Sometimes you’ll find that diet and exercise alone won’t be enough in the battle to stay slim. Liposuction is one of the best cosmetic surgery options if you’re struggling to shift stubborn fat from certain areas of your body. Liposuction is usually used on the hips thighs, stomach, inside of the knees, ankles, upper arms, neck and back.
How Can I Prepare for My Surgery?
If you’re taking the Pill, use an alternative form of contraception for the six weeks leading up to your surgery, as this will lower your chances of developing a blood clot later on. Ditching cigarettes will reduce the risk of a chest infection and help post-operation wounds heal quicker. If you’re taking aspirin or ant-inflammatory, stop taking them two weeks before your surgery, as they can contribute to excessive blood loss.
What is Involved?
Before your operation, you may need to sign a consent form to confirm that you’re aware of the potential risks and complications that may occur. You will also be giving your permission for the operation to take place. This is particularly the case if you go through BUPA to have your surgery.
Wet liposuction is the most common procedure, and this involves a fluid of salty liquid, local anaesthetic and adrenaline being injected into your body to reduce bleeding, bruising and swelling, as well as making the fat removal easier. A cut is made in your skin, and a cannula (thin metal tube) is inserted. This is attached to a vacuum or syringe. For larger areas, two or more cuts will probably be made.
Ultrasound liposuction is often used on the back, as ultrasound (sound waves) breaks up the stubborn fat in that area.
You’ll be given the option of having a general anaesthetic or local anaesthetic. The first option involves your whole body being temporarily put to sleep, whereas a local anaesthetic involves only the area that is being operated on being numbed. The other alternative is sedation. If you’re just having a routine liposuction operation, you’re likely to be in as a day patient, but if you’re having more intensive surgery, you’ll probably be in overnight. This will be discussed with your surgeon beforehand.
What Happens After My Operation?
Your cuts will be stitched up, and you will be strapped and/or bandaged. Painkillers will also be given to ease the pain.
For routine liposuction surgery, you’ll need to take a few days off work to recuperate. If you’ve had liposuction on a large area, you might need to take a week off work. Deep breathing exercises are important as they reduce the risk of developing a chest infection. A nurse can advise you on the best way to do this, as well as how to care for your stitches, bathing and hygiene. You will also be given an appointment to have your stitches out. You’ll need to avoid intensive exercise for a month after your operation, although gentle exercise is recommended (especially walking).
What are the Risks?
Liposuction is one of the less complicated cosmetic procedures, so the risks involved aren’t as major as with some operations. The main post-operation risks are painful bruising (for up to a month after the surgery), swelling (for up to six months), inflammation of the veins in the inner knee and upper thigh (for up to three weeks if you have liposuction in these areas), swollen ankles and anaemia.
There is also the risk of developing a chest infection, but this is less likely if you prepare properly for your operation and do the necessary deep breathing exercises afterwards.
How Much Does it Cost?
The cost of having liposuction can vary wildly. Prices usually start at around £1300 for very small areas, but you can expect to pay up to £6000 for more complex surgery.
Liposuction can sculpt your body by removing fat from areas that are usually hard to tone. However, liposuction can’t remove cellulite or stretch marks, and only three litres of fat can be removed from any one area, so you find that your body can’t be sculpted as much as you’d like. If you’ve got lots of stubborn fat on your stomach, a tummy tuck might be a better option.