Procedure Details

Liposuction contouring is a technique whereby fat is removed permanently and is usually performed under general depending on the site to be treated and the amount of fat to be removed. It may be utilised in most areas of the body either as a sole procedure or as an adjunct to other procedures i.e. facelift, breast reduction or abdominal reduction.

Before any fat is removed, the area to be treated is injected with a buffered salt solution containing adrenaline, which controls bleeding and a long-acting local anaesthetic to ensure you will experience less discomfort after the liposuction operation. Liposculpture employs the use of a fine cannula allowing the removal of fat in a controlled manner causing less trauma to the tissues and can be used close under the surface of the skin giving superior results. Liposuction surgical time varies from 30 to 90 minutes depending on the extent of the procedure. Less extensive liposuction is possible as a day-case, but normally an overnight stay at the hospital is recommended.

Aftercare

Immediately after surgery the operated parts will be dressed with dressings which will remain in place for one week (showers will be possible during this period). The most important aspect of liposuction treatment post-operatively is the wearing of pressure garments which may be used for up to six weeks. It is important to realise that although only tiny incisions (~3 mm in length) are made in unobtrusive areas, liposuction creates a large wound hidden under the skin and adequate rest in the days and weeks after surgery will be required as well as regular gentle exercise. This should be balanced with early mobilisation such as walking. Bruising and some moderate swelling occur after liposculpture, but this subsides over a period of 2-3 weeks.

Liposuction postoperative discomfort may be relieved by mild analgesia such as Paracetamol (Aspirin should be avoided). Once the swelling has subsided, hardening of the treated area is usual. Massage is advised at this stage to soften and flatten the area. Beauty therapists or physiotherapists should be considered for this task and many previous patients consider the results obtained, more than justified for the relatively small expenditure for professional massage.

It is possible however, that some difference of fat removal will be apparent, necessitating a minor secondary tidy-up liposuction procedure, usually after six months. Some patients are fortunate and have elastic skin which contracts well, whereas others (usually those with stretch marks) may require skin tightening procedures in addition to the liposuction. Time away from work depends on the areas treated and varies from 7-14 days.


General Advice

You should arrange for someone to drive you home from hospital. You will experience mild to moderate discomfort after your surgery and it is recommended that you take one or two pain relieving tablets (such as Paracetamol) on a regular basis for the first week or so. DO NOT TAKE ASPIRIN OR ANY PRODUCTS CONTAINING ASPIRIN as this may prolong or cause bleeding in the early post operative period. There maybe some bruising following liposuction, though this should settle over the first two weeks. It is important to rest as much as possible for the first 48 hours after surgery. You should take things easy at home for the first week and then recommence light household chores. You will be provided with a pressure garment before your discharge from hospital. You should wear this continuously for one month day and night.

Bathing

You should avoid getting the wounds or dressings excessively wet for the first week. However, the dressings are waterproof to some extent so you can have a light shower almost straight away. For your surgery, stitches have been used that will be removed at 2 weeks. At one week post operatively you will be seen by the nurse in the Dressing Clinic who will remove the dressing and inspect your wound.

Exercise

You should abstain from gym exercise for 2-3 weeks to allow the operative sites to settle. You may then commence gentle exercises within the limit of comfort, building up to more strenuous exercise, if necessary, by six weeks post operatively. You may recommence driving once you feel confident to undertake an emergency stop, until you feel confident to do this you should refrain from driving.

Smoking

I would have advised you that it is important to stop smoking prior to your operation in order to reduce the risks of a complication. You should, however, avoid all smoking for the first two weeks postoperatively.

Returning to work

Following surgery, the type of job that you do determines when you can return to work. If you mainly confined to deskwork, you may feel able to return to work after one week.

Skin Care

The tissues around your liposuction sites may become hard and a little lumpy following surgery, this is normal. It may take up to 3-4 months for all this lumpiness to resolve. By week 3 you should commence moisturising and massaging the site of liposuction with a good quality moisturiser and rubbing quite vigorously in circular motions, for five minutes morning and evening. The aim being to soften the scar and speed up final scar maturation.

Complications

Though most people experience uneventful postoperative recovery, if you develop any of the following you should contact the ward on the telephone number printed below:

  • Temperature greater than 38.5°
  • Severe pain not alleviated by simple painkillers
Helpful Statistics

General Anaesthetic

Limited mobility: Next day

Compression garment for 4 weeks.

Hospital stay: 0

Washing: Immediately

Full recovery: 2-3 weeks

Surgery time: 1-2 hours

Driving: 1 week

No smoking 2 weeks before and after any surgery

Off work: 1-2 weeks

Exercise: 4-6 weeks

Patient Journeys

  • I feel completely refreshed and although some people did not see why I wanted to have it done I did and it has made me feel renewed. Well done to Anthony and his team for their support and care. So recommended.

  • I feel so appreciative of my surgery and I would like to highly recommend the expertise of Mr. Armstrong and his professional and caring team.