Stubborn fat that’s difficult to shift through diet or exercise often occurs on the tummy, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees and chin. Liposuction – commonly known as ‘lipo’ – reshapes the body by permanently removing these fatty deposits.
If you are unhappy with your appearance after a diet and exercise regime has not led to the weight loss you want, it could offer you the solution to achieve the best results for you.
The operation involves inserting a thin metal tube into your body, attached to a strong vacuum pump, which removes fat.
At Sussex Premier Health you will meet with your Consultant Plastic Surgeon in one of our private consultation rooms, during this time you will be able to discuss your medical history. Your Consultant will discuss with you what you want to achieve and whether liposuction is suitable.
If you decide to go ahead with the procedure, we’ll give you at least two weeks between consultation and operation date. This is because we want you to be really happy and confident with your decision.
On the day of your operation, our ward staff will show you to your own private room. Your private room will have an en-suite bathroom and TV and Wi-Fi facilities.
There are two main types of liposuction techniques – wet and dry. Both are normally performed under general anaesthetic and your surgeon will agree which one is most suitable with you beforehand. If you are only having a small amount of fat removed, occasionally a local anaesthetic can be used instead.
After your operation, the treated area will be bandaged and stitched and we will give you pain relief medication. You may need to wear elastic compression clothing and a compression bandage for the next two to three weeks to reduce swelling (only taken off to clean and shower).
After your procedure, you will be taken to your room where you can rest and recuperate until we feel you’re ready to go home.
You might need to stay in overnight if you have had a general anaesthetic.
Once you’re ready to be discharged from hospital, you’ll need to arrange for a friend or family member to take you home as you won’t be able to drive.
For guidance on pain relief and your recovery time, please see our patient information sections below.
Liposuction is a way of getting rid of stubborn fat that will not go away despite your best efforts to improve your lifestyle through diet and exercise. It doesn’t remove cellulite, stretch marks or loose skin but can be used to reduce male breasts (gynaecomastia) and excess fluid.
The most common benefits of liposuction include:
The operation usually takes from one to three hours and is carried out under general anaesthesia, so you will be asleep throughout.
Sometimes, you might have a local anaesthetic (where only one area of the body is numbed and you’re awake) if the liposuction is performed on a very small area of the body. If the treatment is on the lower body, an epidural may be used.
After the fat has been sucked out, your surgeon will drain any excess fluid and blood using small tubes.
We’ll give you pain relief medication immediately and when we discharge you, as this type of operation can result in discomfort and swelling for a few days. If you need them, continue taking painkillers as advised by the hospital. You might also be given antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection.
We will provide you with a supply of all the medicines your consultant feels you need to take home with you after you’ve left hospital, up to 14 days. This may be at an additional cost to some patients.
Some of the side effects of liposuction are bruising, swelling and inflammation of the treated areas.
If you had a large area treated you should take about 10 days off work to recover and avoid strenuous activity for up to four weeks.
Any numbness that you might feel should go away in six to eight weeks. Continue to use painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to relieve pain from bruising or swelling.
When we discharge you we’ll talk to you about whether your stitches and dressings need to be removed and we’ll make an appointment to see your consultant again before you leave the hospital.
At your follow-up appointment, your surgeon will advise you when you can resume your normal activities.
It will take you around two weeks to recover from the operation and as much as six months to see noticeable results as the treated area settles down.
After you’ve left hospital, we’re still here when you need us. Your consultant is likely to want to see you after your operation, a follow up appointment will be made for you before you leave the hospital.
On rare occasions, complications following liposuction can occur. The chance of complications depends on the exact type of operation you are having and other factors such as your general health.
Your consultant will talk to you about the possible risks and complications of having this procedure and how they apply to you.
If you have any questions or concerns about your recovery you can call and speak to a member of the nursing team at any time, please call 01424 757459.
At Sussex Premier Health, your consultant will be with you every step of the way: from giving advice at your first consultation through to offering ongoing support after your treatment.
A cosmetic surgeon’s reputation qualifications and experience are vitally important so we only work with consultant grade specialists. These are highly experienced consultants who have completed years of medical training. All our consultants are on the specialist register of the General Medical Council (GMC) and many are also members of the UK’s leading cosmetic and plastic surgery associations.