Liposuction can benefit both men and women. In men, fat often accumulates along the belt-line as “love handles”. Women, on the other hand, are more likely to develop excess fat on the hips, inner thighs, buttocks and abdomen. Other common sites include the neck, arms, knees, calves and ankles. At Silkwood Medical in Bondi Junction, in Sydney, we offer body contouring and liposuction techniques for these common problem areas.
Liposuction varies from the removal of small, localised fat deposits to lipectomy of large areas. Your surgeon will evaluate your body and discuss with you the techniques available. With all forms of liposuction a vacuum pump sucks out unwanted fat via a thin metal tube from an area of localised body fat, leaving a flattened area. Suction assisted lipectomy may be performed under general or local anaesthesia with sedation depending on the extent of the body contouring procedure and your requests. Scars are avoided by working through small incisions in your natural skin folds.
Recovery from Liposuction
The extent of the procedure and speed of your recovery depends on the number of treated areas and the amount of fat removed. Bruising can last from one to three weeks and swelling can persist for one to two months. A compression garment is usually worn for two to six weeks after body contouring surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions
Liposuction can be performed at any age in healthy patients.
Liposuction results in permanent fat removal. Not all of the fat cells are removed from the area as it is essential to have a smooth, homogenous layer of fat between your skin and muscle. This fat layer provides a natural glide plane between your skin and muscle. Only extreme weight gain would lead to these fat cells becoming large enough for the problem to appear to have recurred.
Small, less than 1cm scars are placed at the periphery of the region to be liposuctioned. These scars are often placed in natural crease lines to help conceal them.
The combination of small breasts and large thighs is very common. It is a fond hope of many people that the fat removed from their thighs in liposuction could be used to augment their breasts with their own tissue instead of using breast implants. Over the years techniques have been developed which can allow fat to be reliably transfered to the breasts. However this procedure is still controversial and the many pros and cons need to be discussed with the individual. The technical reason why the fat is unable to survive when injected into the breast tissue is that the breast consists largely of fat with a very poor blood supply so that the injected fat is unable to develop a new blood supply and therefore fades away.
The cost of liposuction surgery is determined by the extended complexity and duration of your operation and will be estimated following your first consultation. Prices start from $6,250 for one area including the surgeon’s fee, assistant’s fee, anaesthetist’s fee, hospital stay, garment and 12 months post-op care.
Liposuction for lipodystrophy has a Medicare item number to help rebate the costs of the procedure. However, in most situations, liposuction is considered a cosmetic procedure and you will be provided with an estimate of the surgical, anaesthetic and hospital fees after you meet our surgeons.
It used to be considered that removing three litres was a large volume of liposuction. However, over the years with various developments in improving the safety of liposuction, it is now possible to remove up to 10 litres without any changes in the safety of the procedure when performed by a trained cosmetic plastic surgeon in conjunction with an experienced anaesthetist. In certain circumstances, with strict attention to safeguards, large volumes up to 15 litres can be removed. However, liposuction and body contouring is not a substitute for a healthy diet and exercise, so this is only done in very rare cases.
Nothing. Liposculpture is a made-up word used to suggest attention to detail and concern with relative shapes and overall body proportion on the part of the surgeon. Every single form of liposuction has in common the administration of a wetting solution, an incision and suction of fat through a metal tube attached to a vacuum.
Incisions used by our surgeons in liposuction are generally less than 5mm in length and we do try to hide them in natural body creases. Generally the incisions are so small they don’t even need stitches and are held closed with tape only. At first the incisions are red but within two to three weeks they usually resemble an old mosquito bite. It often takes several months for the colour to fade. It is highly unlikely that other people would notice these incisions even at the beach or in any close-up situation.
Ultrasonic liposuction has a place in the practice of liposuction. All liposuction has as its core infiltration of the area to be suctioned with fluid containing local anaesthetic and a blood vessel constrictor, an incision and removal of fat via a thin metal tube attached to a vacuum. The only difference with ultrasonic liposuction is that the fat is initially emulsified by high frequency sound waves. This may be useful in the enlarged male breast (gynaecomastia), in large volume liposuction for the morbidly obese, in the upper back and upper abdomen in women and in areas of repeat liposuction. There appears to be no particular advantage and indeed several outstanding disadvantages to the use of ultrasonic liposuction in the initial routine liposuction of the vast majority of people.
As long as you maintain a normal diet and do not rapidly gain kilograms it is exceedingly difficult to put weight back onto areas that have had liposuction. There is no evidence if you have had liposuction of the thighs that if you gain weight, it will all go to one unusual area such as the neck or arms. Our surgeons have found that after body contouring, usually any weight gain will be relatively distributed throughout the body beneath the skin, thereby avoiding any bizarre contour changes.
Recent studies have shown that the major benefit of wearing compression garments after liposuction is that patients feel more comfortable and secure. There is very little evidence that the garments will actually make any difference in either the short or long term outcome of the liposuction. Postoperative massage of the areas that have been suctioned either by yourself or by a trained massage therapist is far more likely to be effective in diminishing swelling and prompting the quickest return to your desired body contour.
You will be seen daily in hospital by your surgeon. On rare occasions when your surgeon is working at another location, you will be seen by another member of the surgical team (the anaesthetist, surgical registrar or another surgeon in the practice).
You will be given a Plastic Surgery Recovery guide upon booking your surgery. This is a highly valuable document that explains in great detail all of your after care for surgery.