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Liposuction surgery is used to target stubborn areas of fat that women have difficulty losing. This popular cosmetic technique sucks out excess fat from areas such as the arms, things, stomach and buttocks.

Liposuction advice

The procedure
Liposuction is normally carried out under a general anaesthetic and takes between 1-2 hours. The surgeon inserts a metal tube through small incisions in the skin and sucks out the fat deposits with an attached vacuum pump. Usually a saline fluid containing anaesthetic and adrenaline is injected to help reduce bleeding, swelling and bruising. Ultrasound liposuction, where ultrasound waves are used to break down the deposits first, is an increasingly popular technique.

After liposuction surgery
After surgery you should be able to leave the hospital the same day. You will probably need 1-2 weeks off work and strenuous activity should be avoided for 4-6 weeks. You may experience swelling and bruising for up to one month and you will need to wear a compression garment. Deep bruising may take up to six months to disappear.

Risks and side effects
As well as the risk of the general anaesthetic, liposuction risks and complications include infection and bleeding under the skin (haematoma). In very rare cases the procedure has caused fluid in the lungs which can be fatal.

Cost and prices
The price of a liposuction depend on the amount of liposuction required. In the UK expect to pay anything between £2500 - £6000. If you choose to have liposuction abroad you can save a great deal of money. In Belgium for example some reputable private clinics offer the treatment for as little as £1200.

NHS, private or abroad
It's highly unlikely that you'll be able to have liposuction surgery on the NHS. There has to be a strong clinical need for the surgery for NHS doctors to agree to the treatment. However, most private cosmetic clinics in the UK and abroad offer the treatment.

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