Liposuction or Lipoplasty

Liposuction, lipoplasty or liposculpture is commonly known as “suction-assisted fat removal” and has been developed to help remove fat from various parts of the body to improve body shape and size. It is more beneficial as a body sculpting procedure than as a weight loss tool. The aim of liposculpture is not necessarily to remove all the fatty tissue but rather enough to make an area significantly slimmer in shape and appearance.

Liposculpture can be used to help give patients a “kick-start” to a further exercise programme and weight loss. Many people who have liposuction surgery and have a significant amount of fat removed from the abdomen, go on to lose further amounts of weight. Treatment of the abdomen and some areas of the thighs make exercise easier which may also help with weight loss. It is important to stress that liposculpture complements the beneficial effect of exercise and eating a sensible diet and both of these things are necessary if further weight loss is possible. If diet and exercise are not implemented, then weight gain will occur.

Liposculpture is an elective cosmetic procedure and candidates should be in good health and have no major medical problems. A person considering liposuction would ideally be at a relatively normal weight but may have extra fatty tissue in localised areas such as the neck, arms, breasts, abdomen, flanks, thighs and knees.

Importantly, liposculpture cannot eliminate cellulite or treat loose hanging skin. Skin does retract but does not completely tighten skin in all areas, or in all patients. It is best suited for people who are in good physical shape with firm, non-flaccid skin. This is more so in people under 50 years of age, although many people much older will have excellent results with minimal or no looseness of skin. If the skin is not elastic enough then additional skin tightening procedures may be required for the best looking results to be achieved. Such procedures as a “tummy tuck” or a “thigh lift” may be required to tighten the skin over the liposuctioned area.

Liposculpture is commonly performed under local anaesthesia but may be performed under full general anaesthesia.

Guest Contributor: Meaghan Heckenburg, Liposculptor at Be Sculpted

In the middle of the 1980’s significant improvements were made in local anaesthesia by the work of Dr Jeffrey Klein, a dermatologist in California. Very low concentrations of local anaesthesia can be used to numb large areas of fatty tissue without the need for general anaesthesia. The fatty tissue is put under slight pressure by large volumes of saline mixed with the local anaesthetic drug called lignocaine. The fluid forces the local anaesthesia throughout the areas to be treated and allows it to be distributed evenly. Small amounts of adrenaline are added to the solution to allow constrictions of fat blood vessels. Blood loss is virtually negligible and this reduces bruising considerably. This is called “tumescent technique”. Small access points are used to introduce the small tubes necessary for the procedure, both to put the fluid in and to remove the fatty tissue. The incision points heal on their own and do not require suturing. Sometimes they may leave a little scar, become lighter or darker in colour but most of the time they become undetectable with time. This procedure can be performed as a day-only procedure as an out-patient. With the tumescent technique, it is very safe and the incidence of side effects are low. If general anaesthesia is chosen, then the procedure will need to be performed in a hospital and may require a stay of a few days. Complications are considerably reduced with the use of the tumescent technique compared to general anaesthesia, particularly things like blood loss, infection, deep venous thrombosis (clots in the legs), pulmonary embolism (clots in the lungs), skin breakdown, injury to other body organs. All of these things are very rare when the procedure is performed under local anaesthesia.

After surgery, there is usually some discomfort (soreness and stiffness) for a few days and will usually settle with paracetamol alone. Leaking of the anaesthetic fluid lasts about 24-36 hours. Numbness can take a few weeks to a few months to resolve. Bruising (if it occurs) may last for 2-3 weeks. Texture irregularities or lumpy areas may sometimes occur and may take a few months to settle. Because of potentially slow resolution of postoperative swelling, the final results may take 3-6 months to achieve. It is necessary to wear compression garments for 2-4 weeks after the procedure, particularly the first 2 weeks when swelling is maximal. One may return to work after a couple of days, depending on the level of physicality required.

Risks and Complications

Any surgery involves the risk of infection, bleeding, scarring or serious injury, however tumescent liposuction has an amazingly good safety record.

There is a maximum dose of the local anaesthetic drug (lignocaine) that may be used during the procedure. This is calculated using a person’s body weight. Therefore multiple areas may not be able to be treated at the same time. It is also advisable to keep the volume of fat removed under 5 litres per procedure, otherwise recovery is prolonged and there may be alteration of important body fluid electrolytes. However the greatest risks of liposuction are those associated with general anaesthesia.

