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Liposuction is a term most people are familiar with. Put simply, it involves using suction to physically suck out the excess fat from your body. There are many techniques and machines that can be used to perform liposuction and they are all very similar.
Modern liposuction uses specific machines to either break up the fat (ultrasonic like the VASER machine) or to use an oscillating motion to remove it (power assisted like the Microaire machine). There are even some machines that claim to use laser to deliver heat energy internally to assist with skin retraction, but I don’t use them as I believe the risk of internal skin burning is too high.
Liposuction does nothing to the overlying skin. How well the skin retracts over the area treated with liposuction depends on many factors. If your skin is young or if the area treated has thick skin, then there is a reasonable chance the skin will retract or ‘re-drape’ over the area with minimal loose skin afterwards. If your skin is very thin, older or if there is just too much of it – you can end up with lots of excess skin afterwards. It is for this reason that abdominoplasties need to be performed as liposuction will only deal with the fat and not the loose skin afterwards.
You should think of liposuction as treating stubborn areas you can’t budge with diet and exercise alone. The lower abdomen, muffin top area and the outer thighs are perfect for this as the skin is thick. Areas where the skin is very thin such as the inner thighs can also be appropriate, but it needs to be done carefully so that there is not too much loose skin afterwards.
Liposuction involves a general anaesthetic. Once you are asleep in the operating theatre of a hospital, your body is injected with an appropriate volume of local anaesthetic and the fat is removed through tiny 5mm holes. At least 2 holes are needed to access every area of fat. I leave the holes open so that fluid and old blood will drain out of the area. This means although it can be a little messy for about 48 hours however you get significantly less bruising and swelling which can spoil your long-term result. There is always a compression garment involved so that fluid doesn’t internally collect under the skin and this needs to be worn for about 2-4 weeks.
Liposuction is a blind procedure so there will always be tiny nerves that get bruised during the process. It can take some time until these nerves recover but they almost always get better over the first few weeks.
Yes….. but you must address the underlying cause why you put on weight in the first place! Otherwise you’ll just put on weight all over again. There is no substitute for good health and a good diet. Do this first and then anything left over we can use liposuction to help. Remember there is external fat (above your muscles) and deep fat (within your abdomen around your organs). Liposuction only can help with the external fat- it can’t help with the deep fat around your organs.
If you can remain healthy then the area will remain fat depleted BUT if your diet goes off the rails and you put on weight you can still get fat in the areas treated.
Yes! Rather than throw the fat away we can often use the fat to help with other areas of the body that have deflated. I can use small tiny volumes of fat to help volumize a face for instance instead of using other off the shelf fillers. The same can be said for the breast. We can accentuate the cleavage or upper part of the breast at the same time. I can even use the fat for subtle grafting of the buttock as a stand-alone procedure or combined with a lift otherwise known as a BGL or Butt Graft Lift.
All-in-all, liposuction provides a very safe and reliable treatment for stubborn areas of fat. It is the gold standard of fat reduction treatment from which all other modalities are compared to.
It can be performed in conjunction with another procedure such as a tummy tuck or independently as a stand-alone procedure as well. It has many advantages over ultrasonic, radiofrequency and freeze-related technologies (such as Coolsculpt or Clatuu) as liposuction completely treats the region until the area is flat and the fat is in the bin.
Those other modalities, although resulting in less downtime, can never compete with the effectiveness of liposuction and the long-term results. We once had one of these devices in our practice but the felt the treatments were expensive and only resulted in very minimal results. Whilst liposuction is expensive, at least the results were always dramatic and long-lasting.
If you would like to know more about liposuction and how this procedure might be helpful to you, please reach out with the contact form below.
Loose skin on the abdomen | Deflated or sagging breasts | Enlarged or stretched breasts | Stubborn fat deposits that cannot be lost though diet and exercise | Stretch marks
Most tummy tucks can be divided into what would be considered a ‘full’ abdominoplasty or a ‘mini’ abdominoplasty. The full abdominoplasty is much more common. The ‘mini’ abdominoplasty tends to be perfect with patients who are often quiet thin and tend to have mostly loose skin and stretch marks. A tummy tuck is not a magic bullet for weight loss- diet and exercise are still key and surgery is primarily performed for repair of muscular structures and removal of loose skin and stubborn residual fatty areas and never for weight loss.
Sometimes an implant alone wont give you the shape and volume that you need. Losing breast volume is a normal part of the ageing process and particularly common after having children, breast feeding and losing weight. When this happens, an implant is often needed to give you the lost volume and the lift part of the procedure is used to place the nipple in the right position. The medical term for this operation is augmentation mastopexy.
Do you have heavy breasts that are giving you back or neck pain? Back and neck pain are two of the more common symptoms patients describe when having overly large breasts. The breasts are often significantly glandular which can make them heavy and uncomfortable. The goal here is to help reduce the symptoms associated with larger breasts whilst also making the breasts look in better balance with your figure.
There is always a small amount of liposuction that is performed as part of a tummy tuck. This is included in the price of the tummy tuck and might also involve some additional liposuction over the lower back, flanks and ‘muffin top’ area as this is the most effective way to accentuate the waist and works wonders when combined with a tummy tuck. It is a separate procedure however, as we have to turn you over during the procedure (whilst asleep of course) and it can take about 45 minutes to perform.
All stretch marks that are at or below the belly button are removed as part of the operation. As most stretch marks tend to be in the lower part of your tummy, a tummy tuck can be highly effective at improving both the contour and shape of your tummy and the texture of the skin. The resultant scar is horizontal and hidden within your underwear
Usually, you need to be in hospital for about 3-5 days and this is mostly until the drains stop leaking fluid. If you’re comfortable and can manage the drains on your own you can often go home with the drains in and our nurse can coordinate with you when they can come out (at our clinic). I usually tell people that they need to be taking it easy for 2 weeks. Depending upon what your daily activities involve you should be back to most things in 2 weeks but until that time you should try and get as much support as you can muster.
Choosing the right procedure and surgeon is important. I believe that helping my clients make informed decisions is key to a great result so if you have a question or would like to know more about something specific, please let me know – Regards, Alex.