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What areas are treated by liposuction?

Liposuction is commonly used to treat patients who are near normal weight and have firm elastic skin. It is not a substitution for weight loss. Common areas treated are:

  • Stomach
  • Hips
  • Thighs
  • Buttocks
  • Knees
  • Neck
  • Upper arms
  • Male breasts

What happens during liposuction?

Your consultant will assess your overall health, skin quality and the amount of fat to be removed before talking you through what approach will be used. 

Various types of anaesthesia are used during liposuction. If only small areas of fat are to be removed you may have local anaesthetic. More extensive surgery may require general anaesthetic. The length of your liposuction procedure will depend on the amount of fat being removed. 

Your surgeon will make a small incision in the skin. Using a thin, hollow tube they will break up the fat cells beneath the skin surface and remove them with a special suction or vacuum. Several incisions may be required for larger areas. Any incisions will be stitched at the end of the procedure. The area will be bandaged for support.

Recovering from liposuction

Depending on the extent of your surgery, you may be able to have the procedure as a day case. You will need pain relief medication once the anaesthesia wears off. You may need to wear an elastic support garment for two to six weeks after surgery. Remember to ask a friend or relative to drive you home. 

You will need to have your stitches removed five to ten days following your surgery. You may need to take one to two weeks off work depending on the extent of your procedure. For the first few weeks you will need to rest and avoid any strenuous activity. 

Once the swelling has decreased you will notice a difference in your body contour. However it may take up to six months to the area to settle.

This chart is only a guide to stages of recovery post liposuction. Everyone heals differently so your results may vary.

Day 1 – 3
Day 4-7
Day 7 – 10
Two weeks

Except when bathing an elastic support garment must be worn day and night around the operation site (does not apply to facial surgery)

Walking may be uncomfortable if your procedure was in the lower part of your body.

Gradually increase your activity.

Any stitches or staples are removed.

Return to work if approved by your surgeon

Three weeks
Two months
Six months
12 months

Normal activity level resumed.

You may need to continue to wear support garment.

You no longer need to wear a support garment

It can take 6 months for any swelling to disappear.

You may feel some numbness in the area

Final result can be judged as long as your weight has remained stable.

The results of liposuction appear gradually as swelling and bruising subside. The overall appearance will be visible within two to three weeks and most of the remaining swelling will have gone within six to 12 weeks. However, your shape will continue to improve over the next six months to a year, as long as your weight is stable.

What are the complications of liposuction?

Every surgical procedure has a risk of complications. Be sure and discuss any concerns you might have about these risks with your surgeon.

Specific complications of liposuction may include:

  • Stiffness and pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Numbness
  • Unusual sensations
  • Fine thread veins
  • Lumpy appearance as remaining fat settles.
Find your nearest hospital that provides this treatment

67 Lansdowne Road
Bournemouth
BH1 1RW

01202 291866

Shenfield Road
Brentwood
CM15 8EH

01277 695695

Warren Road
Brighton
BN2 6DX

01273 624488

3 Clifton Hill
Clifton
Bristol
BS8 1BN

0117 906 4870

4 Trumpington Road
Cambridge
CB2 8AF

01223 303336

Cardiff Bay Hospital
Dunleavey Drive
Cardiff
CF11 0SN

02920 836700

Hatherley Lane
Cheltenham
GL51 6SY

01242 246552

Wrexham Road
Chester
CH4 7QP

01244 680 444

78 Broyle Road
Chichester
PO19 6WB

01243 530600

Rykneld Road
Derby
DE23 4SN

01332 540100

Wonford Road
Exeter
EX2 4UG

01392 262110

25 Beaconsfield Road
Glasgow
G12 0PJ

01413349441

Stirling Road
Guildford
GU2 7RF

01483 555805

Venns Lane
Hereford
HR1 1DF

01432 355 131

Foxhall Road
Ipswich
IP4 5SW

01473 279100

2 Leighton Street
Leeds
LS1 3EB

01133 882 067

Scraptoft Lane
Leicester
LE5 1HY

01162 769401

Clayton Road
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
NE2 1JP

0191 281 6131

Beech Road
Headington
Oxford
OX3 7RP

01865 307777

Derriford Road
Plymouth
PL6 8BG

01752 775861

Longden Road
Shrewsbury
SY3 9DP

01743 282628

Staplegrove Elm
Taunton
TA2 6AN

01823 286991

Junction Road
Norton
Stockton on Tees
TS20 1PX

01642 367439

Kingswood Road
Tunbridge Wells
TN2 4UL

01892 531111

The Chase
Old Milverton Lane
Leamington Spa
CV32 6RW

01926 436351

Winchester Road
Chandlers Ford
Eastleigh
SO53 2DW

02380 266 377

Shores Road
Woking
GU21 4BY

01483 227800

Wood Road
Tettenhall
Wolverhampton
WV6 8LE

01902 754 177

Haxby Road
York
YO31 8TA

01904 715000
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