Q. Can I have liposuction if I am extremely overweight?

A. Liposuction is not an appropriate treatment for obesity. It is also not a substitute for a prudent diet, good nutrition and regular exercise. Obese patients may be good candidates for limited liposuction if their goal is simply to improve the shape of certain areas of the body. Obesity is associated with an increased risk of surgical complications.

Q. Is liposuction permanent?

A. The fat cells that are removed by liposculpture do not grow back. If the patient later gains or loses weight the change tends to be distributed proportionately over the entire body. For the best results, the patient’s postoperative weight should be lower than the preoperative weight but the exact value of that is impossible to predict. Although one can expect some changes with age, provided the patient does not gain large amounts of weight, the patient’s new silhouette is relatively permanent.

Q. Can liposuction treat Cellulite?

A. Cellulite results from the pulling of fibrous tissue that connects the skin to underlying muscle. This is genetically determined and more common in female fatty tissue compared to male fatty tissue. While tumescent liposculpture may reduce the degree of cellulite, it is unlikely to eliminate it. Reducing the size of a fatty area with overlying cellulite will however improve one’s overall appearance.

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Liposuction Dr Soo-Keat Lim – All About Liposuction December 6, 2016 - Trish: Okay, well I’m here today with Dr Soo-Keat Lim, and Dr Lim is actually a cosmetic practitioner, and he works at The Ashbrooke Cosmetic Surgery Clinic, which is located in Military Road at Mosman. So thank you so much for joining us today Dr Lim. Dr Lim: It’s a pleasure Trish. Trish: Lovely. So we’re contacting you today, or we’re having a chat with you today about liposuction, and we’ll start off by saying you’re actually involved with the Australian College of Cosmetic Surgery, and you are involved in the lipo training program, the head of it, aren’t you? Dr Lim: Yes I’m the head of the Australian College of Cosmetic Surgery (ACCS) liposuction training program, and I’ve been the head for the last fifteen years. Trish: Oh great, and you’ve been doing liposuction for twenty three years, is that right? Dr Lim: Twenty three altogether, that’s right. Trish: So you obviously know what you’re doing. Dr Lim: Yes, I’ve been around, yes. Trish: So tell us a bit about it, like I know what sort of people liposuction is for, I’ve had liposuction recently myself, but for our listeners that are out there, what is something that you […]
Thigh Liposuction My Thigh Liposuction with Dr Paul Quinn November 4, 2016 - Haya tells us about her surgery experience where she had liposuction to her thighs. The surgery was performed by Dr Paul Quinn in Perth WA. After years of struggling with the size of my thighs I decided to undergo liposuction to the inside, front, sides and back of my thighs. I am 22 years old and have always been relatively fit and healthy. However, my thighs remained to be out of proportion to the rest of my body (with my upper body sizing usually between a woman’s 8-10 and my lower body a solid size 12). I have also had a significant amount of cellulite on my thighs since I was around 13-14 years old. Before undergoing the liposuction I had tried dieting and targeted exercise to slim my thighs. I also tried creams to reduce the appearance of the cellulite. Though these did help, I remained unhappy with the size and look of my legs. Going ahead with liposuction was not a decision I came to lightly. I spent over a year researching the procedure and it’s results. I read several reviews about the painful procedure and was a bit apprehensive about whether it would work for me. I […]
Jo’s Story – circumferential body lift, brachioplasty, thigh lift, abdominoplasty and liposuction October 20, 2016 - For most of us, the idea of a 7 hour marathon on the operating table is a little (lot!) scary. However, in the hands of the right surgeon, and when you combine several different procedures to be performed in one go, it can absolutely be the best way to go. Jo, was brave enough to share her story with us. She had a circumferential body lift, brachioplasty, thigh lift, abdominoplasty and liposuction all in the one procedure. Jo is a 53 year old nurse whose story starts when she had a gastric sleeve in 2014 and lost 50kgs. Because of the massive weightloss Jo had heaps of excess skin. She says, “I had empty skin that exercise just didn’t get rid of. My arms bothered me the most – they were big and floppy. Also, my inner thighs were drooping down to my knees.” Making the Right Decision Jo says she initially tossed up going overseas for her surgery but never got around to organising it. One of the girls at her work had had surgery with Dr Mark Hanikeri, Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgeon based in Subiaco, WA, and so Jo decided to make an appointment with him. She […]
Liposuction Options Can Help Your Battle with Weight Issues August 4, 2016 - Have you been on a diet so long you’re beginning to think the diet is causing your weight increase or making it stagnate at a level you don’t want to live with? A research suggests that 12% of population on a diet retain their initial weight while 40% of them gained weight. Frustrating to note but on the brighter side, here is something to smile about: liposuction options are here to make your life easier. Liposuction is simply the extraction of fat tissues from the body. The most common areas of fat removal include the abdomen, buttocks, hips, thighs and face. Great news, right? But don’t rush into it blindly. You need to consider a lot of factors before you sign up to go through with the procedure. 1. What happens before the procedure? As with any other surgical procedure, you will need to go through a physical examination to determine that you’re fit enough to undergo that particular procedure. Make sure to discuss any conditions that you might have with your doctor. They can determine if it will affect your liposuction procedure. Don’t let a clinic’s marketing affect your decisions. Spend time researching which procedure is right for you, […]
