Liposuction (also referred to as lipectomy or lipoplasty) is a minimally invasive surgical cosmetic procedure that improves the body’s shape and contour by removing unwanted fat from targeted areas of the body. While liposuction is not intended as a method of weight loss, it can be a suitable way to eliminate fatty deposits which have not responded to improvements in diet and exercise.
With more than 1.4 million liposuction procedures performed annually worldwide, the procedure is popular among both men and women and is revered for its ability to achieve immediate and permanent results.
Liposuction works by removing unwanted fat calls from the body using a thin tube (called a cannula) and a suction device. Usually performed under local or general anaesthetic, the cannula is inserted into an inconspicuous location on the body and the underlying fat cells are delicately extracted while ensuring the surrounding tissue remains undamaged.
Unlike other methods of fat removal which require multiple treatment sessions performed over several months, a single treatment using liposuction will usually achieve a permanent result. The body stops producing fat cells after puberty, ensuring the fat cells which are removed during the procedure will not return.
Weight gain is however still possible following liposuction—while the extracted fat cells will not return, your body still has the ability to retain fat in other areas of the body which highlights the importance of continuing to follow a healthy diet and exercise regimen after liposuction.
Liposuction can be performed using a range of techniques. At Me Clinic, we perform the following liposuction methods:
Considered the gold standard in liposuction, tumescent liposuction is generally the preferred treatment option for most patients. A tumescent local anaesthesia is injected prior to treatment which causes the treatment area to swell, enabling the surgeon to more efficiently locate and extract fat cells. This allows the procedure to be completed in a short period of time, also offering patients a faster recovery with minimal discomfort and less bruising.
Combines tumescent liposuction with the use of an ultrasound device which ‘melts’ pockets of fat in the treatment area by breaking the cell walls using ultrasonic energy, making them easier to extract.
A procedure that uses fibre-optic lasers to melt body fat. The laser light also expedites fat dissolution and causes collagen fibres to contract, resulting in tighter skin and a smoother result.
A similar technique to tumescent liposuction, power-assisted liposuction uses a small power cannula which can very finely and delicately move through the fat that is being aspirated.
An extensive type of liposuction which involves the removal of large volumes of fat.
At Me Clinic, we generally perform the tumescent liposuction method. Depending on your physique and what you want to achieve, your cosmetic surgeon will recommend the most suitable method (or combination of methods) to achieve the desired result. In some cases, liposuction may be combined with other cosmetic treatments to achieve the optimum end-result.
Many patients choose to combine liposuction with liposculpture. Liposculpture involves sculpting and shaping the body throughout the fat removal process to produce a more proportionate, contoured shape and smooth final result.
Liposuction is also commonly combined with a fat transfer procedure, where the fat removed during liposuction is redistributed to other areas of the body such as the face, legs, hands or genitalia. It is a non-allergenic alternative to synthetic fillers and the results typically last longer (it’s known to last indefinitely in some patients).
Liposuction can be performed on a range of areas of the body including the abdomen, waist, chin, neck, hips, thighs, calves, knees, ankles, upper arms, face, mons pubis, buttocks and chest.
Liposuction performed on areas such as the abdomen, thighs or upper arms can result in a discernible change in terms of fat volume and contour, while liposuction performed on the chin, outer cheeks or neck area can create a younger, more supple facial profile.
Depending on the desired result, treatment can be performed on a single area of the body or on multiple areas to achieve a more comprehensive body transformation. In most cases, multiple treatments can be combined into a single procedure to keep costs down and shorten the total recovery period.
The treatment method used will largely dictate what your experience will be like when undergoing liposuction.
Non-invasive procedures can be performed without anaesthetic, while most other liposuction treatment methods will be performed using either local or general anaesthetic.
Where local anaesthetic is used, the treatment area would be completely numbed to ensure you won’t feel any pain or discomfort during the procedure. Adrenaline would also be used to reduce blood loss and increase the anaesthetic effect.
If a significant volume of fat will be removed during the procedure or liposuction will be performed on multiple areas of the body, it may be more suitable to use a general anaesthetic. In this case, you would be entirely sedated during the procedure.
Immediately following liposuction, it is likely that you will feel drowsy from the anaesthetic. It is also common to experience some numbness in the treatment area.
The recovery following liposuction can vary between patients, but some common side-effects of liposuction include bruising and swelling around the treatment area as well as discomfort similar to that following a strenuous work-out. These symptoms typically subside completely within a week or two.
Most patients can comfortably return to non-strenuous work a few days after the procedure, however we recommend avoiding more strenuous activities for at least 10 days following treatment. We also strongly encourage patients to wear compression garments for several weeks following liposuction to encourage good blood circulation and aid a speedy recovery.
As one of the first clinics to start performing liposuction in Australia in the 1980’s, our team of highly trained surgeons, physicians and nurses have over 30 years’ experience and have performed more than 20,000 liposuction and body sculpting procedures.
Our surgeons are some of the most experienced doctors in the field and they take the time to listen and understand your needs, explain the various treatment options and develop a tailored treatment plan.