Liposuction Surgery

With age, fatty tissue accumulates in the flanks, lower abdomen and thighs (in women) and the abdomen, flanks and chest (in men). Liposuction is the removal of fat from deposits beneath the skin using a hollow stainless steel tube (cannula) and a powerful vacuum.  This is not a method of weight reduction, but a way to remove stubborn fatty deposits that remain despite dieting, exercise or massage.

In the early days of liposuction, the procedure involved using relatively large cannulae and was associated with extensive bruising and a higher risk of irregularities. Today, liposuction uses much finer cannulae which cause less trauma to the tissues and allow fat to be removed in a much more controlled manner.



Liposculpture is a surgical procedure in which fat cells are removed from the body.  Liposculpture is a refinement on the process of liposuction and uses finer instruments to target and define very specific areas of the body.  It is important to understand that liposculpture is not a method of losing weight and is not a substitute for diet and exercise, but it can be used on stubborn "pockets" of fat.  It is available to both men and women and is normally done under local anaesthetic and sedation as a day procedure.

There are some new techniques for fat removal using ultrasound and laser systems (laserlipolysis).  These procedures are not generally used to remove large areas of fat, but to target specific areas of fat more precisely.  If you are healthy and wish to remove stubborn fat deposits, then you could consider this procedure.  There are a number of patented names on the market.



The revolutionary Liposoft technique allows accurate body contouring under local anaesthetic.

The procedure is performed as day case using a new device that helps increase the accuracy of sculpting and dramatically reduces recovery time.

This state of the art liposuction technique has many advantages over existing fat removal procedures and uses the newest technology to give wonderful and natural results.

•  Less swelling
•  Shorter recovery times 
•  Local anaesthetic day-case procedure 
•  Ability to stand up during the procedure to allow fine-tuning of the result


What is vaser lipo?

Vaser lipo is form of liposuction that uses ultrasound technology to emulsify and break up unwanted fatty deposits, which are then sucked out using a cannula (hollow tube) attached to a vacuum pump. The advantage of this technique is its accuracy, which, combined with an infusion of tumescent fluid, is used to effectively target fat whilst leaving blood vessels and nerves relatively unharmed. In addition, Vaser lipo can help reduce skin laxity as fibrous strands and structures around the fat cells are preserved, encouraging the skin to retract.

Vaser lipo requires local anaesthetic, and as such reduces the time spent in hospital, and also generally carries less risk than procedures done using general anaesthetic. Also, unlike traditional liposuction techniques, vaser lipo does not require scraping or other manual actions, so the chances of bruising and bleeding are reduced.

As with any cosmetic procedure, there are complications that can result from vaser lipo. Vaser lipo uses high powered ultrasonic energy, and as such there is sometimes increased risk of burns and blistering. The procedure needs to be correctly controlled and monitored by a surgeon who is highly experienced in liposuction treatment.

Quantity of fat, its location, and its stubbornness will influence what treatment is recommended. Treatments such as liposculpture can target stubborn pockets of fat with fine instruments, and liposoft can offer reduced swelling and recovery time by assisting fat reduction and removal using a targeted water jet, and smaller volumes of fluid than more traditional liposuction treatments. 

Each form of liposuction carries its own risks and limitations, and a surgeon should discuss these thoroughly with you in your consultation. It's essential to have realistic goals and to discuss all of the surgical options available in order to find the correct treatment for your individual needs.

What the procedure involves

The infiltration of water jet into the fatty areas during their removal helps to reduce the amount of bruising experienced by the patient after surgery therefore the results can be seen much quicker and recovery time is reduced. The patient may be up and about almost immediately. Shorter operation times can be achieved as well as minimized tissue trauma and less injury to nerves and vessels.

Unlike conventional treatments the body is NOT pumped with a large quantity of fluid. This enables a surgeon more precision when sculpting specific areas during treatment.  If required you may stand up during the procedure as some areas of fat are only easily seen when standing. Having the procedure under a local anaesthetic also makes it much safer.


How does it work?

