Liposuction is a procedure to help remove stubborn areas of fat that are difficult to lose, respite regular exercise and a good diet.
Common areas for liposuction include the waist (love handles), hips (saddle bags), tummy, thighs, and back.
Liposuction removes areas of fat accumulation to help improve the shape and contour of your body, with the loose skin that is left behind contracting and tightening over the following months.
You may be a good candidate for liposuction if:
You have areas of fat that are difficult to remove despite a good exercises and diet.
Your skin is in relatively good shape.
You are in good general health and have relatively normal body weight.
You have realistic expectations.
Liposuction is usually performed under general anaesthetic (with you asleep), however it may be performed under local anaesthetic (with you awake) for small areas.
Small amounts of liposuction may be performed as day surgery (meaning you don’t have to stay overnight in the hospital), while larger amounts will need an admission to hospital overnight.
Through several small incisions a suction tube (called a cannula) is inserted. Fluid is injected to help reduce post-procedure discomfort and to help reduce bleeding. Another cannula is inserted to help remove the fat cells by connecting it to a suction device. Once a suitable amount of fat is removed the small incisions are closed with dissolvable (absorbable) sutures, and a dressing is placed on top.
Compression garments are required to be worn over the area that had liposuction full time for several weeks.
It is normal and expected for bruising to occur after the procedure, and also to have some fluid oozing from the wounds.
You will be able to return to most activities in the days after the operation, but strenuous activities should be avoided for at least two weeks. Most people return to work after one week. Before returning to drive you must be able to safely perform an emergency stop procedure.
The small incisions that are used to insert the suction cannula are closed with dissolvable sutures.
The incisions are placed in locations that are relatively imperceptible, and they usually heal without any problems.
Liposuction is associated with the following risks:
Bruising and swelling: this is common after liposuction, but settles in one to two weeks.
Bleeding and haematoma: haematoma refers to a collection of blood that needs to be removed in theatre, and is uncommon after liposuction.
Under or over-correction: rarely some areas may be undercorrected and further liposuction may be beneficial, however several months are needed to let any inflammation settle.
Damage to surrounding structures: a very rare but serious complication is damage to the internal organs, and if this were to happen further surgery would be needed.
Fat embolism: another rare but serious complication is when the fat enters a blood vessel and travels to a further location. If it travels to the lung then it can be very serious, however this is very rare.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE): DVT refers to a blood clot that forms in a vein in your limb, which can break off and travel to your lung (PE). This can be serious, but is thankfully rare.
Further operations: sometimes a second operation may be beneficial to improve the result or improve symmetry.
Liposuction, like any surgical procedure, carries risks and therefore before proceeding you should always seek an opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
Costs associated with cosmetic plastic surgery can be confusing. To help make things clearer we have listed the the following fees that make up the final cost.
Surgical fee: Medicare will partly pay for some surgical procedures that are itemised by the government, however depending on the nature of your operation there will be some out of pocket expenses. Dr Colbert will discuss these costs with you during your consultation.
Anaesthetic fee: Medicare covers most of the anaesthetic fee, except in the case of some cosmetic operations.
Hospital fee (this includes operation room fee, bed costs, surgical or medication fees, and any other hospital extras): Medicare does not cover this fee. If you have private health insurance then this may be covered by your insurance fund, but you should check with your fund if there is any out of pocket expenses. If you have no private insurance then you will have to pay this fee on discharge from the hospital.