What is liposuction?

Liposuction is a surgical technique to remove unwanted deposits of fat from specific areas of the body, including the face and neck, upper arms, trunk, abdomen, buttocks, hips and thighs, and the knees, calves and ankles.  When performed well, and on suitable patients, liposuction can reshape the problem areas leaving virtually no scars.

What is ultrasonic liposuction (UAL)?

After the invention of liposuction in the 1980s, inventors tried to improve the technique of using suction alone to remove the fat cells via the metal tube or cannula. Ultrasonic assisted liposuction uses ultrasound tipped instruments which theoretically liquefy the fat using heat-generated ultrasound waves, before it is then sucked out. The theory is that the fat is removed with less bruising and blood loss.  However, the risks are increased because of the heat, and burns and scarring have occurred because of the hot probe.

UAL has not really been proven to be a real advance on normal liposuction techniques, but may be suitable for the male chest which is quite fibrous.

It's important to know that the most reputable liposuction surgeons will acheive the best liposuction results. The instrumentation they choose to use is much less important. If the surgeon is not good at the procedure, they will not get good results whatever type of instrument they use.

What is vaser liposuction?

Vaser, which stands for Vibration Amplification of Sound Energy at Resonance, is a third-generation ultrasound-assisted liposuction tool that delivers the ultrasound energy in pulses. Pulsating energy may help to reduce heat and overexposure to ultrasonic waves and the subsequent possible side effects and complications of UAL. It is not yet proven at all that vaser liposuction is any real advance. As for the earlier generations of UAL, and as for liposuction alone, the most reputable liposuction surgeons will get the best liposuction results. The instrumentation they choose to use is much less important. If the surgeon is not good at the procedure, they will not get good results whatever type of instrument they use. 

Who is it for?

The best candidates for liposuction are people of relatively normal weight who have excess fat in particular body areas. Having firm, elastic skin will result in a better final contour after liposuction. Skin that has diminished tone due to stretch marks, weight loss, or natural ageing will not reshape itself to the new contours and may require additional surgical techniques to remove and tighten excess skin. 

If liposuction is performed on loose skin areas, or is not performed well, skin sag, folds, lumps, hollows, wrinkling and increased cellulite can occur.

Some body areas typically liposuction well, such as the outer thighs. This is because the skin is usually firmer there. Some areas, such as the inner thigh, where the skin is usually looser, do not often achieve good liposuction results.

How is it done?

There are a variety of different techniques used by plastic surgeons for liposuction and care following surgery. Liposuction may be performed under local or general anaesthesia.  

Suction-assisted lipectomy surgery (called SAL, or just plain liposuction) is performed by using a hollow metal surgical instrument known as a cannula that is inserted through small skin incisions and is passed back and forth through the area of fatty deposit. The cannula is attached to a vacuum source, which provides the suction needed to remove the fatty tissue.  

In some situations, a special cannula may be used that emits ultrasonic energy to break down fatty deposits. This technique is known as ultrasound-assisted lipectomy. Depending on your needs, your surgeon may recommend suction-assisted lipectomy alone, or in combination with ultrasound-assisted lipectomy.

Tumescent liposuction technique involves the infiltration of fluid containing dilute local anaesthetic and epinephrine (adrenaline) into areas of fatty deposits. This technique can reduce discomfort at the time of surgery, blood loss, and post-operative bruising.  

Support garments and dressings are worn to control swelling and promote healing. Compression garments are absolutely essential in achieving safe liposuction, and in achieving good results. 

Key facts

  • All the different types of liposuction remove fat underneath the skin through a thin metal tube introduced under the skin through small incisions, usually about 5mm in length.

  • Liposuction is not a substitute for weight reduction, but a method for removing localised deposits of fatty tissue that do not respond to diet or exercise.  

  • Liposuction may be performed as a primary procedure for body contouring or combined with other surgical techniques such as facelift, abdominoplasty, many breast procedures, or thigh lift procedures. Using liposuction as part of these procedures allows the surgeon to shape or sculpt the areas specifically to improve the results of these procedures.