The procedure involves a tiny incision being made in the skin and a cannula (a hollow stainless steel tube) is inserted by the surgeon. A water jet containing local anaesthetic breaks up the fat cells and allows gentle suctioning of the excess fat. The fat is removed far easier with this technique, and because of easier removal less bruising occurs after surgery. Less injury to nerves and vessels may also be achieved along with a shorter operation time for the patient. Areas that are suitable for treatment include the thighs, tummy (also see the tummy tuck page), upper arms, neck, buttocks, knees, calves and ankles.


Day case procedure

With traditional liposuction, large volumes of fluid are pumped into the body to aid fat removal.  Unfortunately this distorts the contours and makes judgment of the correct amount for removal more difficult.  With Liposoft much smaller volumes are needed which enables the surgeon to more precisely remove specific areas of fat as the contours of the body are not lost due to the body holding large amounts of water. Liposoft is a day case procedure and most patients are able to leave the hospital in as little as just two hours after they have had their treatment.


Benefits of Liposoft

•  Less pain
•  Less bruising
•  Less swelling
•  Less trauma
•  Less distortion of contours
•  Safer
•  Local anaesthetic
•  More accuracy


Risks and Complications

List of potential complications Uneven body contour, dimpling of skin, reaction to medications, haemorrhage, bruising, seroma (fluid under the skin), nerve damage (<1% risk of permanent numbness), infection, fat embolus (<0.1% risk), blood clots, skin necrosis, perforation of the abdominal wall or organs, shock, abnormal scarring, delayed wound healing, alteration in skin pigmentation, swelling, and death (risk 1 in 100,000).  

Deaths secondary to liposuction are a very rare event indeed but may potentially be related to a number of factors, including: blood clots, perforation of the abdominal organs, circulatory shock, and potentially a serious reaction to medications.  


Blood Clots

A deep vein thrombosis (DVT), otherwise known as a blood clot, may occasionally from in the very deep veins of the pelvis and leg following any kind of surgery. DVT's are generally due to the immobility associated with surgery (hence why travellers on planes are also at risk), which encourages clots to form. To help diminish your risk you should ensure that you stand regularly (at least once an hour) and move your feet around when sat or lying down to encourage blood flow.  


Perforation of the abdominal wall or underlying organs is something that surgeons take great care to avoid, but surgeons may be limited in what they can see during the surgery, leading to a perforation. Your risk of perforation will be greatly reduced if you ensure your surgeon is experienced in liposuction procedures.  

Shock & Haemodilution

Shock is the result of an inadequate perfusion of the organs by the blood, this may occur because of bleeding, or may be due to the absorption of large amounts of fluid used during the procedure which dilutes the blood (haemodilution). The risk of haemodilution and shock increases with larger areas of liposuction and large volume liposuction should be considered carefully and discussed with your surgeon.  


Lidocaine (also known as lignocaine) is a local anaesthetic that is used to manage any pain associated with the procedure. Very rarely lidocaine may affect the heart causing it to beat ineffectively, or affect the brain, causing a seizure. Lidocaine is generally a very safe drug but people may be at higher risk of side effect if they are known to have poor liver function or drink high amounts of alcohol.  

Morbidity & Mortality

Liposuction is a very safe procedure when conducted by a properly qualified, experienced plastic surgeon, however, studies show that liposuction to be linked to a small number of deaths. ASPS (American Association of Plastic Surgeons) have reported a mortality rate of 1 in 100,000 liposuction patients. There may be an increased risk associated with: 

• Large volume liposuction

• Performing multiple operative procedures in combination with liposuction.

• Performing the procedure under general anaesthetic

• Patients with pre-existing health problems  

The overall safety of liposuction procedures has been investigated by ASPS's and found to have an overall risk of a significant complication to be 0.03%. ASPS's also found that the overall safety of liposuction is improving in recent years with a 10-fold reduction in serious complications and death. The overall complication rates associated with liposuction found by the ASPS group is as follows:



Percentage rate

1 complication per….

Skin slough


1 per 1107



1 per 3040

Pulmonary emboli


1 per 3759

Significant haemorrhage


1 per 6711

Fluid overload


1 per 7246

Fat emboli


1 per 18,868

Perforation of abdomen


1 per 47,619

Lidocaine toxicity


1 per47,619



1 per 90,909

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