Liposuction is an primarily a fat-removal treatment. It can be used to reduce stubborn deposits in the arms, neck, chin, waist, stomach and thighs. Importantly, Liposuction is not a weight loss tool and aiming to be close to your goal weight before your liposuction can be advantageous to your results.
Where can we do liposuction?
Please note that only subcutaneous fat can be removed. Visceral body fat, also known as ‘hidden’ fat, is fat stored deep inside the belly, wrapped around the organs, including the liver and intestines can never be liposuctioned.
The tumescent technique developed in the late 1980’s by Dr Jeffrey Klein, also a dermatologist, has been widely adopted as the liposuction surgery norm and, in Australia, the standard technique used. Fatty deposit removal and reshaping in days gone by had a very problematic reputation, with lumpy, bumpy, inconsistent results, a lot of bleeding and bruising, and sometimes major post-surgery issues. Patient comfort is key to the tumescent technique, and every liposuction practionaire in Australia now uses some variation of this technique.
‘Tumescent’ liposuction means the area is filled with an anaesthetic mixture which also acts to quell bleeding from the blood vessels broken during the procedure.
The local anaesthetic also negates the need for general anaesthetic. The technique is so named because the word ‘tumescent’ actually means ‘swollen’, and when the area is full of the tumescent liquid, it becomes fuller – looking and feeling swollen – so the doctor can better see and feel what they are doing.
We only perform the tumescent technique at ENRICH Clinic.
There are a handful of liposuction techniques, and they all have methods that are just a variation on the same tumescent technique that Dr Rich uses. Some practitioners offer liposuction combined with laser treatment in the same procedure. In Dr Rich’s view, this can increase patient risk, and he recommends laser or skin tightening procedures take place as a separate treatment post-liposuction.
Anyone claiming to perform ‘non-surgical liposuction’ of any kind is being untruthful. Liposuction is a surgery, and every surgery by its very nature is invasive – there is simply no such thing as non-surgical varieties of liposuction.
Anything that punctures and penetrates the skin is considered by law to be invasive. Liposuction is literally suctioning away adipose tissue, and to get to these cells, you must break the skin and penetrate it – this is what we call surgery.
There are other methods for fatty deposit reduction or removal that aren’t surgical, but they are not considered in any way to be liposuction. Examples are Trusculpt or fat-dissolving injections. Whilst less invasive, these techniques are usually used to remove small pads in small areas.
Choosing the right method of fat removal for you is important.
Aiming for the cheapest liposuction option could get you a doctor who values his or her skills less and possibly patient safety less, which is not desirable when it comes to lasting shaping. You cannot undo liposuction, and possible fixes can get disappointing as the extent of what they can do as well as expensive.
There are a few myths floating around the internet that are based on a fundamental misunderstanding of how adipose tissue behaves in the human body. The rumour is that ‘you will just put on weight somewhere else after lipo’, which is partly true and partly false.
If you put on weight after liposuction, which is generally within your control, without the number of fat cells in the area you had treated, the energy must be stored elsewhere. Thus, you put weight on in another area than you might usually, as well as the place you would usually – there are still adipose cells left there. Taking them all would make you look very peculiar indeed.
This is because once you hit puberty, you have all the fat cells you will ever have, and they simply expand and shrink depending on how much energy (fatty acids) they are storing. Your adipose tissue cells are like bags of coins – you spend some money, the bag goes down; you save some money, the bags get bigger. One cell does not mean one ‘bit’ of fat; a cell is a storage facility.
Choose who performs your liposuction wisely, and there will be just the right amount left in the area, but you can naturally lose and gain weight and still keep the liposuctioned shape.
This is very important both for your mental health and your bank account. Liposuction is not a weight loss tool. In Australia, a maximum of five litres of fluid (including fat and other fluids) can be removed from the body in one procedure. This is not a like-for-like fat loss either, so it doesn’t necessarily equate to 5 kilos. The actual amount of fat removed depends on the patient, their needs, their genetics, attributes and the areas that require liposuction.
With all surgeries or procedures, there are risks. Those risks can be numerous and include infection, bruising, soreness and in some cases bleeding. Consult your physician (GP) before undertaking any surgical or cosmetic procedure. Before undertaking any liposuction consultation, a referral from a GP is required. Please read the consent forms carefully and be informed about every aspect of your treatment. We will discuss risks at your face-to-face consultation. Surgeries such as liposuction have a mandatory seven-day cooling-off period to give patients adequate time to be sure of their surgery choice. Results may also vary from person to person, due to many factors including the individual’s genetics, diet and exercise.
