It is a common and often hereditary problem to have small, localised pockets of fat that cling stubbornly to certain areas of the body. These fat deposits do not respond to diet and exercise, but can be effectively removed through a procedure known as liposuction. Our practice on the Gold Coast, Queensland offers this procedure alone or in combination with other services such as an abdominoplasty.
What is liposuction?
Liposuction is an operation designed to correct abnormalities of the body shape that are not corrected by diet and exercise. Narrow metal tubes are used to remove excess fat cells. These are inserted by our experienced plastic surgeon through small incisions and moved through the fat areas whilst a vacuum is applied to remove the fat. Tunnels are thus created and these are then collapsed by the use of a compression garment. This creates the new shape.
The operation is generally performed under general anaesthesia as a day case.
Liposuction can help improve the shape and sculpt areas of the body. It can be used in conjunction with other surgery to improve contours and bulky regions at the site of the surgery or trauma.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified practitioner.
Who is a candidate?
A liposuction patient at our Gold Coast practice in Queensland will have an initial consultation with Dr Craig Layt, where it will be determined whether the procedure is right for the individual. The best candidate is someone with reasonably good skin and is close to their ideal weight. They may have localised deposits of fat that cannot be shifted with diet and exercise. The most common areas are those of the outer thighs, lower abdomen and flanks.
These before and after photos are of patients that have had surgery performed by Dr Layt. These patients have consented to the photos being shown. These are actual photos and have not been altered or digitally enhanced. Every patient is an individual and therefore final surgical results will vary from patient to patient.
What can you expect after the operation?
After liposuction, you will wake up with tape and a girdle in place. This must remain in place for a week. When the fat tissue is suctioned from under the skin, it leaves small tunnels. By wearing a compression garment we are able to collapse these tunnels and allow healing to occur. This also decreases bruising and swelling and helps give a more even appearance by minimizing skin sagging and dimpling. The garments are usually worn for approximately 6 weeks. Liposuction is therefore best scheduled during the winter months.
Discomfort after liposuction is generally easily controlled by oral medication. Bruising and swelling are normal in the suctioned areas. The bruising will decrease over 3 – 4 weeks, but may last as long as six weeks. The swelling can be a little slower to completely disappear. The compression garment helps reduce the swelling, and the longer it is worn, the more quickly the process will proceed.
What are the potential risks?
Contemporary liposuction is safer and more effective than ever before. It is, however, a surgical procedure and all surgery carries some risk. By following the pre and post-operative instructions provided by Dr Craig Layt, you can minimise the chances of complication and speed healing.
Specific Pre-Operative Instructions
WASHING: Wash the evening prior to surgery and the day of surgery paying particular attention to the area to be operated on. This decreases the bacterial count and should decrease the risks of infection.
PRODUCTS: Do not apply moisturisers, make-up, perfume/deodorant, nail polish or hair products after washing. Remove all jewellery.
CLOTHING: Wear loose, comfortable clothing and footwear.
FASTING: You should have nothing to eat or drink for six hours before your operation. If you are required to take medication during this time please speak with your physician to check if this can be taken before the six hour fasting period or after your procedure.
MEDICATION: If you are having the operation as a day case, you will be given a script for antibiotics and pain relief tablets that you will need to purchase from the chemist and bring with you on the day of your procedure. Do not take these prior to surgery. The nursing staff will advise you and your carer after your procedure on how to administer them.
Certain over the counter products and prescription medicines can cause complications before and after surgery. They can reduce the ability of your blood to clot and could increase your tendency to bleed during and after surgery. Do not take any medication containing or related to aspirin two weeks prior to your procedure. This includes NSAID’S, anti-Inflammatory medications, blood thinning medication. Please see your doctor regarding if and when to cease medication. *This is not an all inclusive list*.
Also avoid Vitamin E supplements and red wine. Stop all herbal medications before surgery. The most common herbs used are Echinacea, Ephedra, Garlic, Ginseng, Ginkogo, Kava, St. John’s Wort, and Valerian. They may adversely effect anesthetic drugs, prolong bleeding and impair healing after surgery. Please consult your physician before ceasing any medication.
SMOKING: Smoking increases the risks of complications significantly and should be ceased 6 – 8 weeks prior to surgery.
ADMINISTRATION: Unfortunately, paperwork is a necessary evil. Each theatre complex has its own procedures. We have attempted to make it all easy by providing a simple series of steps to follow titled “THINGS TO DO FOR YOUR PROCEDURE” specific to the surgery center you are attending. Please follow these instructions. If you have any queries about this or anything else don’t hesitate to contact us on (07) 5597 4100.
Specific Post-Operative Instructions
TAPING: Dr Layt may decide to cover some or all of your suctioned areas with elastic tape. Please remove this prior to your 1st post-operative visit approximately 1 week after surgery. This is best done in the shower, wetting the tape and gradually removing. Bring your second garment to your appointment and we will fit it after you have been accessed.
COMPRESSION GARMENT: Dr Layt will place taping and a compression garment on you after surgery. The extra pressure this garment provides helps reduce swelling and discomfort. You can shower with the garment on, using a hairdryer to dry yourself or bird bath. You should not remove this garment at all until your appointment with Dr Layt, approximately one week after surgery. After that, you can remove the garment for showering and rotate your garments daily for laundering. We want you to have circumferential pressure for 4 to 6 weeks.
ICE PACKS: A significant amount of bruising accompanies liposuction. Ice packs can be helpful with both swelling and discomfort. After liposuction of the abdomen, it is not uncommon for the groin and genitalia to become markedly swollen and bruised. Do not be alarmed! The swelling and bruises will go away within several weeks. Ice packs will help the discomfort and swelling.
LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE: You may require Lymphatic drainage appointments depending on the size and area of liposuction. These appointments are complimentary treatments with our Para Medical Aesthetician or Nurse. Each appointment will take approximately one hour.
SUNLIGHT: Protect the bruised areas from the sun until the bruising fades completely.
ACTIVITY: You may start walking immediately. You may continue the activities of daily living as you feel able. Do not return to strenuous activities or aerobic exercise for 2 – 3 weeks.
TED STOCKINGS: You may be required to wear TED stockings for compression to prevent DVT (blood clotting) post-operatively. If required these will be fitted at the hospital on your admission day. The nursing staff will advise you on how long you need to wear these for.
MEDICATION: Take your pain relief and anti-biotic medication as directed. Any medication you ceased prior to surgery must not be taken after your surgery until you are completely healed or as directed by your physician.
Liposuction is one of the many advanced plastic surgery procedures we offer here at The Layt Clinic. Other options include breast surgery, facelift, non-surgical cosmetic enhancement, and many others. Dr. Layt will be happy to talk with you about additional options if you are considering a more comprehensive cosmetic makeover.
For more information about liposuction, contact our Gold Coast practice in Queensland. We will do our best to answer all of your questions, or we can schedule a consultation for you with Dr Craig Layt. Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified practitioner.