Karen's Real Story Are multiple procedures for you? Check out Karen’s real story April 27, 2016 - I want to introduce another woman who has overcome many obstacles in life, and come out the other end intact, happy, and inspiring! I met Karen online one of our closed social media groups when I was having my own abdominoplasty surgery recently. She was a couple of weeks post-op; I was reaching out and sharing my surgery and experiences and so was she – we connected immediately. You know what it’s like – when you meet someone and they just ‘fit’, they feel like they’re part of your tribe. You’ve shared a similar journey. So let me share Karen’s story. At 125kg and at 36yrs old, Karen tried to lose weight with diet, exercise and obsessive compulsive bingeing (mmmmm I feel like I’m looking in a mirror here!). In 2010 she had a lapband, however because it was making her life a misery by not being able to eat, she had it removed in November 2013. She then had a gastric sleeve in March 2014. Over 6 years Karen lost about 35kgs (22kgs lost after the sleeve) and maintained a weight of about 89kgs for around 18 months. Although she still had a way to go, Karen decided she […]
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Thigh Lifting and Liposuction Mind the Gap – We talk to Dr Douglas McManamny about the Ins and Outs of Thigh Lifting and Liposuction January 22, 2016 - Thighs – those thicker parts of our legs up the top just under our bums that seem to be one of the most stubborn parts of our bodies to remove fat from. The ones that for most of us rub together when we walk and can cause chafing, especially when wet; are more prone to cellulite; an area of our body that we wish we could magically reduce in size. Whilst different women are genetically inclined to store more fat in different areas of our bodies, the buttocks and thighs are a universally common area where it is extra tricky to budge. Summer and the hotter months of the year are especially good at bringing our thighs to our attention. Shorts, bikinis/swimmers, higher skirts and playsuits all require us to show off our legs. One of the surgeries growing in popularity in recent years is the thigh lift, also referred to as a thighplasty or thigh liposuction. Dr Douglas McManamny, Plastic Surgeon from the Cosmetic Surgery for Women (CWFW) in Hawthorn and Berwick says, “People are more aware of what plastic surgery procedures are available because of social media and internet activity. Also, obesity is more of a problem now […]
Are you body ready for summer? Are You Body Ready for Summer? October 8, 2015 - Living in Oz, it’s that time of year again; where the warmer weather is descending upon us in what seems so suddenly. Much of the country has experienced a bit of a heat wave in the last few days and it is only expected to continue through the summer months. It is definitely that time of the year when we start thinking about swimming and heading to the beach (or the pool) to keep cool, and of course with this comes the exposure of skin in swimmers and bikinis (or nothing for the brave)! The last thing we want is to feel uncomfortable in our bodies or be covering up at this time of the year. If you’re like me you’re always dreaming of changing the parts of your body that you’ve always been unhappy with. Well, I say there is no time like the present! We spoke to Dr Charles Cope from Infinity Skin Clinic located in three different practices around Sydney and the Central Coast about what procedures he is seeing clients for in the lead up to the summer months. There are a few procedures that have really cemented their place as popular cosmetic surgeries. Buttock Lift […]
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Dr Malcolm Linsell Interview Helping women get their bodies and confidence back September 4, 2015 - I love my kids… And I want my body back! Dr Linsell is a well respected Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon. Among other specialties Dr Linsell is known for his work with mothers wanting to regain their pre-pregnancy bodies as well as women over 35 who want to feel a whole lot better about themselves. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us today. PSH: It’s interesting to think that at the same time the average age that women are choosing to have children is rising, that the cosmetic and plastic surgery industries are becoming more accessible and accepted in society than ever before. What do you see as being the most popular increasingly asked for procedure for you at the moment? Dr Linsell: You know it’s really interesting because you’re right, plastic surgery has become more socially acceptable and I think that’s one of the major reasons why women are seeking these sorts of procedures. The most common operation is still probably still breast augmentation. Liposuction is also common, and in my hands in particular is abdominoplasty because it’s something I’ve taken a real interest in over the last 25 years or so. I think the […]
