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Excess fat in certain areas of the body is often extremely difficult to lose, even with determined dieting, and exercise. Men and women with small localised fat deposits (such as outer thigh saddle bags), and those with significant upper or lower body disproportion often have little or no substantive weight problems, but nonetheless find themselves unable to lose this excess fat. Such fat deposits often run in families, and are resistant to diet and exercise. For such patients, surgery is the only option to remedy this condition.

Liposuction, in all its various guises, offers a straightforward, surgical method of removing this excess fat, and is one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures. For most men and women, fat removal results in a dramatic improvement in overall body proportion, and enhanced self-confidence.

  • Suction Assisted Lipoplasty

This is the term that applied to a group of operations that are intended, in broad terms, to suck out the excess fat content of localised areas on a person’s body. Their purpose is, in almost all situations, to improve the contour or shape of the body. In this sense, the term can be considered to encompass all the following operations:

  • Conventional Liposuction

This was the original form of fat removal, and is the technique used by the majority of cosmetic surgeons in the United Kingdom. It usually involves the use of large cannulae, and conventional suction machines. The aim is generally to remove only the deeper layer of fat. As a result, it is often associated with residual fat deposits.

  • Liposculpture

This is a more modern refinement of conventional liposuction. It uses far smaller cannulae, and involves the surgeon suctioning fat from much nearer the surface of the skin. As a result, it leaves far less fat behind, and, in experienced hands, produces much smoother, and more aesthetically pleasing results. Furthermore, by producing such thin skin flaps, skin tightening is much more effective and predictable. The suction may be applied either by machine or in a much gentler fashion by a simple hand held syringe (known as superficial syringe liposculpture). By using such small instruments, the surgeon is able to sculpt the body in a gentle, controlled way.

In conventional liposuction, a vacuum machine is used to help the surgeon remove the fat. In liposculpture, a hand held syringe is used. The surgeon uses whichever technique or combination of techniques that he deems most appropriate for each patient.

The procedure may be performed under either local anaesthetic with sedation, or general anaesthetic, and usually takes between 30 minutes to four hours (depending on the volume of fat to be removed). Many patients go home the same day, whereas larger cases require at overnight stay at the Hospital.

Generally, patients are advised that they may not see significant results within the first few weeks. In larger cases, there will be some size difference and most patients should see an improved shape. Patients wear tight support dressings for several weeks. By around eight weeks, most patients achieve about half of their ultimate visible outcome.


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