Contact us to arrange a consultation with Dr Rich at our clinic to discuss if liposuction is right for
We perform liposuction on a wide range of ages and body types. Liposuction is an invasive surgery so yes there are restrictions. We cannot perform this procedure on those who are pregnant, anyone not able to heal normally, or the very young/very old. If you are deemed body dysmorphic, we also cannot perform liposuction on you.
There are a handful of reasons why liposuction may not be in your best interests and as a doctor, Dr Rich does reserve the right to decline to perform liposuction if a patient is not suitable.
Timing is not a very important part of the puzzle when it comes to liposuction. Mostly it is up to you and when you feel comfortable to start the process.
A question we get a lot is whether to get liposuction done before or after pregnancies. This is something to discuss at your consultation.
As far as age is concerned, younger skin is usually more elastic will retract better, however most people are looking to have liposuction a little later in life. It’s important to keep in mind that the skin retraction may not be as good at 60 as it is at 40.
Liposuction is performed in one session at a day surgery, but the process of pre-appointments, tests and assessments is undertaken over several appointments. The actual procedure length will depend heavily on what areas you are having treated but expect from an hour to several hours. You will have plenty of warning about how much time to leave for your appointments.
The tumescent liposuction technique uses a local anaesthetic.
There are variations in anaesthetic types, but the tumescent technique is specific in its application: the tumescent fluid has a dual function in quelling excess bleeding while also acting as an anaesthetic.
There is an anaesthetist as part of your surgical team.
Most people find that they’re up and about in their normal routines within a week or so depending on what areas we treat,.
The usual recovery includes swelling, some bruising and feeling a little sore. Many describe recovery from liposuction as akin to the after-effects of a hard workout.
There are specific guidelines for post-surgery, including possible limitations on exercise, movement and wearing compression garments. Dr Rich will make sure you’re across everything you need for best results.
You can gain and lose weight in the same ways as before your treatments, except the area that you gain weight in will not be your treatment area. A healthy diet and stable weight is important for maintaining your liposuction results.
When we remove fat cells, we reduce your capacity to store fat in those areas, so your body naturally sends the fatty acids elsewhere for storage.
The procedure has a anaesthetic injected into the treatment area. You may feel some pressure, possibly just a some discomfort especially in the areas that have a little less fat like the back area.
Once we finish the procedure and the anaesthetic slowly wears off, you will start to feel a sore. We manage this discomfort with pain medication, and most people find it tolerable. We are always available to help you, so if for some reason you’re uncomfortable, we can adapt your pain medication to suit.
When you can return to your usual exercise, routines will depend on what areas you had treated and the tyep of exercise you regularly undertake. You must be careful with your treatment area as it heals, you will likely be able to get back into your workout regimes within a couple of weeks.
Usually, you can be back at work after a couple of days. Discuss your rest requirements with your doctor or nurse, so you know what to expect in terms of time out of your regular routine.
We use just 5 mm incisions to perform liposuction and tubes called micro-cannulas. We insert the tubes through the small incisions, and then a fanning motion collects the fat, and the tube removes it. We don’t need very many incisions, but the ones we do make are in discreet areas and can leave a scar that should fade over time. If you are prone to keloid scarring, you may have a small raised scar at the incision point. Please let us know if you think you may be prone to keloid scarring.
Abdominoplasty, is a much larger surgical procedure than liposuction. A abdominoplasty is not comparable to liposuction. Abdominoplasty is a surgery whereby a surgeon opens up the whole abdomen, with skin and fat removal, and muscle repositioning. Most people don’t need to go to this extreme, but it is appropriate for some people. We do not do abdominoplasty at ENRICH
Everyone reacts uniquely to any surgery. Generally you will feel a some discomfort and soreness after your procedure. Your results will take some time to appear as the tumescent fluid takes a few days to a week to leave your body. The full extent of your results will show up to 12 weeks after your liposuction procedure. After effects, risks & your procedure will all be detailed in your consults prior to you committing to any procedure so you are fully across all aspects of your surgery.
*With all surgeries or procedures, there are risks. Consult your physician (GP) before undertaking any surgical or cosmetic procedure. Please read the consent forms carefully and be informed about every aspect of your treatment. Surgeries such as liposuction have a mandatory seven-day cooling-off period to give patients adequate time to be sure of their surgery choice. Results may also vary from person to person due to many factors, including the individual’s genetics, diet and exercise. Before and after photos are only relevant to the patient in the photo and do not necessarily reflect the results other patients may experience. Ask questions. Our team of dermatologists, doctors and nurses are here to help you with any of your queries. This page is not advice and is intended to be informational only. We endeavour to keep all our information up to date; however, this site is intended as a guide and not a definitive information portal or in any way constitutes medical advice.