Duration of the procedure depends on several factors, such as:
the amount of fatty tissue to be removed
the technique applied
size of the affected area.
The procedure takes one to two hours. It is usually performed in an outpatient clinic under a local or general anaesthetic. Very rarely an epidural anaesthetic is used.
First a few tiny incisions are made on the affected area of the body. Then a small, hollow tube called a cannula is inserted through the incisions. The cannula, guided by the surgeon, destroys fat cells and then sucks away the unwanted fat. The incisions are then closed with stitches.
Liposuction is a surgical procedure performed to correct your body contour by removing excess fat from specific areas of the body. It is usually performed on the abdomen, buttocks, cheeks, chin, hips, knees, neck, thighs and arms. Liposuction is often combined with other procedures such as abdominoplasty or face lift. There are quite a lot of new liposuction techniques which are superior to traditional techniques. Ultrasound and tumescent liposuction provide shorter recovery time and more precise effects.
The ideal liposuction candidate is a healthy person at their target weight but with deposits of fat which are resistant to diet and regular exercise. Patients must be emotionally stable and realistic in their expectations. The best results are usually achieved in patients whose skin has enough elasticity. When the skin is not so elastic, as in some older patients, the results may be less impressive.
Liposuction can improve your body contour and - like many other cosmetic surgery procedures - increase your self-confidence, however it will not replace regular exercise or a healthy diet. By eating healthily and being physically active you can help maintain the results of fat removal.
After the surgery you may experience some discomfort, pain, stiffness, burning sensation, numbness, fluid leaking from the incisions, swelling and bleeding. Drainage tubes may be placed in the incisions to drain excess liquid. You may be prescribed painkillers to soothe the pain and discomfort and antibiotics to prevent any possible infections. You should start walking as soon as possible, depending on your doctor's advice, in order to prevent blood clots forming in the legs.
Compression clothing is usually needed for a few weeks to support the skin and control the swelling. Stitches are removed within eight to ten days. Most of the swelling and bruising will subside within three weeks, however the area may still be slightly swollen for over six or seven weeks. You will notice a distinct change in your body contour, although the final results will only be seen once the swelling is gone. Modern techniques usually result in less bruising and swelling.
Recovery times vary from patient to patient. Usually you can resume most everyday activities within a few days after the surgery, but more intensive physical activities will have to be postponed for three to four weeks.
Risk and complications
Every surgery carries some risk. In order to minimise any possible risk of complications, you must provide the surgeon with all details relating to your health, especially if you smoke, are on medication or have undergone a surgery in or around the area which is to be operated upon. You can minimise the risk significantly by choosing a well-qualified and experienced plastic surgeon and by strictly following their advice before and after the surgery. Although currently all plastic surgery procedures are very safe, your surgeon will discuss any possible, although unlikely, complications in connection with your treatment.