for Surgery. This type of tummy tuck is referred to as a Brazilian tummy tuck. Centre for Surgery is one of the few cosmetic surgery clinics in the UK to perform this type of tummy tuck. We are one of the UK’s expert providers in day-case tummy tucks.
Many UK providers still perform standard tummy tucks without any liposuction often resulting in a shapeless appearance.
What are the anaesthesia options for liposuction?Liposuction using PAL is mostly performed under TIVA general anaesthetic or sedation. You will be comfortably asleep for the duration of the procedure and the anaesthetist will closely monitor you throughout using sophisticated brain monitoring to adjust the depth of anaesthesia as appropriate throughout the procedure. TIVA anaesthesia results in a faster recovery with a lower risk of dizziness and grogginess compared with traditional general anaesthesia.
For liposuction of smaller areas in appropriate patients, liposuction can be comfortably performed under local anaesthesia using a variant called tumescent local anaesthesia. You also have the option of oral sedation combined with a gas/air mixture known as Nitronox which is the same anaesthetic used at dental practices.
Once the local anaesthetic has been injected, it is left to work for 20-30 minutes and this will enhance the anaesthetic action for optimum comfort. With tumescent liposuction under local anaesthetic, there is no need to undergo preoperative fasting and patients are often less nervous as they are able to have their usual daily cup of tea/coffee before the procedure.
Your surgeon will discuss the full range of anaesthesia options at your consultation.
Why is Centre for Surgery known as a Centre of Excellence for liposuction in the UK?Since our inception Centre for Surgery has been at the forefront of achieving excellent outcomes after Liposuction and have experience in all types of liposuction including Smart Lipo and Vaser Lipo.
Our surgeons are known for being key opinion leaders in the field of body contouring and are regularly invited to give training on advanced level body contouring to surgeons from all over the world.
How surgeons perform many hundreds of liposuction procedures annually and are recognised as a referral centre for treatment of complex secondary or revision liposuction cases originally performed elsewhere.
Our surgeons have used all the liposuction devices currently available and all agree that power-assisted liposuction is the most effective technique for safe body contouring consistently.
How is suitability for lipoplasty determined?If you have pockets of fat resistant to diet and exercise then you be an ideal candidate. Liposuction should not be viewed as a method of weight loss.
You should ideally be as close to your ideal weight as possible
In addition, the skin should be firm and have the elasticity to it in order to shrink following the procedure.
Your surgeon will fully assess you at an in-depth consultation where a full medical history will be taken and you will undergo a physical examination.
You should be a non-smoker with good overall health.
How long does the liposuction procedure take to carry out?Liposuction procedures can take anything from 1-4 hours depending on the areas treated and the amount of fat to be removed.
When will liposuction swelling disappear?After any type of liposuction procedure, there will be a degree of swelling that will develop as a result of the repeated movements of the liposuction cannula during surgery. Despite this, your surgeon will take every precaution to try and minimise the amount of swelling after your procedure. Your surgeon may leave the lower incisions partially open to allow the drainage of fluid and will apply a tight-fitting compression garment to prevent excessive swelling. You will need to wear the compression garment continuously except when taking it off for a shower. These two simple interventions will help to significantly reduce swelling. It takes approximately 3 to 4 weeks for swelling to settle down. The amount of swelling depends on a number of factors including how much fat was removed. After six weeks you may remove the compression garment but we would recommend the wearing of a body shaper garment to optimise your results even further.
Is liposuction permanent?Liposuction is a permanent method of fat removal when combined with a sensible programme of diet and exercise. The treatment areas that have had liposuction do not grow back. All patients should aim to maintain a stable weight to get optimal results. If you were to gain large amounts of weight following liposuction, then your physical appearance will change due to extra fat storage in other areas of the body that had not had liposuction.
Body shape can be affected by a number of factors:
Pregnancy and childbirth
The key is to maintain a stable weight in order to maintain the results of your liposuction body contouring procedure.
