Colloquially referred to as “lipo”, liposuction is also known as liposculpture, fat dissolve, body sculpting, body reshaping and fat reduction. It’s a procedure that is used to eliminate excess fat and to help sculpt the body.

Liposuction eliminates excess fat and sculpts the body, for a more flattering shape

Liposuction is a targeted procedure that removes unwanted fat from areas including the abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees and upper arms. Liposculpture has benefited from several refinements over the last decade, and newer techniques include ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty and the tumescent technique.

These refinements offer more precise results and quicker recovery times, with great results at removing stubborn areas of fat that don’t respond to traditional weight loss methods like diet and exercise. The removed fat can also be transferred or grafted to other sites such as the breasts, to improve the size and shape.

The best candidates for liposuction have realistic expectations and are of an average weight with firm elastic skin. Age is not a major consideration as long as you are physically healthy, but older patients may have diminished skin elasticity and might not achieve the same results as younger patients with tighter skin.

Specific complications include minor contour problems and disturbance of sensation in the treated area. Numbness generally settles within six weeks of surgery and imperfections in the final appearance are not uncommon, especially in older or weight loss patients. It’s also important to note that cellulite is not improved by liposuction. 

Liposuction/liposculpture technique variations

Tumescent Liposculpture

Tumescent liposculpture is a relatively new technique that delivers accurate results and faster recovery times, with reduced need for pain relief. The tumescent fluid is an anaesthetic solution that consists of saline, lignocaine to numb the area, adrenaline to reduce bleeding and bicarbonate to reduce the sting. It also helps lift the fat off the muscle off the wall, making for easier removal and minimising the risk of complications.

Ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty

Ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty involves the use of tumescent fluid which is injected into the fat, which numbs the area and reduces bleeding. A special cannula is inserted into the fatty tissue to deliver ultrasonic energy, producing rapid vibrations that causes fat to liquefy. A suction cannula is used to remove the fat more easily, resulting in a smoother effect. It is particularly useful in fibrous areas like the upper back or male breast.

Frequently asked questions about liposuction

Who are the best candidates for lipo?

The best candidates for liposuction are people with firm, elastic skin who have pockets of excess fat in certain unwanted areas. You should be physically healthy, psychologically stable and realistic in your expectations.

Age is not a major consideration, however old patients may have diminished skin elasticity and may not achieve the same results as a younger patient with tighter skin.

What’s involved with the liposculpture procedure?

The procedure is performed in the hospital, and involves the removal of localised deposits of fat to re-contour one or more areas of the body. Through a tiny incision, a narrow tube or cannula is inserted and used to vacuum the fat layer that lies beneath the skin. The cannula is passed through the fat layer, breaking up the fat cells and suctioning them out. An ultrasonic probe may first be used to break down the fat.

Smaller volume liposuction can be done via day surgery, and if a limited number of sites are involved the procedure can be performed under a local anaesthetic. If a large volume of fat is to be removed (or if being done in conjunction with other procedures), an overnight stay in hospital will be required. The time required will vary depending on the size of the area, the amount of fat being removed, the type of anaesthetic and technique.

What are the risks of liposuction?

Liposuction is normally very safe, though large volume liposuction over 5 litres carries more significant risks with greater fluid shifts. For safe maximum removal, volumes of 2 litres are preferred. This is not a solution for overweight people, and obesity carries a high risk of deep vein thrombosis and lung embolus. 

Specific complications include contour problems and disturbance of sensation in the treated area. Numbness generally settles within 6 weeks of surgery. Contour problems are usually minor, but may require a “touch up” if they persist.

Imperfections in the final appearance are not uncommon, and skin surface may be irregular, asymmetric or baggy, especially in the older or high weight loss patient.

For every step of your plastic surgery
journey, we are by your side.

Bendigo Plastic Surgery follows a simple tried-and-tested process for our surgical procedures. From initial consultation, to recovery and beyond, our team will look after you.


Before surgery

At your initial consultation the surgeon will evaluate your health, determine where your fat deposits lie and assess the condition of your skin. He will then outline the body-contouring methods that are most appropriate for your situation.

You may think that you need liposuction in the abdominal area, but a “tummy tuck” or abdominoplasty may be more appropriate - or a combination of both. Liposuction is often combined with breast reduction surgery for suitable candidates.


During surgery

Liposuction is generally performed in hospital, though smaller volume liposuction can be done by day surgery for reasons of cost or convenience. A narrow tube or cannula is inserted through a tiny incision, and vacuums the fat layer that lies beneath the skin.

The cannula is passed through the fat layer, breaking up the fat cells and suctioning them out. If a small amount of fat and limited sites are involved, liposuction can be done under local anaesthesia, but most patients prefer a general anaesthetic.


After surgery

After your surgery you will likely experience some blood/fluid drainage from the incisions. To control swelling and help your skin better shrink to its new contours you will be fitted with a snug garment to wear over the treated areas for six weeks.

You will be encouraged to start walking as soon as possible, to reduce swelling and prevent blood clots. You will begin to feel better after a week or two after the procedure, and most if the bruising and swelling usually disappears after three weeks.

Best practice plastic surgery right here in Bendigo

You don’t have to travel to the city for plastic surgery. Richard Dickinson MBBS FRACS is a Sydney-trained surgeon who brings a wealth of expertise to Bendigo, a place he has called home for 20 years. Conveniently located in central Bendigo, our clinic offers the best of both worlds - best practice plastic surgery in a convenient location close to home.

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If you’d like to know more, feel free to contact us and we can arrange a time for you to visit our clinic for a consultation. If you have any questions, our surgeon can answer them for you. We look forward to meeting you. 

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