Q. What does the procedure involve?
A. Liposuction is usually carried out under a general anaesthetic but small areas may sometimes be treated under local anaesthetic with sedation as a day case. Liposuction of large areas or of multiple areas involves a hospital stay of one night. The procedure is carried out through multiple small incisions (a few millimetres in length) in areas that are hidden. These are closed with one or two very fine sutures which give rise to scars which are almost invisible in the long term. Following surgery patients are given an elasticated garment which helps to reduce postoperative swelling.
Q. What is the usual postoperative care?
A. Patients can usually have a shower the day after the procedure and reapply waterproof dressings over the sutures. Sutures are removed a week later and an outpatient review appointment is usually made two weeks after the procedure. An elasticated pressure garment is worn for four to six weeks after the procedure to help swelling to resolve.
Q. What is the aftercare following this surgery?
A. Most patients experience slight discomfort but no pain following liposuction. This is adequately controlled with painkillers for the first few days after the procedure. The treated areas are bruised and swollen for seven to ten days after the procedure. The final result of liposuction is usually not visible until approximately six to twelve weeks after surgery.
Q. How much time do I need off work?
A. Following liposuction for a single area or a small area most patients can return to work within a few days. For multiple areas or large areas of liposuction one to two weeks is a reasonable time to take off work.
Q. What are the possible complications of this procedure?
A. Liposuction can have complications just like any other surgical procedure. These include bleeding, haematoma (blood clot under the skin), seroma (fluid collection under the skin) and a change in sensation in the skin over the area that has been treated. There can be asymmetry or rippling of the skin overlying the treated area. Very rarely do patients need a revision procedure following liposuction.