Liposuction is a surgical procedure that is done to eliminate unwanted body fat, mainly from areas such as the buttocks, thighs, hips, and abdomen. It is designed to reshape the body, and its effects usually last long, as long as one maintains a healthy weight. Liposuction works best for people with normal body weight and tight skin. The National Health Service (NHS) offers liposuction to treat medical conditions such as lymphedema and lipoedema. However, cosmetic liposuction is not covered by NHS. Before going ahead with cosmetic liposuction, it is important to think carefully and consider the costs involved and the risks associated with the procedure. It is also advisable to consult a general practitioner first to determine if it’s the right choice.
The cost of liposuction in the UK ranges from £2,000 to £6,000, depending on the area to be treated and the facility used.
To find a reputable clinic for liposuction, one can visit the Care Quality Commission (CQC) website in England, where all independent clinics and hospitals that offer cosmetic surgery must be registered.
Before surgery, the surgeon would mark the area to be treated on the patient’s body and inject an anesthetic solution to minimize swelling, blood loss, and bruising. The surgeon would then break up the fat cells using either high-frequency vibrations, a weak laser pulse, or a high-pressure water jet, make small cuts, and insert a suction tube connected to a vacuum machine to suck out the fat. Afterward, the patient would be required to wear compression bandages or an elasticated corset to reduce swelling and bruising for several weeks after the surgery. It takes about 1 to 3 hours to complete the procedure, and most patients would need to spend the night in the hospital.
Depending on your job and the extent of the treatment, your recovery time may vary, and your surgeon will advise you on when you can return to work and drive. You can remove the bandage or corset while taking a shower, but you should avoid strenuous activity for up to 6 weeks.
After liposuction, it is common to experience bruising, swelling, numbness, scars, inflammation, fluid leakage, and swollen ankles (if the legs or ankles are treated). In rare cases, liposuction can lead to lumpy and uneven results, bleeding under the skin, persistent numbness, changes in skin color, fluid buildup in the lungs, blood clots in the lungs, and damage to internal organs. Any operation also carries a small risk of excessive bleeding, blood clotting, infection, and allergic reactions to the anesthesia.
It’s essential to discuss the risks and complications with your surgeon, and they will explain the likelihood of occurrence and how to manage them. In some cases, people may not achieve the desired results and may require another operation.