Liposuction, lipofill and liposculpture are techniques used to address unwanted deposits of fatty tissue that do not respond to diet and exercise, as well as fat graft areas to augment soft tissues and create contours and volume.
Liposuction may be suitable for patients looking to reshape or contour certain parts of their body, including the abdomen, hips, flank, outer and inner thighs, ankles and knees. Men may find liposuction to be an effective treatment for gynaecomastia, or male breast enlargement, as well as for facial jowls and the appearance of a double chin.
Whilst similar in technique, liposculpture removes fat more selectively and lipofill – also known as autologous fat transfer or structural fat grafting – is a technique where fat tissue is removed from one area of the body and transferred to another area as a fat graft to add volume. It is harvested using modified liposuction techniques and works as a permanent filler.
Your initial consultation with a surgeon will take place at either our private consulting suite at St Vincent’s Private Hospital, Kew or our practice in Essendon. At this consultation, your surgeon will determine your expectations and identify potential constraints to achieving those.
Your surgeon will discuss all the potential factors you need to consider before considering liposuction, liposculpture or lipofill, including:
At the consultation, your surgeon will also review your medical health, including:
Full disclosure of this information is very important as it may affect the surgery, anaesthesia, potential complications and recovery.
In the lead up to your surgery, it may be necessary to stop taking certain medications that can cause bleeding during surgery and complicate your recovery process. These include, but are not limited to:
Smokers will be advised to stop smoking six weeks before and after surgery and to avoid using products containing nicotine in the two weeks before and after surgery.
Your surgeon may also require further diagnostic tests, such as blood tests, to gain a complete picture of your physical health and to assess your suitability for general anaesthetic.
While infrequent, all surgeries carry some level of risk. The following risks are common to all operations:
Risks specific to liposuction, lipofill and liposculpture include:
Only after your consultation process, and once you have had all your questions and concerns addressed by the surgeon, should you give your consent to liposuction, lipofill or liposculpture.
In Australia, surgeons are strongly discouraged from advertising set prices for medical procedures (as outlined by the Australian Medical Board guidelines for advertising of regulated health services).
During your consultation with one of our surgeons, you will be provided with a tailored cost of your procedure. You may also call our clinic before your first appointment to discuss approximate out-of-pocket expenses and applicable Medicare rebates. Please contact us on 03 9088 5000 or via our online contact form to find out more.
There is a cost for an initial consultation at our Melbourne clinic, with the potential to receive a portion of this back via Medicare where eligible for rebate, provided you have a referral from your GP.
You will be under general anaesthetic administered by a Specialist Anaesthetist in an accredited hospital. For the safety of our patients, NorthEast Plastic Surgery does not use twilight sedation, as it has been associated with adverse clinical outcomes.
Prior to surgery, your surgeon will discuss with you the nature and placement of the scars. However, liposuction is associated with only very small, sometimes virtually imperceptible, scarring. The number of incisions required varies from patient to patient, and depends on the size of the area being treated.
The surgeon makes very small access incisions to the area, and then inserts a cannula which uses suction to break up and remove the fat. At NorthEast Plastic Surgery, we use liposuction techniques that include power assistance.
The wounds are closed with external stitches, which you will have removed a week after surgery at a post-operative consultation.
To support the tissues and minimise swelling and bruising, you’ll be given a compression garment which should be worn for several weeks following surgery. Your wounds will be dressed with waterproof dressings to allow for showering.
It is important that access to medical attention is available by telephone once you have been discharged. Issues about which your surgeon needs to be made aware urgently include pain uncontrolled by medication, bleeding to the extent that the dressings soak through with blood, temperatures exceeding 38 degrees Celsius, redness of the skin or any concerns related to the surgery.
Patients can usually go home on the same day as surgery.
Swelling and bruising increases over the first week, and improves between six to eight weeks, but may take several months for the swelling to subside completely.
It will also take some months for the fat grafted areas to take their desired appearance and for the skin to fully retract. It’s also normal for the overlying skin to feel numb for a few months following the procedure.
Once discharged, you’ll be prescribed with pain medication and antibiotics, which will assist in minimising your discomfort and staving off infection.
You will need to monitor yourself closely for severe discomfort not assisted by pain medication, excessive bleeding that soaks through dressings, redness of the operated area/s, or high temperatures exceeding 38 degrees celcius. If you experience any of these after surgery, it’s important to contact the surgeon straight away.
Your dressings will be changed as appropriate during post-operative consultations and your wounds are likely to heal within a week of surgery.
You should move carefully to allow your wounds to heal and you will be able to commence driving once you’ve stopped taking all pain medication. After six to eight weeks, you may resume strenuous exercise; however, ensure to protect yourself from any trauma, such as knocks or hits, to the site. Many patients find they can return to work a week after surgery.
Your surgeon will provide you with instructions on scar management strategies, such as taping, silicone gel sheeting and low level laser therapy and massage to assist you in reaching your desired result as soon as possible. They will take every possible measure to ensure you are left with minimal scarring. However, the degree of scar formation is an individual phenomenon, and will vary from patient to patient.
Due to soft tissue swelling, you may not see the full effects of liposuction, lipofill or liposculpture until many months after your surgery.
Mr Patrick Tansley MD FRCS (Plast) and Dr Sugitha Seneviratne FRACS (Plast) provide second opinion to patients seeking to address previous cosmetic plastic surgery problems and revisions for already ‘botched’ surgery. If you would like a second opinion on previously undertaken surgery, book a consultation to discuss this with one or both of our surgeons.
As the privacy of our patients is of the utmost importance to us, we do not provide before and after photos on our website. You will be shown a number of before and after images during your private consultation to illustrate the potential outcomes of surgery. These images have been provided by previous patients who have consented to their private use.