  • Body contour irregularities due to bodily structures other than fat cannot be improved by this technique. 

  • Liposuction by itself will unfortunately never improve the appearance of cellulite.  

Important to know

So you can make an informed decision, your elected surgeon will discuss the possible risks associated with liposuction. Although the majority of patients do not experience these complications, it's important to understand how they can be managed in the event that they occur. Liposuction is generally safe, but there are rare risks of liposuction that can cause serious injury. 

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Mr Matthew Peters

Matthew Peters

9 Reviews

Plastic Surgeon
Queensland, Australia

Anonymous April 3rd, 2018

I originally went to Dr Peters regarding something very minor. But after meeting with him and having thought about having a breast reduction and a tummy tuck for quite some years - I knew he was the right man for the job! His warmth and friendliness from the outset was so comforting and I did not feel embarrassed or uncomfortable explaining what I wanted and showing him what I didn’t want! The surgery went exceptionally well and my pain and discomfort were very minimal. Whilst in hospital, Dr Peters checked on me almost daily and I’ve since had several post op visits to his offices. The whole team at Valley Plastic Surgery are so respectful and friendly and a delight to deal with - which I believe is a true reflection of Dr Peters, his professionalism and how he treats everyone he meets! Finally, I’d like to say that my “new body” is fabulous and I cannot fault any of the work Dr Peters has done - he is a true perfectionist! I have the breasts of a 20 year old and the flattest tummy ever - with a perfect new belly button to boot! If you are reading this and are thinking about having any kind of plastic surgery, please make an appointment to meet with Dr Peters at Valley Plastic Surgery - you will not regret your decision and your results will speak for themselves! I will be forever thankful I was referred to Dr Peters and his team and I could not be happier!
Dr. Joseph Ajaka

Joseph Ajaka

12 Reviews

New South Wales, Australia

Anonymous April 13th, 2018

Dr Joseph Ajaka is one of the kindest and most generous people I have ever met. He is incredibly caring, considerate and compassionate and he shows empathy in the most genuine way. He listens and really hears your concerns which is an important trait to have in the cosmetic industry! He also makes you FEEL heard and that your questions are answered in the most reassuring and thorough way. He inhibits all the qualities anyone should be looking for in a great cosmetic surgeon, including a very close attention to detail, great pride in this work which sees him please even the fussiest perfectionist like myself and an excellent bedside manner. Dr Ajaka is an innovative cosmetic surgeon at the forefront of the industry using the latest technologies and mindful of the latest trends to deliver the most incredible and consistent results. He is educated, talented, confident and self assured, however in contrast he is also a true gentleman who believes in old fashioned values such as respect and courtesy and he balances these personality traits as effortlessly and precisely as he performs his work. Dr Ajaka is a family man, who extends that invitation to his entire team at the Cosmos Clinic in Double Bay as well as the clientele who visit. It may sound cliché, but I am confident other clients would agree that there is a certain atmosphere and feeling of inclusion and belonging when you enter the Clinic, which personally I have been very appreciative of and grateful for. Indeed the customer experience I have had is truly second to none. From my initial phone calls to the day I arrived for my first appointment and then every consultation since, I’ve been made to feel comfortable, relaxed and “at home” and this is largely due to how engaging and welcoming all of the staff are. They make real efforts to get to know you, recognise you and greet you as an old and familiar friend and as much as possible, they make time for small talk which is genuine and not obviously “forced”. Dr Ajaka has surrounded himself with a truly professional team, arguably the best in their fields, who are just as dedicated, thoughtful and proficient. All have been such a pleasure to get to know. When I struggled with some personal challenges immediately after having my procedures done, the support and encouragement I received to overcome them was overwhelming, unexpected and something I will never forget. I’m so pleased I chose Dr Ajaka and the Cosmos Clinic for my cosmetic journey. Since doing so I’ve never looked back or had any doubt that I will now continue to be a loyal client. I cannot thank Dr Ajaka and his team enough for the experiences I’ve had so far and only look forward to building even stronger relationships with them all. I implore anyone reading this, who is considering having any of the procedures offered at Cosmos Clinic to look no further. Contact them today