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A Complete Guide to Liposuction

Woman's Hips With Lines Marked for Liposuction


Liposuction has been a widely used cosmetic surgery procedure in Australia since the late 1980s, giving patients the self-confidence that comes with looking and feeling beautiful both inside and out.

The procedure permanently removes localised deposits of fat to reshape just about any area of your body and improve the curves of your legs, hips, waist, buttocks, abdomen, arms, chest, back, neck or chin.


The Procedure

Liposuction is commonly performed in day surgery, using twilight sedation. If there are larger areas to be treated, surgery may need to be performed in a hospital under general anaesthesia. The procedure generally takes 1-1.5 hours for a single area, and the time will increase for more or larger areas.

For each area to be treated, a small incision is made into the skin and a narrow metal tube (a cannula) is inserted into the fatty area. The cannula is worked back and forth to shave fat off in tunnels, and then the fat is removed through a suction machine.

The removed fat leaves small tunnels, spaces and empty pockets under the skin which are then collapsed with a compression garment to create shape, and encourage healing. 


Illustrated Diagram of Liposuction Procedure


The treated area will then be fitted with a specially made elastic support garment to help reduce swelling and bruising. You’ll usually be able to see a noticeable difference straight away, and after about 3 weeks when most of the swelling has subsided, it will be even more obvious. After about 3-6 months, any persistent swelling will disappear and you’ll be able to see your final shape.


Risks to Consider

Liposuction, like all surgical procedures, come with risks. It’s very important to be aware of these risks before you commit to the surgery, and your cosmetic surgeon will talk all of them through with you beforehand to make sure you fully understand what’s involved.

General complications can include infection and post-operative bleeding, while more specific risks can include bruising, swelling, uneven or asymmetrical results, skin discolouration, dimpling and loose skin, and collections of blood or fluid building up under the skin.


Woman Measuring her Waist


It should be noted that liposuction is most effective on young patients who are close to their ideal weight, have moderate amounts of fat, and good skin tone and texture. In these patients, the skin will retract readily when the fat is removed.

In older patients with reduced skin elasticity, there is a higher possibility that the skin may not retract entirely and you may be left with sagging skin.



Recovery times following liposuction will vary between people and the extent of surgery. Most people return to work within a week or two of the procedure, with light activities resumed within 2-3 weeks and normal activities within 6 weeks.

You are likely to experience bruising, swelling and some fluid drainage from the incision sites for the first few days following surgery, and you will need to wear your elastic support garment for 4-6 weeks afterwards to help with the recovery. Some people will require pain killers for the first week. 


Woman's Stomach Before and After Liposuction


You can help with the healing and recovery process with regular lymphatic drainage massages after the second week, to get rid of excess fluids and toxins. Your surgeon will arrange regular reassessments over the months following your surgery, to make sure your recovery is going well.


What Next?

Before you commit to any sort of cosmetic surgery procedure, it’s absolutely vital that you book a consultation with a reputable cosmetic surgeon who can talk you through your options and make sure you fully understand what’s involved with the procedure. They will be able to provide you with all the information you need and answer any questions you have.

Not sure where to find a cosmetic surgeon you can trust? Simply register with Oz Beauty Quotes to connect with the best cosmetic professionals in your local area.