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Liposuction Explained

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 10 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
Liposuction; Fat; Fatty Deposits;

There are more people than ever wanting to improve or enhance their body or appearance and cosmetic surgical procedures can offer the opportunity. Liposuction is now one of the most popular types of surgery requested.

What Is Liposuction?

Liposuction is a form of surgery that aims to reduce the amount of fatty tissue stored under the skin. A lot of the time, the areas in which fatty deposits collect are for the most part, unaffected by diet or exercise unless done in the extreme.Many people, including surgeons refer to it as contouring or sculpting the body.

Is It Dangerous?

As with any surgery there is a risk of having a reaction to the anaesthetic agents used but This is no more dangerous than in comparable operations.Following surgery there is a risk of swelling, bleeding or infection and it is possible that the skin may close to leave a small dimple or depression though the incisions can often be hidden under natural folds, creases or discreet locations.

It has been reported that there is a risk of nerve damage to the site of the skin and permanent discomfort of lack of sensation may result.If you are having a bilateral procedure for example having both thighs contoured, there may be a slight difference in the shape as it can be difficult to them exactly the same.

Does It Last?

For most people the results are permanent as long as a healthy diet and exercise regime is continued.The fat cells cannot 'grow' back but may be replaced if weight gain is significant.

What Is Involved In The Procedure?

There are different methods of performing liposuction and each healthcare provider will use their own preferred method depending on their style and the equipment available but the most commonly used technique is suction assisted liposuction.

The procedure is commonly performed under a general anaesthetic and may be carried out as a day case if the patient has no other medical complications and the procedure is uneventful, or requiring an overnight stay depending on the extent of the surgery.Following a small incision to the skin, a narrow tube is gently inserted to the deeper layers. A suction device is connected to the tube and using a backwards and forwards motion, the surgeon uses both technique and the suction to loosen and remove the fat which is collected in either a jar or a syringe.

The incisions will be closed using either absorbable sutures or skin glue and a dressing applied.The length of the operation can vary depending upon the extent of the work carried out but most procedures take between 1 ½ and 2 hours.It is common to feel pain and discomfort after the surgery and stiffness, swelling and bruising may occur but will fade over time.

Is It Available As An NHS Patient?

Liposuction is available on the NHS providing you meet the criteria determined by your authority. The patients who may be entitled to NHS treatment include those who require the operation for reconstruction purposes or because they had lost a large amount of weight and have excess skin and areas of fat that diet hasn't affected.

It is not offered for purely cosmetic reasons but can be purchased from a private clinic.Costs vary depending on the clinic, the technique and equipment used, the location, the surgeon's reputation and the extent of the surgery.

Liposuction is a very useful procedure if you have stubborn areas of fat that diet and exercise don't shift. It does however carry risks and can be quite expensive.Always make sure you understand the risks involved and have researched the subject and healthcare provider thoroughly before admission to hospital.

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