What is liposuction?
Diets and physical exercises may help you lose weight, but none of them are designed for localised weight loss. In other words, when you lose weight, the fat tissue in your body can be affected to different degrees. Maybe you’re aiming for a slimmer tummy, but following weight loss, it leads to smaller breasts or buttocks. Liposuction targets localised fat deposits on a number of different areas of the body, which may not be addressed through diet and exercise.
Liposuction is a plastic surgery procedure that can be used to remove stubborn fat deposits from different areas of the body such as the chin, neck, arms, tummy, thighs, calves, knees, buttocks, among others. During one liposuction session, Dr Hunt may address one or more areas with unwanted fat deposits, depending on your particular needs that will be discussed during the initial consultation.
How is Liposuction Performed?
Liposuction entails tiny incisions that are only a few mm long. Liposuction can be performed with the patient under general anaesthesia or local anaesthesia with sedation, depending on the area to be addressed with the procedure and the individual characteristics of the patient.
Once anaesthesia is administered, and the patient feels no discomfort, small incisions are made in target areas. Through the incisions, Dr Hunt introduces a hollow steel tube – we call it a liposuction cannula. The cannula is connected to a medical vacuum device that will suck the fat out once Dr Hunt dislodges it with back and forth movements.
Choosing the right plastic surgeon is essential, as with any surgical procedure. Doing your own research prior to undergoing surgery and choosing an appropriately qualified surgeon will allow you to minimise some of the risks that may be involved with liposuction surgery.
Areas Treated with Liposuction
Liposuction can be a versatile procedure, as it can target persistent fat pockets regardless of where they exist in your body.
Dr Hunt uses different techniques and different catheter sizes to target different body regions. These are the areas that can be targeted: abdomen, groin, hips, lower back, upper back, thighs, buttocks, legs, arms, chin, breasts, face.
Why Patient Might Consider Liposuction
Liposuction is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures. Patient may opt for liposuction for a number of different reasons, including:
- The removal of unwanted fat deposits from different areas of the body
- Altering the appearance of specific physical features
Liposuction can help address many areas of your body
- Submental or Neck Liposuction can help reduce fat under the chin
- Abdominal Liposuction can help address your abdomen and stomach
- Arm Liposuction can help some patients improve excess fat on the arm
- Thigh Liposuction can help to reduce fat in the legs
Five Myths About Liposuction
Liposuction is one of the most commonly performed procedures worldwide, yet there is a lot of confusion about the procedure, so I will address five myths.
1. The fat will grow back
Fat cells split and divide until the end of puberty and then the number is fixed. When fat cells are removed from the body they will not grow back. Liposuction procedure is a permanent removal of fat cells used to improve the contour of a specific area.
2. The fat will move to another area
While liposuction will remove fat from a specific area it will decrease the overall number of fat cells that the body has to store calories. If patients continued to have high calorie intake and the body needs to store fat it will be unable to store fat where it previously did prior to the liposuction surgery, so these calories will be stored in a different area. For this reason, patients think that the fat has ‘moved’ to a new area but it has not. The body is simply storing the calories that are taken in, in the areas of fat cells that remain after liposuction.
3 Liposuction does not need to be maintained
Having undergone liposuction means there is an alteration in the body contour, though this does not mean patients can ‘earn credit points’ in terms of what they can eat into the future. If patients have high calorie intake there will be weight gain in areas that have not been liposuctioned and also in areas that had been liposuctioned.
4. Liposuction is a weight reduction program
Liposuction is a technique used to address disproportionate deposition of fat on specific areas in specific individuals. A weight reduction program is in the form of diet and exercise and liposuction does have its limitations in the volume that can be removed and should only be used to improve disproportionate contour as opposed to achieve overall weight loss.
5. Anybody can get a good result from liposuction
Like all surgical procedures some patients will be suited to liposuction and others may require a different procedure to achieve the result they are looking for. A professional opinion from a well-trained surgeon will educate patients as to whether liposuction is the procedure of choice for them, or perhaps they would better be suited to address their issues in the form of a thigh-lift or abdominoplasty.
Once informed the patient can make an intelligent decision as to whether to proceed with surgery given the potential outcome, risks and benefits.
Five Common Mistakes In Liposuction
1. Too much fat was removed
If you consider the skin to be a balloon that it is not full of air but full of fat, there is a certain amount of air that could be let out of a balloon before it will start to lose shape and collapse. Liposuction is very similar in the sense that if too much fat is removed from the skin envelope, there will not be enough stability to hold the skin shape and there will be a collapse of the skin creating ripples, corrugations, dips and divots. It is a technical assessment by the surgeon as to the amount of volume that can be removed in any individual to avoid this complication. To remove too much fat from certain individuals is a mistake that can lead to an unsatisfactory outcome and require further revisional surgery.
