What is liposuction?
Liposuction is cosmetic surgery which breaks up and "sucks" fat from various parts of the body, most commonly the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, neck, chin, upper and backs of the arms, calves and back.
With weight gain, fat cells increase in size rather than multiply. If you gain weight after surgery, it will not return to the suctioned area because of the fat cell removal. Fat cells in other areas, however, can still increase in size.
Liposculpture works best when skin still has enough elasticity to achieve a smooth contour following fat removal. When skin is inelastic, as in some older patients, it may not re-drape well and a skin tightening procedure such as abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) may be necessary.
Depending on the extent of the area, we use general anaesthesia, sedation with local anaesthesia, or local anaesthesia. In healthy patients, liposculpture is a day procedure, but when removing large amounts of fat (more than 5000cc) from patients, we keep them overnight in hospital for observation and pain relief. We use a local anaesthetic in all cases; it wears off in 4-6 hours, so you will need pain medication for 24-48 hours.
A number of small incisions are made, usually in skin folds, and these are normally not detectable. Fat is removed by first inserting a small, hollow tube, called a cannula, which is connected by tubing to a vacuum pressure unit. The unwanted fat is then removed and the area sculptured to the desired contour.
You will be provided with plenty of information before making a decision to proceed with liposuction. It is an elective procedure, which means that it is a personal choice and generally not necessary for the maintenance of good health.
What will it do?
Liposuction is invasive surgery that aims to improve the body’s contours and proportion by removing localised and disproportional deposits of fat. Liposuction can remove up to 5 litres of fat with relative safety during one session. Depending on the number of areas that require treatment, repeated treatments may be necessary.
Dr Brooks uses a specific technique called Water-Jet Assisted Liposuction (WAL) which is considered the gold standard of liposuction. He is one of the only Surgeons in WA that specialises in this technique.
WAL is a highly specialised technique used frequently in the treatment of Lipedema. Unlike conventional liposuction methods, during the WAL procedure, fat is gently detached from the tissue structure by a flat, fan-shaped water-jet, and then aspirated. The surrounding lymphatics, connective tissue, nerves, and blood vessels remain much less traumatized which is important for every patient but especially important in the treatment of Lipedema.
Is it right for me?
Liposuction is an individualised procedure and may not be suitable for everyone. Always talk to your Specialist Plastic Surgeon before making a decision. Dr Brooks will assess your condition and general health, and plan the treatment that is best suited to you.
Liposuction may be suitable for you if:
You are physically healthy and at a stable weight
You have realistic expectations
You are a non-smoker or have stopped smoking
You have bulges that persist despite a healthy diet and exercise
Liposuction is most likely to be successful for healthy weight people with firm, elastic skin who have pockets of excess fat in certain areas. Although age is not a significant concern, older people may have less skin elasticity and may not achieve the same results as a younger person with tighter skin.
Before opting for liposuction, you must keep in mind that:
Liposuction is not a substitute for weight loss
If your skin is dimpled before the liposuction, it will probably still be dimpled afterward the procedure has been done
If the ‘extra’ skin doesn’t contract (tighten) after liposuction, you may need a further procedure to remove excess skin
You may not be able to undergo the procedure if you are unable to have an anaesthetic, if you are prone to bleeding tendencies or have poor healing ability or are too high risk of having surgical complications.
Expectations of surgery
In some cases, liposuction alone can remove excess fat deposits where skin has good elasticity and is able to naturally conform to new body contours. In cases where skin elasticity is poor, a combination of liposuction and arm lift technique will be recommended. Talk to your surgeon about your options. Dr Brooks uses water assisted liposuction (WAL) as it’s the gentlest form of liposuction. This method leaves behind all lymphatic channels and means there’s no long-term risk of lymphoedema or need for a post op drain.
Patients undergoing this surgery will need to wear a post op vacuum dressing on the wound for 2 weeks and compression garments worm full time for 6 weeks and night-time for a further 6 weeks.
Will I have scarring?
Will I need revisional surgery?
As with all surgical procedures, revisional surgery may be necessary to correct minor irregularities, however this is unlikely. Depending on the result of surgery and subsequent scar formation, some patients may require one or more additional procedures to attain their desired result. It is unlikely but not uncommon to need some revision to the scar.
What are the costs of this procedure?
Cost is always a consideration in elective surgery. Prices for liposuction are costed per area, unless included within the price of a 360 body lift operation.
Costs associated with the procedure may include:
Hospital or surgical facility costs
Prescriptions for medication
We welcome any questions you may have regarding fees
Liposuction procedure video