Liposuction is a procedure which helps remove excess fat from your body, in areas such as the abdomen, thighs and hips, amongst others. It is also known as 'lipoplasty', or 'suction lipectomy'. More recently there have been variants of liposuction described, including ultrasound-assisted liposuction and liposculpture.

For the last two years, our Clinic has utilised the latest pressure-assisted liposuction technique where a fine water spray is used to help with the dissection. Our product is known as 'LipoSilk'. This technique has been marketed elsewhere as 'liposoft'. Used with care, pressure-assisted liposuction can result in less bruising and less post-operative discomfort.

Whatever the method used, the skill, patience and artistic appreciation of the operating surgeon are some of the most important factors in achieving good results from liposuction.

Liposuction is most useful in patients who are close to their normal body weight, and is helpful for those areas with excess fat which do not respond to dieting or exercise. As fat is less dense than water, it should be remembered that liposuction is primarily a procedure for contouring the body and not for weight loss.

Liposuction can be carried out using either local anaesthesia if the area to be treated is small, or more commonly under general anaesthesia. You should have stopped smoking for at least 6 weeks prior to surgery, and should be in good general health. Age is not a major consideration for the procedure, however skin tends to be less elastic as we age and excessive liposuction may cause the appearance of extra skin folds.

The operation begins with careful marking and planning of the contouring required. The area to be operated on is injected with a medicated salt-water solution which contains epinephrine (an agent that helps constrict blood vessels and reduces blood loss) and a local anaesthetic agent. The solution also helps with spreading and softening the fatty tissues. This reduces the risk of skin, nerve or blood vessel injury, as well as lowering the level of tissue discomfort and bruising after surgery.

The risks of liposuction include dimpling, nerve damage, bleeding into the wound and asymmetry after operation. Large amounts of fluid injection and liposuction can stress the circulatory system and the heart and is not recommended.

Small incisions for access are made around the areas to be treated. If possible the same incisions are used to treat more than one site, to minimize the number of incisions made. The surgical suction tube, or cannula, is then passed into the incision and into the fatty tissue. Removal of fat is carried out by applying suction to the cannula, while the cannula is moved forwards and backwards through the fatty tissue. Removal is carried out in layers, in order to ensure uniform removal of fatty tissue, while minimizing the risk of damage to the overlying skin. The surgical incisions are then sutured, and suitable sterile dressings applied to protect the wound.

In the post-operative period, you will be given an elastic garment which helps mould your skin and tissues while reducing swelling. This garment will also provide additional support during the healing period. You will have dressings over the small incision sites which may or may not have been sutured depending on their location. The incisions may show a small amount of fluid discharge after the surgery.

Vigorous physical exercise should be avoided for four to six weeks after surgery, and early mobilization is encouraged. Most patients are satisfied with their outcomes, and the benefits of liposuction can be maximized with a concurrent regimen of sensible diet and exercise.


  • Liposuction should not be used as a substitute for losing weight.
  • It is now possible to carry out surgery with minimal bruising and a short recovery time.
  • Incisions are typically around 1 cm in length.
  • Pressure-assisted liposuction helps reduce recovery time and discomfort.
  • An elastic garment can help reduce swelling post-operatively and help the skin re-adhere to the underlying layers of tissue.
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