What is the most effective form of liposuction?There are many methods of liposuction including laser lipo, VASER lipo, BodyJet lipo, Tickle Lipo etc. Many of these methods are performed by non-plastic surgeons.
The gold standard of liposuction is currently Power-Assisted Liposuction (PAL lipo) which is what all surgeons at Centre for Surgery currently use.
How much is liposuction?The cost of liposuction at Centre for Surgery depends on the number of areas to be treated. Liposuction of one area costs £3495 under a local anaesthetic. For the liposuction of extra areas, the cost will be less for each extra area. Your patient coordinator will be able to give you an accurate idea of liposuction pricing after gathering some important pieces of information such as your body mass index, the overall state of health, and the number of areas to be treated. Centre for Surgery has a full range of liposuction options, including power-assisted liposuction. Our surgeons are experts in body contouring techniques. They regularly use liposuction to contour and shape body areas alone or in combination with more powerful techniques such as abdominoplasty, which also involves the removal of excess skin and tightening the abdominal muscles. Your liposuction treatment package includes all preoperative and postoperative care and dedicated support from our expert nurses. We also have state-of-the-art laser technology for optimising the appearance of scars and non-surgical skin tightening modalities, including TightSculpting using the amazing Fotona laser. These would be optional extras.
What are the liposuction alternatives?There are several non-surgical alternatives to liposuction, but for most patients who desire fat removal, a liposuction procedure would be most appropriate for the best results. Liposuction targets the surgical extraction of the body's fat cells, which is a permanent method of fat removal and may also tighten the skin in some cases. The change in body shape leads to a more youthful body contour.
Liposuction alternatives include:
Surgical removal of fat - the fat is surgically removed, but this method is ineffective for diffusely enlarged areas and may often require several procedures. The technique is only applicable as part of surgical breast reduction when skin, fat and breast tissue are surgically removed to reduce the size of the breasts.
Fat-dissolving injections - Fat-dissolving injections reduce fat in a non-surgical manner but are quite painful and may require multiple treatments to achieve a modest result. The surgeon does not have full control over where the injections spread and could affect unintended areas leading to an unsatisfactory appearance with skin irregularities. These injections are not used at the Centre for Surgery.
Non-invasive fat reduction - The most common technique is known as cryolipolysis. This treatment is much less effective than liposuction for body contouring and maybe only applicable for small pockets of fat. Those looking for effective results will not achieve this with non-invasive techniques such as cryolipolysis or high intensity focussed ultrasound or HIFU.
Is liposuction safe?There are risks with any surgical procedure, but liposuction is known to possess a very favourable safety compared with more major procedures such as abdominoplasty surgery.
Your surgeon will go through with you fully all the possible risks of the liposuction procedure.
Risks include bleeding, bruising, loss of sensation, scarring, contour abnormalities, seroma and haematoma.
In experienced hands, the risk of these complications are very low.
Is liposuction painful?Patients will usually have sedation or anaesthesia for their liposuction procedure which minimises any pain or discomfort.
You may feel some discomfort after the procedure, and is effectively treated with prescription oral pain relief medication.
What is the difference between Vaser Lipo and SAFElipo?Unlike ultrasound-assisted liposuction, SAFElipo™ Using power-assisted liposuction or PAL does not involve thermal energy. Vaser lipo carries a higher risk of side effects such as uneven, irregular skin due to the heat produced by the ultrasonic probe as it melts or emulsifies the fat.
Our surgeons commonly carry out revision liposuction for patients who have had Vaser Lipo at other clinics, whether abroad or in the UK.
How do I prepare for liposuction?- Stop smoking four weeks before liposuction.
- Stop certain medications as directed by your surgeon or anaesthetist.
- Use an antiseptic wash before surgery to reduce the risk of infection.
How long before I can return to work after liposuction?On average, between 2-3 days to 1 week, depending on the size of the procedure.
What is liposuction recovery like?Bruising and swelling will be present, but should begin to resolve in about 10 days. You can resume mild exercise in about two weeks, and full activity can be resumed in about six weeks.
