Contouring and slimming for the body and face

Liposuction Dr Ayad Harb

Achieving your ideal body shape can be a challenging process despite weight-loss, dieting and exercise. Stubborn areas of fat can remain despite all efforts, especially around the abdomen, arms, thighs and neck. Liposuction is an excellent solution for dealing with these concerns, on the journey to achieving your ideal body. 

Liposuction is used to remove fat and contour areas of the body where it is difficult to lose fat through diet and exercise. It can be very effective in sculpting and defining these difficult areas.

What is liposuction used to treat?

  • Reducing abdominal fat
  • Contouring and shaping the hips and flanks
  • Reducing back fat
  • Contouring the arms and reducing fat
  • Reducing fat around the thighs, knees and ankles
  • Gynaecomastia (male breast tissue) correction
  • Reducing under-chin fat and contouring the jawline
  • Lipoma (fatty tumour) removal

How is liposuction performed?

Pre and post surgery clinical photographs of the treated areas will be taken. Liposuction is carried out through very small incisions where fluid is infiltrated and then a suction cannula is used to remove the fat. A tumescent solution containing local anaesthetic and adrenaline will be injected generously to the treatment area to help reduce pain and bleeding.

Liposuction is a very effective way of removing excess fat, through small incisions and has the advantage of leaving only very small scars. It does rely somewhat on the ability of the skin to snap back and this is something that varies from individual to individual, and can depend on the amount of fat that is to be removed and the age and skin quality of the patient.

Power or suction assisted liposuction is normally used. For very small areas, hand held syringes may be used. Variations of liposuction utilise ultrasound or laser to assist in breaking down and removing the fat.

Liposuction can be carried out under local anaesthetic (while you are awake) or general anaesthetic (while you are asleep) depending on the extent of the surgery planned and your wishes.

Depending on the extent of surgery, you may be able to go home the same day or after one night in hospital.

What is liposuction combined with?

Liposuction is often combined with other procedures to give the best possible results for those procedures. Some common combinations include:

  • Liposuction and FACEtite
  • Liposuction and open correction of Gynaecomastia
  • Liposuction and BODYtite
  • Liposuction and thigh lift
  • Liposuction and arm lift
  • Liposuction and abdominoplasty
  • Liposuction and fat transfer

What are the limitations of liposuction?

  • Liposuction is not a weight loss procedure. It is a body contouring procedure best carried out when you are at a stable weight with no planned changes in your weight.
  • Liposuction removes fat from underneath the skin and relies on the skin “snapping back” to give a smooth contour. If too much fat is removed or there is poor skin quality or tone, then the skin may not snap back enough and there may be loose skin in the area after liposuction.
  • If you have preexisting loose skin in the area you wish to have liposuction in, liposuction alone will not give the best result. In this situation combining liposuction with another procedure, such as FACEtite, BODYtite, abdominoplasty may be recommended. (The specific procedure recommended will vary depending on the location and your individual situation.)
  • Liposuction does not treat internal fat. It removes the fat underneath the skin but will not remove fat deeper in the body e.g. within the abdominal cavity. If this is suspected to be a limiting factor in your case, you will be advised of this after your assessment.
  • There is a limit to how much liposuction can be performed in one sitting for safety reasons. These limitations will always be discussed with you at your consultation.
  • Liposuction will not remove cellulite, stretch marks or scars.

What to expect after liposuction surgery?

You will have bruising and swelling in the treated area afterwards which will peak at day 2 to 3 and slowly resolve over the weeks following this. Most of this will go in the next 4 to 6 weeks but swelling can persist for up to 6 months especially in areas such as the ankles. You will have small scars in the areas the suction cannulae have been inserted and you often have some temporary numbness of the overlying skin. Some fluid may ooze from these areas in the beginning.

You will need to wear a compression garment for 4 to 6 weeks postoperatively. This helps to provide support to the skin and to keep swelling controlled.

Recovery after liposuction

Most people return to work between 5 and 14 days depending on the extent of the liposuction and the nature of their work. Light activities can be resumed within 2 weeks and normal activities are usually unrestricted after 4 to 6 weeks.

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