In experienced hands, liposuction is a safe and effective fat-removal treatment. It can be used to reduce stubborn deposits in the arms, neck, chin, thighs, and buttocks, to reshape you.
Dr Michael Rich has been at the forefront of the industry locally, and more broadly in Australia, being one of the first to perform this procedure over 30 years ago. Dr Rich was trained by Dr Jeffrey Klein, the founder of the safe tumescent technique.
Dr Rich often chairs forums as the ‘go-to’ person at national and international conferences, being highly regarded as one of Australia’s best.
Dr Rich performs all fat-removal at our Melbourne clinic but also practices in Sydney regularly.
Where we can do liposuction
- Thighs, hips, back, legs, knees, elbows, neck, chin and buttocks (though buttocks are treated much less than you might think – the buttocks are better bigger!)
- Breast reductions – liposuction breast reductions are a less-invasive alternative compared with a surgical breast reduction, for some women
- “If you can pinch it, you can lipo it” – Dr Rich
- Dr Rich offers high-quality contouring
The tumescent treatment technique – the gold standard in liposuction
The tumescent technique is now widely regarded as the gold standard. 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 even death. Not a single death has been recorded with the tumescent technique, and every surgeon in Australia is using 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. This solution results in less bleeding, which naturally results in less bruising (because a bruise is trapped blood), and shorter recovery time.
The anaesthetic applied locally also negates the need for general anaesthetic, which reduces risks. The tumescent technique offers smooth, replicable results. 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 surgeon can better see and feel what they are doing.
Ultimately, the tumescent liposuction technique offers relatively quick recovery times, reduced risks, and consistently smoother results.
We only perform the tumescent technique at ENRICH Clinic.
Things to know about lipo lingo
When some clinics advertise how much ‘better’ their procedures are compared to ‘traditional’ liposuction, they are referring to the old-fashioned variety, not the newer techniques that every surgeon worth their mettle is or should be using (and has been using for some time).
No clinics offer ‘traditional’ liposuction in Australia anymore, rest assured, so when you see claims like ‘Much better results than traditional liposuction’ it’s like saying ‘Our new car is so much better and faster than a traditional horse and cart’. It doesn’t mean anything.
Fatty deposit removal using suction is now considered a low-risk, effective cosmetic treatment that – with a great surgeon – has consistent and outstanding results no matter which method is being used. 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.
‘Non-surgical liposuction’ – it’s not a thing
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. Liposuction is now ‘minimally invasive’, but again, this is standard procedure in Australia.
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 fat freezing or dissolving injections. Whilst less invasive, these techniques are not as effective and are usually used to remove small pads in small areas.
Your surgeon is ‘the thing’
Choosing the right method of body sculpting for you is important, but the really critical difference in outcomes is your surgeon. A surgeon who is the master of his or her tools, with an eye for beauty, will give you the best results.
Aiming for the cheapest liposuction option will get you a surgeon who values his or her skills less, which is not desirable when it comes to lasting shaping. You cannot undo liposuction, there is no Ctrl-Z; there is just more surgery to fix up the last which quickly gets disappointing and expensive.
Putting on weight after lipo
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.
The reason for this is that 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 your liposuction surgeon wisely, and there will be just the right amount left in the area so you get beautiful, smooth results, but you can naturally lose and gain weight and still keep your new shape.
Contact us to arrange a consultation with Dr Rich at our clinic to discuss how liposuction can improve your shape.
*Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
*Results may vary from person to person
We perform liposuction on a wide range of ages and body types, with most people fully equipped to undergo this procedure. There are some restrictions because liposuction is a form of surgery. For example, we cannot perform this procedure on those who are pregnant, anyone not able to heal normally, or the very young/very old.
There are a handful of reasons why liposuction may not be in your best interests. However, refusal is uncommon. To find out if you are a good candidate, call our friendly reception staff who can answer your queries over the phone, or you can come in for a consultation to discuss your needs.
Timing is not a very important part of the puzzle when it comes to body-shaping using liposculpture, simply because any time is a good time – mostly.
A question we get a lot is whether to get liposuction done before or after pregnancies. We tend to recommend before pregnancies since the skin will stretch as the body accommodates the baby. Removing some fat can reduce some of the stress placed on the skin during pregnancy.
It tends to be better to have liposuction sooner rather than later since the skin is more elastic the younger you are and will behave better.
Liposuction is performed in one session, 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.
You can expect to pay from a few thousand up to ten thousand dollars for liposuction in Melbourne, but exactly how much depends entirely on what you’re having done. A small chin procedure in our Armadale clinic is light on resources and time, so costs less than extensive hip, thigh, belly, back and arm liposuction, which Dr Rich performs at the St Kilda or Sydney clinic.
As Dr Rich says, if you can pinch it, you can lipo it. The female body stores fat differently to the male body, with the most common areas of fatty deposits being the hips, thighs, arms, back and belly. We can also perform a liposuction breast reduction.
