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Liposuction is an operation to remove unwanted body fat to change the shape of the body.
Liposuction, also known as lipoplasty or liposculpture, is an operation that sucks excess fat out from under your skin. It can remove small amounts of fat that you haven’t been able to shift with diet and exercise. Liposuction is not a treatment for weight control or obesity, and it can’t remove cellulite or stretch marks.
Liposuction can be done on your abdomen (tummy), hips, buttocks, neck, arms, thighs, knees and ankles.
There is a limit to the amount of fat that can be safely removed from any area of your body, so it may not be possible to reduce an area as much as you would like. Your body won’t replace the fat cells, so you should have a long-lasting change in your body shape, especially if you exercise, eat a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight after liposuction. However, putting on weight can cause the remaining fat cells to change.
It’s important not to rush into the decision to have cosmetic surgery. You should discuss your options with your GP or book at appointment at our Private GP service.
Our GPs can refer you on to a Cosmetic Consultant surgeon at Kingsbridge Private Hospital Belfast who will be able to provide you with information about the procedure and discuss your concerns and expectations. Before opting to have Tummy Tuck surgery, it is important to understand what sort of results you can realistically expect.
Your surgeon at Kingsbridge Private Hospital Belfast will explain how to prepare for your operation before you attend.
If you smoke you will be asked to stop, as smoking increases your risk of getting a chest and wound infection, which can slow your recovery time. Your surgeon may choose not to carry out the procedure if you smoke and they feel there is a risk.
Liposuction is usually carried out under general anaesthesia, which means you will be asleep during the procedure. If you’re having a general anaesthetic, you will be asked to follow fasting instructions. This means not eating or drinking, typically for about six hours beforehand. However, it’s important to follow your surgeon’s advice before the procedure.
You can have an epidural for surgery and pain relief if you’re only having your lower body treated. If you’re having a small area treated, liposuction may be carried out under local anaesthesia. This completely blocks pain from the area that is being treated and you will stay awake during the procedure. You may also be given a sedative to help you relax.
Your surgeon at Kingsbridge Private Hospital will discuss with you during your consultation what will happen before, during and after your procedure, and any pain you might have. This is a good time to understand what will happen, and you can help yourself by preparing questions to ask about the risk, benefits and alternatives to the procedure. This will help you to be informed, so you can give your consent for the procedure to go ahead, which you may be asked to do so by signing a consent form.
During consultation prior to surgery at Kingsbridge Private Hospital, your surgeon will discuss with you the areas you want treated. They will then mark the treatment area on your body before surgery. Photographs may be taken, so that the results of the liposuction can be compared with your original appearance.
Liposuction is often done as a day case procedure, but you may need to stay in hospital overnight if you’re having large areas treated. You may be asked to wear compression stockings to help prevent blood clots forming in the veins in your legs. You may need to have an injection of an anticlotting medicine called heparin as well as, or instead of, wearing compression stockings.
There are several different techniques available at Kingsbridge Private Hospital. Your surgeon will explain the options available to you.
Depending on how much fat you’re having removed and the technique your surgeon is using, the operation usually takes between one and three hours.
Your surgeon will inject a mixture of salty water, local anaesthetic and adrenaline into the fatty area being treated. This helps to reduce bleeding, bruising and swelling and make it easier to remove the fat.
Your surgeon at Kingsbridge Private Hospital will make a cut in your skin and insert a thin metal tube. This is attached to a vacuum pump or a syringe. The tube is moved inside the fatty tissue to help break it up which is then removed. Depending on the size of the area you are having treated, multiple cuts may be required to reach all fatty deposits.
Your surgeon uses a metal tube with suction, without fluid injection, to remove the fat.
Dry liposuction can cause more bleeding and bruising than wet liposuction, so it’s not often used.
If the fat is very dense, for example on a man’s torso or if there is a lot of fat, ultrasound can be used to break up the fat before it’s removed.
After the procedure the area is firmly strapped with bandages. You will usually be fitted with an elasticated support garment. This will help to reduce swelling and improve your body shape.
