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Liposuction surgery

Do you feel insecure or self-conscious about your body? Liposuction is an operation to remove fat and sculpt your body.


What is liposuction?

Liposuction is an operation to improve the shape of your body. It involves using a cannula (thin, hollow tube) attached to a suction device to remove fat from under your skin.

Is liposuction suitable for me?

Your surgeon will carry out a detailed assessment before deciding if surgery is suitable for you.

Liposuction is not a substitute for losing weight. You are most likely to benefit from liposuction if, after losing a lot of weight, you still have localised deposits of fat that seem out of proportion to the rest of your body.

What are the benefits of surgery?

Liposuction is designed to sculpt the body, but bear in mind that it does not help you lose weight and unfortunately it does not get rid of cellulite either.

Are there any alternatives to surgery?

Improving your diet and doing more exercise can reduce localised fat deposits. It may be possible to inject a solution that dissolves the fat.

What does the operation involve?

The operation is performed either under a general anaesthetic or under a local anaesthetic, depending on how many areas need to be treated.

The operation usually takes 45 minutes to 3 hours, depending on how many areas need to be treated. For each area to be treated, your surgeon will make several small cuts. They will insert the cannula through a cut and into the fat.

They will usually move the cannula backwards and forwards through the fat to break up the fat, making it easier to suction out

What complications can happen?

Like all surgical procedures, some of these complications be serious and can even cause death.

General complications of any operation

It is good to bear in mind the possible complications when you have liposuction:

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection of the surgical site (wound)
  • Blood clot in your leg
  • Blood clot in your lung

Specific complications of this operation

Before you book an appointment for this type of procedure, your surgeon should inform you about the specific complications for you to bear aware of.

  • Skin burns
  • Injury to small nerves that supply your skin
  • Fat embolus
  • Damage to structures such as your bowel, kidneys or liver
  • Developing a collection of fluid (seroma) under your skin
  • Irregular body shape
  • Changes to skin colour

How soon will I recover?

Fortunately, you should be able to go home the same day or the day after, depending on how many areas were treated.

You should be able to return to work after 2 to 3 days, depending on how many areas were treated and your type of work.

Your new body shape will usually take several months to appear as the fluid is reabsorbed and your skin tightens. The best results for you will happen if you keep to a healthy weight and exercise regularly.


Liposuction is an operation to improve the shape of your body. You should consider the options carefully and have realistic expectations about the results.

To find out more call us on 0800 051 2300 or make an online enquiry.


Authors: Mr Eoin O'Broin MD FRCS (Plast.), Mr Chris Theopold MA MRCS DM

Illustrator: Medical Illustration Copyright © Nucleus Medical Art. All rights reserved.

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