Liposuction (suction assisted lipectomy surgery) 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, knees, calves and ankles.

This 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 may be combined with other surgical techniques such as facelift, abdominoplasty or thigh lift procedures to tighten loose skin and supporting structures.

The best candidates for liposuction are individuals 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. Body-contour irregularities due to structures other than fat cannot be improved by this technique. Liposuction by itself will not improve areas of dimpled skin known as cellulite. Individuals with poor skin tone, medical problems, obesity or unrealistic expectations may not be candidates for liposuction.

Liposuction is performed by using a hollow metal surgical instrument known as a cannula that is inserted through small skin incision(s) 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. There are a variety of different techniques for liposuction and care following surgery. Tumescent liposuction technique involves the infiltration of fluid containing dilute local anaesthetic and epinephrine into areas of fatty deposits. This technique can reduce discomfort at the time of surgery, as well as reduce post-operative bruising.

Pressure garments are used continuously (day and night) for the first ten days, and up to six weeks afterwards to control swelling, promote healing and smooth out the aspirated area.

Additional Information

  • Duration of operation: 1-3 hours, depending on the number of areas treated
  • Anaesthetic: General anaesthetic
  • Hospital stay: 1 night


  • Driving: 3-5 days
  • Back to work: 1-2 weeks
  • Exercise: 4 weeks

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