This is a procedure whereby fat is removed with the use of liposuction cannulas. It is important to remember that liposuction involves the removal of fat with a limited amount of skin shrinkage occurring. In certain areas skin shrinkage is more likely, and in others a lot less likely. An abdomen that has been stretched from previous pregnancies, or obesity, and now shows stretch marks, is very unlikely to show much skin retraction after liposuction. Therefore, liposuction, in a situation such as this, will need to be combined with some other procedure whereby skin is removed.

Liposuction is usually performed using a tumescent technique, where a ‘wetting’ solution is required to ‘liquefy the fat’, and wet the area, thereby allowing easier extraction of the fat with less bleeding and the ability to use finer cannula’s.

Liposuction is generally also a day case procedure, depending on the amount of fat extracted. It is very rare for a liposuction procedure to be of such a nature and extent, that it requires overnight admission for monitoring. Most liposuction is performed under local anaesthetic with conscious sedation, and the recovery is dependant on the surface area and amount of fat removed.

As with abdominoplasties pressure garments are required post-operatively and need to be worn for anything from three weeks to a month, post-surgery.

Important considerations with liposuction are –

1) Final results are not immediately apparent, as there is going to be associated swelling and bruising after the procedure, masking the final results of the liposuction.

2) The areas liposuctioned can often have decreased sensation in the overlying skin. This, however, improves with time and, in most cases, returns to normal sensation.