What is it?
Liposuction is the removal of fatty tissue from underneath the skin using small incisions and metal cannulas. It can also be called ‘body contouring, lipoplasty or liposculpture’. It tends to work best for treating localised areas of fat that have not responded to diet. In some situations ultrasound treatment may also be used in order to assist dissolving the fat prior to removing it by suction.
Small areas of liposuction can be carried out under local anaesthesia. For bigger areas the procedure is performed under a general anaesthetic. The area of the body which has the excess fat is usually marked out prior to surgery to identify those areas that are most prominent. During surgery, small incisions are made. Some fluid is then introduced into and around the fat in order to assist removal of the fat. The fat is then sucked out. Extreme care is taken not to damage the overlying skin or underlying important structures like nerves and blood vessels. The small incisions are closed with dissolving stitches. The surgery is usually performed as a Day Case. After the operation, it is likely that the patient will need to wear an elasticated garment in order to help control the swelling and improve the overall shape. Liposuction may also be used in conjunction with other procedures such as a face-lift, in order to provide better definition of certain areas (e.g. under the chin).
Ultrasonic assisted liposuction can also be used. The ultrasound causes the fat to break up into smaller particles. The operation however, takes longer to do than the ordinary liposuction method.
Liposuction removes fat cells