A popular treatment is resolving a double chin, which both men and women enjoy the results of equally.
Men tend to enjoy the sculpting results of liposuction, redefining the chest, back, arms and belly area. As with women, men benefit from the facial profile enhancements of chin treatments.
One of the huge benefits of the tumescent liposuction technique is the ability for us to use just a local anaesthetic. In some rare cases, we use a general anaesthetic, but this is the exception rather than the rule.
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.
Most people find that they’re up and about in their normal routines within a couple of days. Depending on what areas we treat, you may be back to normal quickly. Extensive liposuction naturally requires more from your body.
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.
Dr Rich will always ensure that he removes just the right amount of fat, so if you do gain weight, it always looks natural.
You will find that if you had extensive liposuction and then put on weight, it will appear in different areas than previously due to the placement of your fat cells. 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 is painless since you have a very strong anaesthetic injected into the treatment area. You may feel some pressure, but you will not feel any pain, possibly just a little discomfort.
Once we finish the procedure and the anaesthetic slowly wears off, you will start to feel a little sore. We manage this discomfort with pain medication, and most people find it easily tolerable. We are always available to help you, so if for some reason you’re uncomfortable, we can adapt your pain medication to suit.
Liposuction and liposculpture are interchangeable terms for the same thing, and both mean liposuction. The term ‘liposculpture’ was coined to describe the attention to detail and artful skill of liposuction practitioners in body shaping, as a way to differentiate themselves from other practitioners. The terms used are a personal preference and in no way denotes actual skill or a difference in training.
Liposuction is instant as a procedure, but sometimes slow to reveal results. The removal of fat happens all at once, but the resultant swelling can hide the results for a few weeks. Once the swelling has receded, the results will be apparent in their full glory.
Each treatment will vary in how much fat we remove. For example, the chin/neck area is a small treatment, and thus the swelling is minimal and results become visible quickly. A larger belly or thigh treatment may involve more fat removal, resulting in greater swelling and a longer time until the big
The tumescent liposuction technique is the gold standard in global techniques, producing consistently smooth results. Laser (also known by the brand-name Vaser) assisted liposuction means we perform the treatment with a laser as well as the usual micro-cannulas. The laser heats the skin and fat underneath during the treatment, which can add risks to the procedure.
We do not perform laser-assisted liposuction at ENRICH, as in Dr Rich’s opinion, the tumescent technique produces the best results with the lowest risks.
In Australia, only specially-trained doctors can perform liposuction. Any doctor can undergo this training, which is why we strongly recommend seeking out only very experienced liposuction practitioners.
Once you remove a fat cell, it (typically) doesn’t grow back, so the shape liposuction creates is long-lasting.
When you can return to your usual exercise, routines will depend on what areas you had treated. You must be gentle with your treatment area as it heals, but even with extensive liposuction, you will likely be able to get back into your workout regimes within a couple of weeks.
To ensure healing is seamless, follow all the instructions provided to you and make sure to contact the clinic immediately if one of the warning signs unexpectedly appears. Getting on top of any complications straight away means outcomes can be better managed. Complications are rare, but
they do happen, and we can’t predict in whom.
Getting the most out of your body reshaping includes having a healthy diet, maintaining a stable weight, and exercising. Making sure these elements are part of your life means you’ll enjoy your lovely new shape well into the future.
Usually, you can be back at work after a couple of days, but if you've just had a minor procedure, you could be back at work immediately. Discuss your rest requirements with your doctor or nurse, so you know what to expect in terms of time out of your regular rountine.
We use just tiny incisions to perform liposuction and tiny tubes called micro-cannulas. We insert the tiny 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 leave a very small, pale scar that will fade nicely over time.
You will be given some sedation and pain relief during the procedure, along with the anaesthetic we inject into the treatment site. After the procedure, you’ll have oral pain relief.
A tummy tuck, medically known as an abdominoplasty, is a much larger surgical procedure than liposuction in a great many ways. A tummy tuck is not comparable to liposuction, though the results may appear similar. Abdominoplasty is a drastic 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 tummy tucks at ENRICH.
If you maintain a healthy, stable weight, you will not see any fat appearing anywhere else on your body after liposuction. Exercise and a healthy diet are important elements to maintaining your great results.
You will feel a little sore after your procedure, but you’ll be back to your usual self in no time! Once your results start to appear, you’ll likely feel very pleased!
Liposuction, as with any surgery, comes with risks. There are many pre-assessments we do, including blood tests, ensuring you are not taking any problem medication or supplements. We take a full health history. These assessments help reduce foreseeable complications.
The development of cellulite is multi-factorial. Removing fat from the problem area is one method amongst many that we may use to manage cellulite. Every person is unique, so speak to your doctor or nurse about what impact liposuction is likely to have on your cellulite.