Liposuction is a cosmetic surgical procedure that aims to eliminate fat deposits to enhance the shape of the body. Liposuction can be applied to the arms, thigh, chin, neck, butt, and most especially the abdomen.

Liposuction however is not suitable as a weight loss procedure. Body contouring is the main purpose of this procedure and is generally requested by people with fatty deposits that have not responded to diet and exercise.

The Procedure:

Local anaesthetic is necessary and is applied before the procedure. There are different techniques in liposuction: ultrasound-assisted, tumescent, laser-assisted and super-wet. Generally however, the basic procedure is to create an incision on the targeted area where a sterile liquid substance is infused directly into the vein to lessen the bleeding and trauma. A cannula is then inserted and pushed and pulled back and forth through the fat layer in order to break up the fat cells. When the fat is dislodged, it is suctioned out using a syringe connected to a cannula or surgical vacuum pump. The patient is continually fed intravenous fluids directly to the vein during the process and right after the surgery in order to replenish the fluid that is lost during the fat removal procedure.

Risks and Complications:

  • Ongoing pain
  • Infection especially in the fatty tissues which is difficult to treat.
  • Thermal burn on the skin or in the deep layer of tissues (for ultra sound assisted technique)
  • Friction burns and other damages to the nerves and skin
  • Damage to the blood vessels, muscles, abdominal organs and lungs
  • Anaesthetic reactions
  • Shock which may be due to an excessive fluid loss
  • Fluid accumulation
  • Tremendous scarring
  • Allergic reaction to medications
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Pulmonary and cardiac complications
  • Fat clots and blood clots which may go up the lungs, causing death.
  • Retraction of skin after a few months.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Is the liposuction procedure painful?
You will be numbed all throughout and even be put to sleep so there will be no pain.

2. How long does a liposuction procedure last?
The length of time of the procedure is dependent on the technique that is applied and the volume of fat to be removed.

3. What is the recovery like?
There will be pain, soreness, swelling and bruising around the treated area/s for 7 to 10 days.

4. When can I go back to my normal activities?
It would usually take several days to a few weeks before you can go back to your normal activities but most people can go back to work in a few days. However, it may take longer recovery period for those who were treated with large areas.