Will I feel dizzy after liposuction?If a large amount of fat is being removed (5 L+) then there may be symptoms of lightheadedness and dizziness and potentially other more serious symptoms. This is why we do not perform large-volume liposuction which is defined as the removal of more than 5L of fat in a single treatment session.
What is the maximum amount of fat that can be removed in a liposuction procedure?High-volume liposuction is defined as the removal of more than 5L of fat in a single liposuction procedure. High-volume liposuction is not performed at Centre for Surgery.
Our surgeons limit their liposuction volumes to a maximum of 5 litres. If any more fat is removed, the risk of complications increases significantly. Therefore if you think you have more than 5L of fat you want to be 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 the 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 are 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.
What are liposuction side effects?It is important to recognise that side effects are distinct from risks and complications. Side effects are expected consequences of a cosmetic surgery procedure as opposed to complications that ought not to happen with good pre-and post-op care.
Side effects to expect with liposuction:
Postoperative discomfort - the treated areas will often be sore and tender to touch in the first few days following liposuction.
Fluid leakage - it is entirely normal to have leakage of tumescent fluid from the incision sites, especially the lower ones, for the first 24-48 hours following liposuction.
Bruising and swelling - Everyone will develop bruising to varying extents. Most bruising should settle after 2-3 weeks. Swelling can be minimised by continuously wearing the compression garment for six weeks. The garment should not feel too tight. The compression garment should only be removed for showering or washing the garment.
Itching - this is very common, and the temptation to scratch the affected areas should be resisted.
Skin changes and numbness - it is not uncommon to experience a degree of skin discolouration or numbness of the liposuction areas for a few days after the procedure. It should settle after a month or two.
Scars are kept as small as possible, and every attempt is made to place them in natural skin folds. Scars can take up to one year to mature, and at the Centre for Surgery, we specialise in using scar gels and brown taping to optimise scar aesthetics. Avoidance of direct sun exposure will also help to reduce visible scarring.
What do liposuction scars look like?Scars after liposuction are tiny compared to many other types of body contouring procedures, such as a tummy tuck. Small holes of up to 5mm in width are usually used to facilitate the insertion of the infiltration and aspiration cannula. These small incisions are sutured closed at the end of the procedure and usually leave very inconspicuous scars barely noticeable to most people. Your surgeon will take great care to ensure that incisions are made in natural skin folds where possible. The surgeon will also aim to use the least number of incisions to attain the optimum aesthetic result. The incisions are protected during the procedure with special skin sleeves to minimise and even eliminate skin friction at the port sites. This leads to much better healing with a lower risk of unsightly scarring.
Those prone to develop excessive scarring, such as hypertrophic and keloid scarring, can benefit from our expertise in scar revision techniques for optimum cosmesis. We have a full range of medical-grade lasers to flatten scars and treat red scars.
What are the common liposuction risks?The main risks following liposuction include bleeding, infection, swelling and blood clots, but these are rare.
The surgeon will take all appropriate precautions to minimise the risk of complications developing.
Can liposuction improve the appearance of cellulite?Cellulite is seen in many individuals and often has a genetic link. It can occur even in very slim individuals. Cellulite is due to areas of fat that prolapse outward between the lattice-shaped connective tissue framework beneath the skin. Weight gain may also exacerbate the appearance of cellulite.
Liposuction is commonly thought to help with cellulite reduction but can in a small number of cases actually have the opposite effect of worsening cellulite. Liposuction is for the removal of localised fat deposits.
Centre for Surgery offers the CelluTite procedure to address mild, moderate or severe degrees of cellulite.
How much does liposuction cost?Liposuction starts from £3495 for one area. The exact price will depend on the number of areas of liposuction and whether you have had similar surgery before. Once you have had a face-to-face consultation with the liposuction surgeon, you will receive clear costings from your dedicated patient coordinator.