2. Not enough fat was removed
This is a mistake the patients will make when they think that the surgeon is capable of removing “all of the fat” from a particular area. The surgeon will make a decision as to the maximum volume of fat that can be removed without creating an adverse outcome. Patients need a clear understanding and expectation of what the results of any surgical procedure will be, and liposuction is very similar. This should all be established preoperatively to avoid patient disappointment.
3. Asymmetry post liposuction – The left and right sides are not equal
This, in some cases, is a technical problem that can occur when different volumes are removed from different areas. For this reason, surgeons will be vigilant as to the amount of time spent on a specific area, the volume of fat removed from the specific area and the thickness of the skin on pinching while the procedure is being performed. This is to ensure that the two areas are treated to create a symmetrical result.
Some patients may well ask then, how it is possible to have a difference between the left and right and this is usually because there was a difference in the left and right sides before the procedure. A surgeon may try to address these differences at the time of surgery by removing different volumes and there may be an improvement in the asymmetry but there may not be a total correction. Preoperative photographs will be able to explain this if this is the case and this is something the patient should be made aware of, if this is the circumstances they are in prior to the procedure, to avoid disappointment at the final result that has achieved.
4. I am going overseas for my surgery
Overseas surgery may well offer a lower price point than treatment in Australia, but patients need to understand that you truly do get what you pay for. Surgery is a complete procedure that involves an initial consultation and assessment and this can only be done on a face-to-face basis between surgeon and patient. Following this, there needs to be time for the patient to consider their options which is often not the case when you fly to a foreign country for a procedure. There needs to be follow-up which is not provided when you return home if your surgery is performed overseas and this can open the door for complications and bad outcomes.
Overseas surgery may appear financially appealing but the correction of the problems that may well arise can be often far more expensive than having the procedure initially performed in Australia with a good outcome.
5. Liposuction is a lunchtime treatment
Liposuction is a surgical procedure that involves downtime for the patients. Patients will need to recover from this, and they will need a number of days, if not up to a week, off work depending on the extent of the liposuction performed, the number of areas and their physical health and fitness.
Can Liposuction Be Combined with Other Procedures?
Liposuction may be combined with other procedures to tighten the skin above the area treated with liposuction.
For some patients, liposuction alone is enough to address the target area they desire. The skin can shrink and tighten on its own once the fat is removed. In some people, however, this does not happen. They’re left with excess skin after liposuction. The skin type, age, amount of fat, and your natural healing physiology all play a role in determining this.
Some of the procedures that may be combined with liposuction include:
- Arm lift (Brachioplasty)
- Breast lift mastopexy: If you’re undergoing breast liposuction
- Thigh lift (thighplasty): Thighs may sag and have stretched skin over them. This can be exacerbated by thigh liposuction. In such cases, getting thigh liposuction and lift may be suitable
- Facelift (Rhytidectomy): If you’re undergoig facial liposuction to contour the cheeks and jaw, then a facelift (rhytidectomy) may be an option
- Neck lift (platysmaplasty): Liposuction for double chin and neck may be complemented with a neck lift (platysmaplasty)
Recovery after Liposuction
The recovery period after liposuction is highly dependent on the complexity of the procedure. For example, it can take just a few days to recover after abdominal liposuction, while liposuction performed on multiple areas of the body can have a longer recovery period. Bruising and swelling naturally occur after undergoing liposuction.
It is best to avoid strenuous physical activities during the first two weeks after liposuction. Here are more recommendations for the recovery period after liposuction:
- Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol for at least two weeks
- Avoid steam rooms, saunas, hot baths and pools for a few weeks
- Avoid salty foods
- Wear the compression garments
To avoid risks and complications that could occur during the recovery period make sure to follow Dr Hunt’s indications.
Liposuction Recovery Tips
Here are some recovery tips you should try after liposuction:
- Wear your compression garments – We cannot stress this enough. Fat removal with lipo leaves empty pockets under the skin – areas where fluid can accumulate and cause swelling. Compression garments prevent excessive swelling and bruising and help your skin tighten faster after liposuction.
- Don’t skip steps – You should allow your body to heal and stick to the recommended recovery timeline after liposuction. Skipping steps and rushing back into normal activity can increase the risk of liposuction side effects.
- Walk, walk, walk – Unless told otherwise by your medical team, you should start walking as of the next day after liposuction. Surgery increases the risk of blood clots, but this can be prevented by walking whenever you get the chance.
- Stick to your medications – After liposuction, you might be prescribed blood-thinning medications (pills or injections), painkillers, and antibiotics. Take these as prescribed and finish the whole course of treatment even if you’re feeling well.
