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Liposuction is appropriate for dealing with those stubborn areas that refuse to shift even with weight loss. It is not a substitute for generalised weight loss as the amount that can be safely removed is surprisingly small as a proportion of body weight.

Small areas may be treated under local anaesthetic, though larger areas will need sedation or general anesthesia. 
Liposuction involves using a fine cannula (tube), placed through a very small incision to break down and remove deposits of fat. It is not possible or advisable to remove all fat from an area as this will leave an indentation and possible irregularity.
Techniques include "wet", "tumescent", "ultrasonic" and others. While various claims are made for the superiority of one technique over the other  there is no demonstrated difference in outcome. Most are "operator dependant", meaning that outcome is more dependant on who does it than how it is done.
There will usually be some bruising and swelling postoperatively. This can last up to two weeks. Like all bruising, some people will find this sore or painful. Subtle swelling can last a month or so, and wearing compression will help this resolve more quickly.

Complications include:
  • scar
  • infection
  • haematoma
  • contour irregularity
  • under/over correction
  • decreased sensation
  • anaesthetic complications

BAAPS Liposuction Information

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