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 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.
Although lipoplasty is usually performed on the stomach or thighs, an increasing number of women are choosing to have the procedure on their chins. The treatment is both quick and effective, taking little over ten minutes to suck out the excess fat in the chin are. If performed properly, liposculpture can finally provide the answer to that old double chin problem. More information on having chin lipo.
Vaser liposculpture is a new form of treatment that uses ultrasound technology to remove fat cells. The procedure allows the surgeon to have greater control during the procedure, and therefore achieve better results. More details on vaser lipo.
Tumescent lipo differs from traditionally treatment in that a thinner cannula used which requires much smaller incisions. As tumescent lipoplasty requires only a local anesthetic, there are none of the general anesthesia related risks and side effects. More information on tumescent lipoplasty treatment.
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. More information on what happens after treatment.
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 prove fatal. More information on liposculpture risks.
Questions to ask
Although modern lipo procedures are less invasive than traditional techniques, they are still relatively serious operations. There are many possible risks and complications so it's important to understand what you are signing up for. When you meet your surgeon, you should ask a number of questions to help establish what the procedure involves, and whether he is the right person to perform it. Find out how long he has been practicing for, how many similar procedures he carried out last year, and the level of after care he provides. More details on what questions to ask your surgeon.
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. More information on lipo costs.
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. More details on having lipoplasty abroad.
Is medical treatment abroad a good idea or is it less safe than in the UK?