- Stop smoking – Smoking is the enemy of plastic surgery. It can ruin your liposuction results and prevent your wounds from healing. It also reduces the chances for skin to tighten after liposuction. This is why you should stop smoking at least 4 weeks before and 4 weeks after liposuction. Ideally, take this as a chance to quit smoking for good.
Dr Hunt will give you detailed liposuction aftercare instructions before you leave. You should stick to all the recommendations to make your recovery period as comfortable as possible.
Some of the complications that can occur after liposuction include:
- Seroma formation – fluid collecting in a pocket under the skin
- Haematoma formation – blood collecting in a pocket under the skin
- Wound infection – usually treated with antibiotics
- Skin numbness – due to injury to superficial nerve branches
- Internal organ injury – a very rare complication of liposuction surgery, in which an internal organ is injured by the liposuction catheter
As you see, although liposuction is a popular procedure, complications can still occur.
Liposuction Sydney: Before and Afters - Patient Results
The outcomes shown are only relevant for this patient and do not necessarily reflect the results other patients may experience, as results may vary due to many factors including the individual’s genetics, diet and exercise.
Download Dr Hunt's Guide
Excess Skin Reduction Guide
The excess skin reduction guide has been created by Dr Hunt and his team as a useful tool to help you plan and consider these procedures.
Throughout the guide, we will discuss the ins and outs of different types of surgery what makes a suitable candidate, pre-surgery planning answers to the most frequently asked questions received from patients.
Liposuction Costs Sydney – How much does liposuction cost in Sydney NSW?
The cost of Liposuction varies for each patient depending on the areas of liposuction procedure being done, the results you want and the time required in theatre.
The cost of liposuction largely depends on the amount of fat that needs to be removed and how many areas are to be treated. Some areas are larger than others and combining areas will extend the time required for the surgery. This is not the type of surgery that has a set cost – every patient has different requirements. How complex your procedure is and whether you’ll require anaesthetic will also change the final cost. Only if the procedure requires a general anaesthetic will an anaesthetist be required.
Your total cost will include surgeon’s fee, anaesthetist fee, hospital fees and surgical aftercare & support.
During your liposuction consultation, Dr Hunt will review your medical history, perform a comprehensive assessment of your areas of concern, discuss risks and provide you with an accurate cost for your lipo surgery procedure.
Since liposuction is a cosmetic procedure, it won’t attract a Medicare rebate. If you believe that the procedure is medically necessary (e.g. Pseudo lipodema), you can contact Medicare to find out more about a rebate.
What's involved in Liposuction in Sydney?
Dr Hunt performs all liposuction under general anesthetic at the Sydney hospital of your choice. Your anesthetic will be administered by one of Dr Hunt’s hand-chosen partners.
During your liposuction surgery in Sydney, Dr Hunt will make small incisions in the area from which the fat is to be removed.
Then, based on your individual needs and the area/s being treated, Dr Hunt will use one of two liposuction techniques:
- Suction-assisted lipectomy (SAL)
- Ultrasound-assisted lipectomy
Dr Hunt will explain your options to you in detail during your one-on-one consultation. Click here if you’re ready to book your liposuction in Sydney.
When can I resume my normal activities?
You can resume all normal activities, including exercise, at six weeks. However, you must not do any activities that increase your heart rate above 100 beats per minute during the first three weeks after your liposuction surgery.
You’ll wear compression garments continuously for the first three days, at which point you can shower, after which you’ll need to continue to wear them day and night for a further two to three weeks, and then at night for two to three weeks.
You can begin walking on the day of surgery, but will sore and tired for up to a week.
When will I see the end result?
While the benefits of liposuction procedure are immediate, it may take up to two months for your skin to shrink and showcase the full results.
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PLASTIC SURGEON SYDNEY
About Dr Jeremy Hunt
Dr Hunt has worked with thousands of patients across his 20-year career. This is reflected in his role as Spokesperson for the ASPS – Australian Society of Plastic Surgery. Dr Hunt is also a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) and Supervisor of Plastic Surgery Training at Sydney Children’s Hospital.
Dr Hunt has a strong interest in helping his patients achieve their desired results by employing the most appropriate practices for each individual patient.
PLASTIC SURGEON SYDNEY
Dr Maryam Seyedabadi
Dr Maryam Seyedabadi has recently joined Dr Hunt’s practice in Edgecliff and is now available for consultations on a range of plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery for breast, body and face.
She is just one of the very few dually qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeons, completing both medical and dental degrees. This gives her a unique skillset and ability for face surgery, orthognathic & jaw surgery.
As a Sydney Female Plastic Surgeon, Dr Maryam offers surgery by women for women. She is supported in clinic & theatre by a completely female surgical team for those who prefer being operated on in a women-only or more female-friendly private hospital environment.