If you had a general anaesthetic, you may need to rest until the effects of the anaesthetic have passed. You will need to arrange for someone to drive you home. It is recommended that you have a friend or relative stay with you for the first 24 hours following the procedure.
General anaesthesia temporarily affects your co-ordination and reasoning skills, so you must not drive, drink alcohol, operate machinery or sign legal documents for 24 hours afterwards. If you’re in any doubt about driving, contact your motor insurer so that you’re aware of their recommendations, and always follow your surgeon’s advice.
If you had the procedure under local anaesthetic, it may take several hours before the feeling comes back to the treated area. It is advised that you take extra care not to injury yourself or bump and knock the area where you have had the procedure. Once sensation has returned you will usually be able to go home when you feel ready.
You may need pain relief to help with any discomfort as the anaesthesia wears off. Your surgeon or nurse at Kingsbridge Private Hospital will provide pain relief where needed and advise which pain relief you should use after leaving the hospital.
Before you return home, a Kingsbridge Private Hospital nurse will advise you about caring for your stitches, hygiene and bathing the wound.
It can take around two weeks to make a full recovery from liposuction surgery, but this can vary between individuals, the type of treatment you had and the area treated. It’s important to follow your surgeon’s advice following surgery at Kingsbridge Private Hospital.
If you need pain relief, you can take over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. Always read the patient information leaflet that comes with the medicine and if you have any questions, ask your pharmacist for advice.
You will usually need to wear your elasticated garments or bandages for about three weeks after your operation. Walking and gentle exercises are encouraged but you should not do any strenuous exercise for up to four weeks. If you had Liposuction treatment on a large area, it can take longer to recover and you may need to take up to 10 days off work.
If you had dissolvable stitches, the amount of time they will take to disappear depends on the type of stitches you have. However, mostly they should disappear in around two weeks. If non-dissolvable stitches are used, these are usually removed about a week after liposuction.
Complications are when problems occur during or after your operation. In most cases they are rare but it is important that you are aware of risks before deciding to have your procedure.
Risks will be discussed in full with your Consultant at Kingsbridge Private Hospital. Often these risks are assessed on an individual basis so certain risks may be specific to you.
The possible complications of any operation include an unexpected reaction to the anaesthetic, excessive bleeding or developing a blood clot, usually in a vein in the leg (DVT).
Other complications to liposuction may include:
"I had surgery here at the weekend and I can't recommend this place highly enough. They took great care of me and kept me at ease throughout my stay. The staff were brilliant, really friendly and chatted away and the food was top class. This hospital was better than any hotel I wonder could I book a weekend away in it when I fully recover?" Mr McGinnity, Kingsbridge Patient
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"Just received surgery at this hospital and I couldn't have been made to feel any more comfortable from the minute I stepped in until the minute I left. All the staff are wonderful and so friendly I will highly recommend this hospital to everyone" Ms McGivern, Kingsbridge Patient
"Had eye surgery here twice for cataracts and lens replacement. Super smooth service from start to finish. Very happy" Ms Jones, Kingsbridge Patient
"As hospitals go this one is pretty amazing! Had surgery with Mr Molloy at the end of October and have another one the end of this month. Mr Molloy is a gentleman who puts you at ease right away and ensured my last procedure went smoothly! From start to finish all the hospital staff go above and beyond to make your stay as comfortable and stress free as possible. The facilities are brilliant with the rooms spacious and modern to recover in. Keep up the good work!" Ms Roulston, Kingsbridge Patient
"My mother had a total hip replacement surgery. We stayed for three days and were discharged today. Honestly, words can't describe the quality of the job and care they do. The doctors Roger Wilson, Sherman, David, the nurses Susan, Sinead, Siobhan, Andrea, the catering staff who provided customised halal food, and the remaining team whose names I cannot remember were the kindest, nicest, politest, the most caring, professional and pleasant people we have ever come across in healthcare environment. These are true gems and real stars. We are indebted to their treatment.