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Katie's Tummy Tuck Katie’s Trifecta – My tummy tuck, thigh lift & lipo surgery with Dr Mark Hanikeri May 1, 2015 - Although Katie was never “really overweight”, she had wanted to have a tummy tuck for a number of years. Being 6 feet tall and finding it tricky to lose her little belly even with an active and healthy lifestyle, having children just reinforced Katie’s resolve and she decided to do some research and it led to Katie’s “Trifecta”, three in one surgery! Realising that word of mouth was usually the best way to get an idea of how good a surgeon was and what she could or should expect from the surgery, Katie joined online groups and started chatting with others who had already gone through the experience. She researched the procedures, different doctors and other patients’ experiences. It was around this time that Katie decided she wanted to have not just the tummy tuck but a thigh lift and some liposuction too. She thought it would be great if she could have all three surgeries done at the same time. It would save her a bit of money and a lot of recovery time, not to mention less time off work and time away from her kids. Katie says she consulted with a few doctors before finally settling on […]
VASER Liposuction The Benefits of VASER Liposuction March 9, 2015 - Are you having problems dropping those last 10 pounds? Liposuction is one of the popular methods for removing stubborn pockets of fat from the body, particularly those unresponsive to diet and exercise. Traditional liposuction methods have given way to more efficient forms of technology, including the use of lasers and ultrasound to melt fat. VASER, or Vibration Amplification of Sound Energy at Resonance, uses a specialised probe to pulse sound energy into fat cells. So what specific benefits does VASER offer? Minimal damage to surrounding tissue All types of liposuction involve fat cells being suctioned out of the body using a cannula, or thin metal tube. The VASER technique uses a smaller incision and sound waves to liquefy these cells first. This improves accuracy, makes the fat cells easier to remove, and minimises any potential damage to surrounding tissues. Skin tightens quickly after the procedure, for dramatic results in a short period of time. High-definition results While all three methods of liposuction achieve similar in terms of the amount of fat removed, one of the primary benefits of VASER is its ability to provide highly defined, precise fat removal in a shorter time period. The liquefied fat cells are removed […]
Daddy Do Over March 26, 2014 - We have all heard of the Mummy Makeover, helping mums regain their bodies after childbirth, but what about Dad? Of course mum bears the full grunt of childbirth but what happens to Dad? With the stress of parenthood, the lack of sleep, exhaustion and time constraints comes the unwanted physical changes that yes, even dad deals with too. Many would say we are in an age where the gender role is in a flux. With more and more men seeking cosmetic procedures it seems it is no longer just the girls that are taking their physical appearance seriously. Recently we wrote about the statistics of more men seeking Anti-Wrinkle Injections, you can find that article here. But research is also suggesting that dads are in the top 4 types of men seeking cosmetic procedures. Often Dads feeling the physical affects of parenthood are looking for a Daddy-Do-Over, which is generally a number of cosmetic procedures such as liposuction, jawline recontouring and an eyelift performed in a single surgery. Dr. Pouria Moradi from Sydney’s East performs a number of male cosmetic surgeries. Although he doesn’t package Daddy-Do-Overs he does see a number of dads seeking out cosmetic procedures due to the […]
LIPOPLASTY – A simple description LIPOPLASTY – A simple description March 6, 2014 - Lipoplasty is basically “fat modeling” – most famously known as liposuction or liposculpture. It may also be known as liposculpture suction lipectomy or suction-assisted fat removal. Lipoplasty can be  performed to eliminate fat almost anywhere on the body; but more often on the thighs, buttocks, neck, arms, calves, hips, chin, ankles, waist, and the abdomen – the most often asked-for part of the body that undergoes this procedure. Lipoplasty can flatten the abdomen, trim the hips and thighs, eradicate a double chin or shape the calves and ankles, just to mention a few. People who seek out this cosmetic procedure usually have stubborn fat cells that, no matter how much exercise they do and diets they stick to, cannot get rid of that unwanted fat on certain parts of their body. Others have lipoplasty because they do not have time to work out and want a more efficient and instant solution. It is possible to have lipoplasty at almost any age, however best results are acquired if the skin still has enough elasticity to bounce back following the fat removal. Liposuction advances in techniques: Ultrasound-assisted liposuction or Ultrasonic-assisted liposuction (UAL) – Liquefies the fat using ultrasound to burst the fat […]
Bridalplasty - Pre Wedding Plastic Surgery Bridalplasty – Pre Wedding Plastic Surgery June 29, 2013 - Every bride wants to look her very best on her wedding day and there couldn’t be a better way to look like a million bucks than a little nip tuck and minor cosmetic enhancements. Great candidates for plastic surgery, brides-to-be are most likely to be young, healthy and highly motivated. ‘Bridalplasty,’ as this phenomenon is now termed, has caught on like wildfire. However, it’s not just the brides who are opting for chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser hair removal or the all-time favorite Anti-wrinkle injections, but also the grooms and the mothers and fathers of the couple-to-be, and in some instances, the whole wedding entourage as well. Bridalplasty – Pre Wedding Plastic Surgery Pre-wedding plastic surgery procedures including breast augmentation, liposuction, a tummy tuck, etc. are also quite common nowadays. After all, which bride wouldn’t want to look pretty on her special day; the milestone event which means the end of “singleness” for many young women? With the busy wedding season already around the corner, there is a massive increase in the number of people who make appointments for cosmetic procedures. Bridalplasty procedures help people appear more youthful, contour their bodies, and give them an opportunity to look and feel their […]


