Liposuction is a surgical technique that removes areas of fat collection. It is not a tool for weight loss and is best suited for dealing with localized areas of fat deposits. It is a very useful technique to refine body contour, more recently termed liposculpture.
Liposuction is best applied for areas that have elastic skin which can recoil after the removal of the underlying fat. It can be performed under local or general anaesthetic depending on the size of the area treated. A fluid solution containing a mixture of saline, adrenaline and local anaesthetic is injected in the area to be treated (tumescent technique). This reduces blood loss and post-operative bruising as well as reducing the pain. The procedure is performed through small incisions (5mm) into which the suction cannulas are inserted. After the operation an elastic garment is applied to reduce the swelling. This is usually worn for 4-6 weeks.
Tumescent Liposuction is the preferred technique used by Mr. Sabbagh. This involves injecting a salt based solution (to which local anesthetic and adrenaline are added) into the fatty tissue. This enables easy breakdown and removal of fat with an analgesic effect as well as minimal bleeding. For areas close to the skin, finer cannulas are used, a technique that has been termed liposculpture. Mr Sabbagh also uses ultrasound assisted liposuction for areas with significant fibrous tissue such as in gynecomastia (male breast)
The operation is usually performed under general anesthetic. Small incisions (5mm) are made close to the area to be treated through which the liposuction solution is injected. The liposuction cannulas connected to a suction machine are then inserted through the same incisions. The fat is broken down physically by moving the cannulas back and fro (or by ultrasound in ultrasound assisted liposuction) and is automatically sucked by the machine.
As a result of liposuction there will be a variable degree of bruising, swelling and numbness. Although the area will be uncomfortable, there is no significant pain. You will be encouraged to start gentle walking on the same day following your surgery. Usually a period of 7-10 days is needed before returning to most of the daily activities. Heavy activities such as sport may require up to 4 weeks recovery. For a period of 6 weeks it is advisable to wear an elasticated garment to help reduce the swelling as well as aiding the skin to contract following the liposuction.
Liposuction is highly effective in removing concentrated areas of fat. The duration of bruising is variable but in the majority of cases subsides by 4 weeks. There will be partial numbness of the area treated which will persist for several months. In some cases minor areas of irregularities can result. If these persist they can be corrected after the healing is complete.
There is a very small risk of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and Mr Sabbagh takes all the appropriate precautions to prevent its occurrence.
- General Anaesthetic (1-2 hours)
- Hospital stay: 1 night
- Home with water proof dressing, can shower
- Elastic garment to be worn for 4-6 weeks
- Time off work: 1-2 weeks
- Return to normal activities (sport, gym) 4-6 weeks