They are 7 star people. We love you!" Mr Yourish, Kingsbridge Patient
"Great friendly staff the nurses go way and beyond. The hospital is spotless, and the service is second to none." Ms Croke, Kingsbridge Patient
"Currently just back from recovery on the ward. I have just had ACL reconstructive surgery on my left knee. What can I say? This place is brilliant. I arrived at 8.35am, taken to the ward at 8.45am (my admission time was 9am). Tended to by a lovely Nurse. Dr Roger Wilson spoke to me around 9.45am, in Theatre for 10am, recovery for 11.10am and now currently back on ward. These guys are awesome. From the consultant to anaesthetist to nurses to cater assistants. Absolutely brilliant. Thank you so much. I am so grateful to everyone at Kingsbridge for the service." Mr McNicholl, Kingsbridge Patient
"I just had a total hip replacement done by Mr Molloy. He made me feel totally at ease (a real gentleman). I had 1st class treatment and as for the staff they couldn’t do enough for me. My experience was excellent from the time I arrived until the day I left for home. Thanks a million to all involved." Miss Bennett, Kingsbridge Patient
"Excellent experience with Kingsbridge Hospital, my dad had a day procedure here recently and not only did he receive fantastic care, but so did myself and my mum. The staff were so understanding and without saying anything could see I was looking after my mum also who has dementia, they went above and beyond to make the time spent waiting on my Dad as pleasant and stress free as possible, I will never forget the extra mile they went to, to support us. Many thanks x" Ms Forde, Kingsbridge Patient
"I have just been discharged from Kingsbridge today after surgery and was in for 3 days. From start to finish my experience was excellent. From catering staff up to senior nurses and doctors they were all fantastic and made my stay a positive experience. As a nurse myself I probably have high expectations of care and I certainly experienced the best of care in Kingsbridge who have staff they should be proud off. Great teamwork." Ms Armstrong, Kingsbridge Patient
"I recently had my gall bladder removed. All of the staff I had to deal with were excellent and professional. It was the best treatment I have ever received." Ms Burrows, Kingsbridge Patient
"I got my tonsils out yesterday, all the staff were so pleasant and nothing was too much for them. I really did receive one to one care. They just had so much time for me. The food was lovely and the staff from the kitchen where first class. Glad I received my surgery here." Miss Wright, Kingsbridge Patient
"The service and staff are first class. Had my cataract operation done on the 20th of January and I would like to thank all the staff of this fantastic hospital for giving me my life back. You are all a credit to your profession. Excellent service and I would highly recommend you. Once again thank you so much and I am truly grateful to you all." Mr Doolan, Kingsbridge Patient
"Amazing 5-star hospital. Have had other surgery here before on my back.
Yesterday's was a neck disc replacement operation. I would highly recommend this hospital like a hotel manner. Thanks again guys." Mr Phillips, Kingsbridge Patient
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"Can’t praise Kingsbridge Private Hospital enough!! I had an operation a couple of weeks ago and I was so well looked after. My surgeon Mr Rashid was fantastic, and the nursing staff was also fabulous. I found they communicated very well to each other, so everyone knew when my meds were due, my allergies etc. They were so kind, so lovely, constantly checked to see how I was i.e. my temperature etc. The food was fabulous and the catering staff very helpful having had an operation were very happy to accommodate ... Thank you to all!" Ms Cheong, Kingsbridge Patient
"Staff very friendly and very efficient. Surgeon and surgery top class. Big thanks to the Nurses for all their care and patience" Mr Howard, Kingsbridge Patient
"I was in your facility yesterday for a day procedure (operation on my left arm). I wanted to write and express how impressed I was with the facilities and more importantly the staff on the Ward.
Everyone was excellent, and I mean excellent, i don't normally write congratulatory e-mails so this is high praise in my view. The Senior nurse was excellent, as was the Theatre nurse and the anaesthetist. Even the assistants that helped with catering and other duties. All came together to form a great impression of the establishment." Jason Carpal Tunnel Surgery, Kingsbridge Patient
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