Liposuction

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 > Liposuction

What is liposuction?

Liposuction is an operation to improve the shape of your body. It involves using a cannula (thin, hollow tube) attached to a suction device to remove fat from under your skin.

Is liposuction suitable for me?

Your surgeon will carry out a detailed assessment before deciding if surgery is suitable for you.

Liposuction is not a substitute for losing weight.

You are most likely to benefit from liposuction if, after losing a lot of weight, you still have localised deposits of fat that seem out of proportion to the rest of your body.

What are the benefits of surgery?

Your body should have a better shape.

Are there any alternatives to surgery?

Improving your diet and doing more exercise can reduce localised fat deposits. It may be possible to inject a solution that dissolves the fat.

What does the operation involve?

The operation is performed either under a general anaesthetic or under a local anaesthetic, depending on how many areas need to be treated.

The operation usually takes 45 minutes to 3 hours, depending on how many areas need to be treated.

For each area to be treated, your surgeon will make several small cuts. They will insert the cannula through a cut and into the fat.

They will usually move the cannula backwards and forwards through the fat to break up the fat, making it easier to suction out.

How soon will I recover?

You should be able to go home the same day or the day after, depending on how many areas were treated.

You should be able to return to work after 2 to 3 days, depending on how many areas were treated and your type of work.

Your new body shape will usually take several months to appear as the fluid is reabsorbed and your skin tightens. The best results for you will happen if you keep to a healthy weight and exercise regularly.

What complications can happen?

Some complications can be serious and can even cause death.

General complications of any operation

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection of the surgical site (wound)
  • Blood clot in your leg
  • Blood clot in your lung

Specific complications of this operation

  • Skin burns
  • Injury to small nerves
  • Fat embolus
  • Damage to structures such as your bowel, kidneys or liver
  • Developing a collection of fluid (seroma) under your skin where fat is removed
  • Irregular body shape where fat has been removed
  • Loose or droopy skin
  • Changes to skin colour
  • Circulation problems
This document is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice your healthcare team gives you. This information is published under license from EIDO Healthcare UK and is protected by copyright. Other than for your personal, non-commercial use, you may not copy, print, download or otherwise reproduce it.

Liposuction is an operation to improve the shape of your body. You should consider the options carefully and have realistic expectations about the results.

What to do next
  1. Talk to us about ways to pay, either insured or self-pay, and find out if you need a referral from your doctor.
  2. If you need one, ask your doctor for a referral letter.
  3. Call us to book an appointment with a consultant.
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