Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon
MBChB [UCT] FC Plast Surg [SA] Fellow [Oxford-UK]
Liposuction is a surgical technique to remove unwanted deposits of fat from specific areas of the body, including the face and neck, upper arms, trunk, abdomen, buttocks, hips and thighs, knees, calves and ankles.
This is not a substitute for weight reduction, but a method for removing localised deposits of fatty tissue that do not respond to diet or exercise. Liposuction may be performed as a primary procedure for body contouring or may be combined with other surgical techniques such as facelift, abdominoplasty or thigh lift procedures to tighten loose skin and supporting structures.
The best candidates for liposuction are individuals of relatively normal weight who have excess fat in particular body areas.
Having firm, elastic skin will result in a better final contour after liposuction. Skin that has diminished tone due to stretch marks, weight loss, or natural ageing will not reshape itself to the new contours and may require additional surgical techniques to remove and tighten excess skin.
Body-contour irregularities due to structures other than fat cannot be improved by this technique.
Liposuction by itself will not improve areas of dimpled skin known as cellulite. Individuals with poor skin tone, medical problems, obesity or unrealistic expectations may not be candidates for liposuction.
This is not an operation for overweight patients
A 2 mm incision is placed in an inconspicuous area and a liposuction cannula is used to remove fat by passing it back and forth over the region. There are a variety of liposuction techniques and these can be discussed during consultation
It takes 1-3 hours depending on the regions involved, it can be done awake, under sedation or asleep, and depending on the amount removed, will be done as either a day case or overnight stay might be judicious.
Bruising subsides by 7 days, and swelling by 2-3 weeks. Oozing from the entry points is normal 5-7 days after surgery
It is imperative that a pressure garment is worn continuously for 10 days and up to 6 weeks to smooth out the region.
• Driving: 3-5 days
• Back to work: 1-2 weeks
• Exercise: 4 weeks
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