  1. I’m looking into getting liposuction
    What are your prices like and do you offer payment plans?

    • Trish

      We have emailed you. Get back to us for follow up.

  2. Hello I’m interested in finding out more about a mons pubis procedure. I had a tummy tuck 4 years ago.
    I’m in Sydney

    • Trish

      Hi Elizabeth
      I had a TT years ago and then a revision TT with mons reduction at the same time (should have been done the first time for me!). Can you check with the surgeon you went with? Or would you like us to send you a list of surgeons in Sydney to get the procedure done on its own? Have you joined our closed Facebook support group “Plastic Surgery Support Forum For Aussie Chicks” there’s many patients on there who have experienced the same as you – they may be able to shed further light.


  1. Get to know Cosmetic Nurse Clare Delany - […] for all breast surgery including enhancement, breast lift, tummy tuck (Abdominoplasty), liposculpting and body contouring surgery following weight loss.…
  2. More Men are Getting Washboard Abs with the Help of Hi Def Liposculpture - Plastic Surgery Hub - […] traditional liposuction sucks out fat from a trouble area, high definition liposculpture is slightly different. It uses […]
  3. Patients Should Know - Swelling After Tummy Tuck Surgery - […] Tummy tuck and liposuction […]
  4. Belly Button - Umbilicoplasty - Plastic Surgery Hub - […] button surgery is often performed along with a tummy tuck or liposuction where several issues are being addressed at…
  5. From Fat to Fab and Fit in Five – What a Transformation! - Skincare City - […] Liposuction to thighs […]
  6. Loose Skin Removal after Massive Weight Loss - Skincare City - […] Liposuction – to help contour those final bits of stubborn fat […]
  7. Body Lift after Massive Weight Loss - Skincare City - […] patients ask if liposuction will do the same job. Whilst liposuction can be good at removing fat it won’t…

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