Liposuction (or liposculpture) is now one of the most popular cosmetic procedures performed. It is used to remove unsightly, stubborn areas of fat that fail to be removed through exercise or diet, thus reshaping the body. It is not designed as a treatment for obesity in general, but is very successful in removing fat from areas of the body such as the upper arms, abdomen, buttock, thighs, calves, chin and neck. It is used in men and women alike, to reshape a disproportionate figure, and is now widely used to treat the condition of male gynaecomastia (noticeable breasts).
Liposuction is used primarily to reshape the body, with the ideal candidates being at or near their target weight. It is not in itself a procedure to lose weight, but is often used to complement other surgical procedures. There are physiological limits to how much fat can removed with liposuction. A thorough clinical assessment will be performed including the BMI (body mass index) as an indicator. Liposuction is also reliant on good skin tone for the body to take up the new shape effectively. Some contour irregularities and lumpiness can occur and if skin tone is poor skin sagging can be an issue. Pressure garments need to be worn post operatively for at least 6 weeks.
For those seeking a large reduction in weight, rather than planning for immediate liposuction, advice on diet and exercise may be given, or if applicable, referral for weight loss surgery.
Smoking can increase the incidence of complications from surgery. It may be wise to delay surgery until smoking is stopped or cut down. Aspirin increases the risk of bleeding by preventing blood from clotting. If you are taking aspirin, you will be asked to stop this for at least ten days before the procedure.
Removal of fat from target areas through key-hole incisions. Swelling, bruising and contour irregularities can occur and there is a limit to how much volume reduction can be achieved. Good for specific problem areas but not a substitute for diet and exercise. Pressure garments are needed post operatively.