Why would I consider liposuction?
Liposuction, or liposculpture, is a cosmetic surgical procedure to remove areas of fat from the body, thereby reshaping the body. The surgery is not trivial (as some marketing programs may suggest). It is also not a method of weight reduction and should be considered as body re-contouring surgery rather than weight reduction surgery.
If you are not significantly overweight but have areas on your body which are disproportionately larger than other areas, you would be a good candidate to consider liposuction.
Common areas that are treated include:
- thighs (inner and outer)
- neck / chin
How is it done?
I am often asked if there is a significant difference between liposuction and liposculpture. The answer is quite simply no. Liposculpture is simply a marketing term for liposuction.
We offer two types of liposuction / liposculpture:
- Standard or SAL
- Ultrasound or UAL
- SAL – the area to be treated is blown up with fluid until it is firm – this is called the tumescent, or wet, technique; and is the standard method of liposuction.
Following this a hollow cannula (tube) is attached to a suction pump and the cannula is placed into the fat deposits via a small carefully placed incision. The suction removes the fat deposits along with the infused fluid.
- UAL – also uses the wet technique. The fundamental difference to SAL is that the cannula in UAL goes back and forth at very high frequencies. This applies energy and heat to the tissues and has been described as melting the fat. This is particularly useful in fibrous areas of fat and may offer an advantage to help to contract the skin – achieved when the energy heats up the deeper part of the skin, assisting the collagen to shrink.There is a rare risk of a small burn from the tip of the cannula due to a possible end hit.
What can I expect?
You are typically admitted on the day of surgery having fasted from the night before or 8 hours prior.
Liposuction is typically either performed with a consultant specialist anaesthetist providing a light general anaesthetic.
Small areas only can be done under pure local anaesthetic, as day surgery. More extensive liposuction typically requires at least an overnight stay.
How long does it take to recover?
Recovery time is in the order of a few days to week or two depending on the extent of the surgery. Clearly the less that is done, the quicker the recovery.
Post-operatively, liposuction can be quite uncomfortable initially and strong oral painkillers are provided upon discharge.
A pressure garment is worn for one month following the surgery day and night. Two pressure garments are provided to facilitate this. If the area treated is dependent / lower in the body, then day time wearing of the garment may also be required.
We use massage following liposuction (similar to a deep but gentle tissue massage) to decrease sensitivity and the incidence of irregularities.
What complications can occur?
Although every endeavour is made to avoid complications, sometimes they do occur and it does not necessarily imply an error has occurred. Complications do not necessarily imply an error has occurred, they can be related to the anaesthetic or the surgery.
Surgical complications can include: bleeding and bruising, swelling and infection. Others include temporary skin numbness and hypersensitivity, skin irregularities, asymmetry and skin looseness.
Although this list indicates some examples of complications, surgery should not be undertaken until this has been discussed fully with the surgeon.
What other procedures are often performed at the same time?
Liposuction itself can be used as a sole technique or it can be used to compliment other procedures, ie:
- abdominoplasty/tummy tuckwith liposuction to upper abdomen
and flanks (360 liposuction)
- breast reduction with axillary liposuction
What does it cost and will private insurance help?
Exact costing is highly variable as it depends on your history and circumstances, the hospital used and specifics of the procedure.
Liposuction is typically cosmetic and private health insurance and medicare do not assist with costs.
If a procedure can be given an item number then rebates will apply. In this scenario, out of pocket costs are typically less than amounts paid for surgery overseas.
A cost guide can be requested from my office on 9126 9218 (+61 8 9126 9218).
Alternatively, we can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org
Where can I get more information?
If you have specific questions, or wish more information on specific procedures, please contact my office for a complimentary appointment with my nurse / patient liaison officer.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.