What To Expect
The liposuction consultation
When you have a consultation with your surgeon, a number of measurements are taken of the body areas where fat is to be removed and an assessment will be made of the soft tissue quality. Those who have good skin elasticity then you will be a good candidate for liposuction. Your surgeon has is skilled in all types of liposuction including power-assisted liposuction and the most appropriate choice will be made based on your physical examination. The surgeon will also give information on the location of the small incisions for the liposuction and also whether the liposuction is to be combined with another procedure such as a tummy tuck.
High-resolution photos will be taken and your surgeon may also use computer digital imaging. Your surgeon will take time to discuss the important risks and potential complications of liposuction surgery and what you can expect in the postoperative period.
The surgeon will also take a full medical history which includes previous operations, the current list of medicines taken and any potential allergies. This information will be used to decide on your fitness for the liposuction procedure. If you are deemed to be a suitable candidate for lipo surgery then we would recommend spending a period of time to reflect on all the information given. We always recommend a minimum of a '2 weeks cool off period' to weigh up your options.
All our prospective patients are more than welcome to have as many follow-up consultations after their initial consultation to make sure you are fully empowered with all the information to make an informed decision for proceeding with liposuction surgery at Centre for Surgery.
Before your procedure
Once you have decided that liposuction is right for you, our preoperative assessment team will be in contact to prepare you for surgery.
The following are recommended actions to take:
- For 6 weeks beforehand, it is highly recommended to stop smoking as active smoking is associated with a number of risks including delayed wound healing which could result in wound infection.
- You should also avoid aspirin and all medicines containing aspirin for at least one week prior to the liposuction procedure.
- For 6 hours before the liposuction procedure, you should refrain from eating any food or any type of drink apart from sips of clear fluid (water and tea/coffee without added milk) which is allowed for up to 2 hours before the procedure.
On the day of your procedure
Please aim to arrive for your liposuction procedure at the confirmed time. One of our nursing team will admit you for the procedure and will carry out a number of tasks including checking your blood pressure and other vital signs including pulse and temperature and then getting you changed into single-use clinic wear. The anaesthetist will then come in to assess you to make sure you are fit for TIVA anaesthetic and will also prescribe a number of pre-medications which are given by your nurse to help the recovery after the liposuction procedure. You will then be seen by your surgeon who will confirm the procedure to be undertaken and you will sign the informed consent form. Skin marking and photos may be taken at this point.
Liposuction is a very commonly performed procedure at Centre for Surgery and is carried out under TIVA general anaesthesia as a day case. Liposuction of smaller areas can be carried out under local anaesthetic. The procedure takes approximately 1-3 hours to carry out. During liposuction surgery, your surgeon will make small incisions in the marked body areas The fat tissue is surgically removed using the MicroAire device and specialised cannulas to contour the marked body areas before closing the skin with dissolvable sutures. A compression garment is applied after the procedure.
Once you have woken up from the TIVA anaesthetic, our nurses will closely monitor you for 1-3 hours afterwards to make sure you make a full recovery. You will be given a fruit juice drink or a hot drink as you prefer to build up your energy levels. Once you are assessed as fit for discharge, you will require a responsible adult escort to take you home in a car or taxi and to look after you for at least the first 24 hours after surgery.
Liposuction healing and recovery
After your procedure, our dedicated postoperative support team are available round the clock to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Our team will call you regularly for the first 2 weeks after your procedure to make sure your pain levels are well controlled and your healing is progressing as normal.
The recovery after liposuction is usually very straightforward with minimal discomfort that can be effectively controlled with tablet painkillers and the majority of our patients are very comfortable by the end of week 1. Your doctor may recommend a period of approximately one week off work. You should minimise any excessive physical activity for the first 2 weeks after surgery to help with the healing of the incisions and reduce swelling.
You will be required to wear a supportive compression garment for a full 6 weeks to make sure healing is optimal, and also so that scars heal with the best results.
You will attend a postoperative check-up with one of our nursing team at 7-10 days to review your surgical wound sites and ensure proper healing is taking place. Recommendations on treatments for scar healing may be given for optimal cosmesis. At 6 weeks you should begin to see your final results and you will see your surgeon for a comprehensive review and make sure your results are in line with your expectations.