Liposuction is a procedure to remove unwanted fat deposits. It is not a procedure to lose weight. The development of unattractive fatty deposits is something that often runs in families. Unsightly fat deposition often occurs around the hips and abdomen, inner and outer thighs and the knees. It can also occur in the arms and neck. In men it can accumulate in the chest leading to a breast-like appearance known as gynaecomastia.
The procedure is usually undertaken under general anaesthetic. A cannula, which is a narrow metal tube, is placed into the fat through a small incision in the skin and a powerful vacuum used to remove the fat. The technique leaves the other components beneath the skin, such as blood vessels and nerves, intact. The skin is naturally elastic and will usually shrink back but in some situations where there is skin excess this may not occur. In this situation surgical excision will be recommended alongwith the liposuction. There will be small scars usually hidden within skin folds but this is not always possible. There is often a lot of bruising which can be uncomfortable, particularly if the area treated is large. The bruising usually takes 3 to 4 weeks to clear but the discoloration can be more persistent. There are often irregularities and lumpiness at the treated site and this will gradually improve but may take six months or more. You will be asked to wear pressure garments to help mold the treated area to gain the best appearance and this is usually for 6-8 weeks. The skin in the area often has reduced sensation but this recovers over two to three months.