Liposuction involves fat removal through minimal access incisions. It is not a form of weight loss, but is most appropriate for removal of fat deposits resistance to weight loss and exercise. It is chiefly a form of body shaping and is better known as liposculpture.
Fat removed during liposuction is usually disposed of. Sometimes, special techniques can be used to harvest the fat, so that it can be re-injected in other parts of the body. This is known as lipofilling or fat grafting.
Despite the tiny incisions this is not a benign procedure. It needs to be done under controlled conditions with good monitoring. Liposuction is one of the few procedures in plastic surgery that can be fatal and it should therefore not be taken on lightly. It is dangerous to remove too much fat at one time and it may be best to stage the procedures. Liposuction causes tissue damage that results in swelling and bruising and this takes time to subside, especially when larger areas are treated.
Liposuction can sometimes be combined with other procedures. It is however not advisable to combine it with abdominoplasty as it increases the risk of both procedures.
It is very difficult to obtain a perfect result after one procedure. Bulges and indentations may occur and need to be smoothed out in a second, touch-up procedure. It is important to be aware of this beforehand and to budget for this to avoid disappointment.