Liposuction is a treatment designed to remove fat from the body. It’s sometimes also referred to as liposculpture, or just ‘lipo’ for short. According to recent statistics released by BAAPS, liposuction has experienced a boom in popularity, with 4,326 people receiving the treatment in 2013 – an increase of 41%. It was the sixth most popular treatment for females and the fourth most popular for men.
Liposuction can be used on a variety of areas of the body, including the hips, stomach, buttocks and thighs.
All types of liposuction follow the same basic principles, and most procedures last between 1 and 3 hours. Unless you’re only receiving treatment on a small area, it’s likely you’ll be given general anaesthetic. If you’re having liposuction on your lower body, you may be offered an epidural anaesthetic instead, which creates numbness in the area, without loss of consciousness.
In the initial stages, your surgeon will prepare the area. In most instances, the skin will be injected with a combination of saline solution, anaesthetic and epinephrine, which is designed to help reduce bruising and blood loss. Depending on the nature of your treatment, your surgeon may also use a weak laser pulse or water jet to break down the fat cells, making them easier to remove.
Next, an incision will be made – or if it’s a large area, it may be more than one incision. A tube is inserted into the body, which is attached to a specialist vacuum machine, which quite literally sucks the fat cells from the area. During this part of the procedure, your surgeon will pass the tube backwards and forwards to help loosen the fat and remove it. They’ll then take away any excess fluid and close up the incision.