* UPDATE – Dr Patrick Briggs is now based in Melbourne at Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery *
Despite there being a whole range of fat blasting devices and treatments on the market, liposuction is still one of the most effective ways to remove stubborn fat. Whilst it’s definitely considered more invasive than other techniques, it can’t be beaten on results. Dr Patrick Briggs, Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon from Subiaco in WA has many years of experience with liposuction and has seen quite a few advancements in the equipment and techniques used. He tells us about the changes he’s seen with the procedure over the years and exactly how liposuction works and how he gets the best results for his patients.
So, how does liposuction work?
As it’s name suggests, it’s a process whereby fat is suctioned out of your body. It is definitely not to be used as a weight loss tool as there is a limit to the amount of fat it can remove at one time. It is more a contouring tool for stubborn areas of fat such as your belly and thighs that just won’t budge.
Dr Patrick Briggs only does liposuction under General Anaesthetic, as performing it under local comes with a multitude of serious risks. The procedure can last anywhere from half an hour to several hours depending on the area/s being targeted.
The most common technique used today is called tumescent liposuction where you are injected with several litres of a saline solution containing adrenaline and anaesthetic into the area to be suctioned which reduces bleeding and bruising. A cannula, or hollow, stainless steel tube, is inserted through small incisions and connected to a powerful vacuum where the fatty tissue is removed via suction. Dr Briggs says, “In the early days of liposuction, the procedure involved using relatively large cannulae and was associated with extensive bruising and a higher risk of irregularities. Today, liposuction uses much finer cannulae that cause less trauma to the tissues and allow fat to be removed in a much more controlled manner. These finer cannulae can be used closer to the skin surface to provide a superior result.”
Dr Briggs says liposuction can be performed as a day case, although for more extensive liposuction, such as multiple areas, you may be required to stay overnight in hospital. He also says, “During the first few weeks after your procedure you may take antibiotics and wear an elastic compression garment over the treated area to reduce swelling. During this time your stitches will dissolve or be removed and your swelling should begin to go down. Indeed, most swelling will disappear after three weeks or so, although some may remain for several months.”
Liposuction is often used in conjunction with a tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty. Whilst liposuction can tighten skin by retracting once the fat is take out, if the skin has been stretched too much or in older women where the skin is not so taut as it once was, the skin might not tighten as much as you’d like. This is where a tummy tuck might become necessary.
If you’d like more information about liposuction, liposculpture, tummy tucks or anything else, you can contact Dr Patrick Briggs at his clinic on (08) 9381 9300, or check out the blogs below: