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Even people of normal weight may have genetically determined or age-related pockets of excess fat that do not respond to dieting or sporting activity. Liposuction can be the solution for anyone who is seeking a more beautiful and better proportioned body shape. The removal of this fat is therefore especially beneficial for women and men with localised fat distribution problems. A surgical intervention known as liposuction is used to remove the excess fat from the problem areas, improving the silhouette.
There are numerous critical points at which fat can accumulate: the abdomen, legs, buttocks, hips or waist (also known as love handles).
But it is important to know that liposuction is not a procedure for general weight loss, and neither does it help in removing stretch marks or excess skin.
Liposuction is especially suitable for sculpting the abdominal area in women and men. The lower abdomen in particular often fails to respond to a balanced diet and exercise. Even extremely sporty and active people can feel dissatisfied with their figure. Pregnancy or caesarean section can alter the appearance of the lower abdomen in such a way that the changes cannot be reversed, even with exercise and diet.
Much of the abdominal fat frequently lies directly under the skin and is therefore easy to remove. However, fat that is located deep in the abdomen (between the organs, also called visceral fat) cannot be removed with liposuction, as this could result in serious complications. If excess skin is present before liposuction or if there is a risk that excess skin could develop afterwards, liposuction can be combined with abdominoplasty (a tummy tuck).
Images of liposuction on the abdomen, before/after
Removal of fat from the hips is generally a good way to optimise the body shape. This type of liposuction is usually used for women, as men are less prone to fat deposits in these areas. Female patients who have liposuction in order to improve the appearance of their hips may require additional surgery to achieve the desired shape. Liposuction of the hips is often combined with liposuction of the thighs. The procedure can also be supplemented with an extended abdominoplasty.
Fat deposits located directly over the pelvic bone are often referred to as love handles. In men, but sometimes also in women, this ring of fat can protrude like a bulge over the belt and extend around to the back. Fat in this location is often somewhat firmer and therefore more difficult to remove. However, the shape of this zone can be significantly improved with our liposculpture methods.
Skin firming in this zone, when combined with liposculpture, often delivers the best results in cases where there is excess skin.
Images of liposuction on the hips, before/after
Fat deposits on the legs can often be localised. However, they can also be due to the shape of the underlying muscle and are sometimes caused by venous congestion or even lymphoedema (blockage of the lymphatic system). When the cause is fat deposits, liposuction is an elegant and permanent way to achieve a more beautiful shape for the lower leg.
Liposuction of the upper arms is popular and leads to beautiful results. The arms appear slimmer following treatment. This can also make the rest of the body appear more shapely. Liposuction of the arms should be accompanied by an arm lift if the skin is already very loose and a lot of fat is being removed.
Women and men who are otherwise of normal weight can find that fat deposits around the chin are particularly unwanted, especially if they form a double chin. This occurs in different variants. One is a very discreet, but clearly localisable pad of fat which is particularly noticeable when your face is looking downward. This is often hereditary, but can easily be removed with liposuction. In these cases it is often a question of using liposuction to achieve a slight firming of the skin, rather than to remove a lot of fat. The other variant is the double chin, where the transition from the chin to the neck is indistinct. Here, too, the contour of the chin and neck can be restored by liposculpture.
Skin elasticity is a significant factor in achieving a satisfactory result. After liposuction, the excess skin needs to shrink to fit the new contours. If the skin elasticity is very weak or there is a lot of excess skin (e.g. following significant weight loss or several pregnancies), improvement is often only possible with additional skin lifting. This, however, does leave scars.
Treatments for skin lifting are available for various areas of the body. Skin lifts range from selective firming of the abdomen, upper arms, thighs and buttocks to a full body lift. The latter involves corrective surgery for the whole body and is normally only necessary following extreme weight loss.
Excess skin is removed, with scars being located in areas that can be easily covered with clothing. The amount of skin to be removed is measured precisely before and during the operation, resulting in reliable and permanent firming of the skin. Scars are finely sutured to ensure that they are as inconspicuous as possible after healing. Skin lifts can only be performed under general anaesthetic.
Liposuction under general or local anaesthetic
On the day of the operation you will arrive at the Day Clinic of the Centre for Plastic Surgery 45 minutes before your scheduled surgery. Our nursing staff and your specialist will prepare you for the operation ahead. This includes taking the “before” photos and marking the new body contours on your skin. An experienced anaesthetist will explain the details of the anaesthetic planned. Liposuction can be done under general as well as under local anaesthesia. With minor liposuctions and only small areas to be treated tumescent anaesthesia may offer an alternative in selected cases.
As a first step, a compound, medicated solution will be injected into the treatment sites to reduce bruising. The fatty tissue is softened and can then be drawn out with a fine liposuction cannula.
The procedure takes from one to three hours. The incisions are very small and will be scarcely visible after a few months. Directly after the operation you will be fitted with a compression stocking or compression garment. Since liposuction is generally performed on an outpatient basis, you will be able to leave the clinic just a few hours after the procedure.
You will be able to shower again on the first day after the procedure. For best results, you will need to wear the compression stockings or compression garment day and night for at least four weeks. For liposculpture using local anaesthetic, this is reduced to two weeks. The first follow-up appointment will be a week after the liposuction.
In the first few weeks after the liposuction, the treatment sites may still be a little swollen, but most of this swelling will gradually disappear within the first four weeks. It will take three to six months for the tissue to return to normal, so some patience is required before the final results of the liposuction can be seen and fully appreciated.
As the suction process removes many fat cells from the body, you can expect the results to be permanent, as long as your weight remains stable. Liposuction is not to be viewed as a general weight reduction measure. It is important to remember that this procedure can only remove surface fat, and large fat reserves may still remain on a deeper level. This is why it is not suitable for general weight reduction.
Frequent problem areas
Facts and figures
1 to 3 hours, under regional or general anaesthetic
First dressing change after a week, compression stockings or garment for four weeks
Time off work
Our doctors have many years of experience and are highly skilled in liposuction treatments.
We guarantee rapid, expert investigation and advice. Treatment is provided using the most up-to-date equipment and facilities. You are also welcome to ask us for a second opinion.