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Liposuction is a popular vacuum pump technique for getting rid of excess body fat and can help improve your body shape when diet and exercise have failed.

For men it is commonly used to permanently remove fatty deposits around the stomach, chest and chin.

Why you might need it

Don’t think of liposuction as a treatment for obesity or being overweight. It is a way of getting rid of stubborn fat that will not go despite your efforts to improve your lifestyle.

It will not remove cellulite or loose skin but can be used to reduce male breasts (gynaecomastia) and excess fluid. (source: NHS Choices)

This procedure is not normally available on the NHS except when it is being performed as part of reconstructive surgery. So if your attempts to shift weight by changing your lifestyle have failed, liposuction with Spire could help.

The operation usually takes from 1 to 3 hours and is carried out under general anaesthesia so you will be asleep throughout. If the treatment is on the lower body, an epidural anaesthetic may be used.

Sometimes, you might have a local anaesthetic (where only one area of the body is numbed and you're awake) if the liposuction is performed on a very small area of the body.

Who will do it?

Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care. To us, that means you can choose the consultant you want to see, and when you want. They’ll be with you every step of the way: from giving advice at your first consultation, through to offering ongoing support after your treatment. 

All of our surgeons are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well equipped hospitals. 

A cosmetic surgeon’s reputation, qualifications and experience are vitally important, so we only work with consultant grade specialists. These are highly experienced consultants who have completed years of medical training.

All our consultants are on the specialist register of the General Medical Council (GMC), and many are also members of the UK’s leading cosmetic and plastic surgery associations.

Before your treatment

Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care. To us, that means you can choose the consultant you want to see and when you want. They’ll be with you every step of the way: from giving advice at your first consultation, through to offering on-going support after your surgery.

All of our cosmetic surgeons are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well equipped hospitals.  A cosmetic surgeon’s reputation, qualifications and experience are vitally important, so we only work with consultant grade specialists. These are highly experienced consultants who have completed years of medical training. All our consultants are on the specialist register of the General Medical Council (GMC), and many are also members of the UK’s leading cosmetic and plastic surgery associations.

We're here to listen and help you every step of the way to get the best out of life.

Preparing for your treatment

We’ve tried to make your experience with us as easy and relaxed as possible. 

For more information on visiting hours, our food, parking and all those other important practicalities, please visit our patient information page.

Although this is a relatively straight forward process, you may be required not to eat solid foods or certain drinks for a period of time before your procedure. You may see this referred to as ‘starve times’, and we will advise you of these before your admission.

You will have an initial consultation with a cosmetic surgeon or cosmetic nurse to discuss what you want to achieve and whether liposuction is suitable, but you should have changed your diet and lifestyle to lose some weight before we will consider whether liposuction is a good option for you.

You should not take any aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs for two weeks before the operation. If you are anaemic, you should take iron supplements. You should also stop smoking.

The procedure

We understand that having surgery can often be a time of worry but our experienced medical staff will be there for you every step of the way.

Two main liposuction techniques exist – wet and dry. Both are normally performed under general anaesthetic. However, if you are only having a small amount of fat removed, a local anaesthetic can be used instead.


Wet liposuction

Your surgeon will inject a fluid mixture made up of a salty solution, local anaesthetic and adrenaline to help reduce bleeding, bruising and swelling. It also makes it easier for the fat cells to be removed.

A small incision is made in your skin to allow a narrow metal tube (microcannula) to be inserted. This is attached to a strong vacuum pump that is drawn back and forth within the area of excess fat to remove it. The cut is then closed with stitches. Several cuts may be made if the area you are having treated is large.


Dry liposuction

The dry liposuction method is similar but does not use an injection of fluid. Dry liposuction can result in more bruising after the operation. Your surgeon will discuss the best option for your needs.

The process removes fat but leaves your small blood vessels and nerves intact.

After the fat has been sucked out, your surgeon will drain any excess fluid and blood using small tubes.

Aftercare

After your operation, the treated area will be bandaged and stitched and we will give you pain relief medication. You may need to wear elastic compression clothing and a compression bandage for the next two to three weeks to reduce swelling (only taken off to clean and shower).

You might need to stay in overnight if you have had a general anaesthetic.

After this, you will be taken to your room or comfortable area where you can rest and recuperate until we feel you’re ready to go home.


Pain relief

We'll give you pain relief medication immediately and when we discharge you, as this type of operation can result in discomfort and swelling for a few days. If you need them, continue taking painkillers as advised by the hospital. You might also be given antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection. 

We will provide you with a supply of all the medicines your consultant feels you need to take home with you after you've left hospital, up to 14 days. This may be at an additional cost to some patients.

You will be able to leave as soon as your condition is stable.

When we discharge you we'll talk to you about whether your stitches and dressings need to be removed and we’ll make an appointment to see your consultant again before you leave the hospital.


Recovery time

Some of the side effects of liposuction are bruising, swelling and inflammation of the treated areas.

If you had a large area treated you should take about 10 days off work to recover and avoid strenuous activity for up to four weeks.

Any numbness that you might feel should go away in six to eight weeks. Continue to use painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to relieve pain from bruising or swelling.

At your follow-up appointment, your surgeon will advise you when you can resume your normal activities.


End result

It will take you around two weeks to recover from the operation and as much as six months to see noticeable results as the treated area settles down.


How your loved ones can help

Once you’re ready to be discharged, you’ll need to arrange a taxi, friend or family member to take you home as you won’t be able to drive. You should also ask them if they can run some light errands such as shopping for you as you won’t be feeling up to it.


Looking after you

Even once you’ve left hospital, we’re still here for you. Your consultant is likely to want to see you after your operation, a follow up appointment will be made for you before you leave the hospital.

On rare occasions, complications following liposuction can occur. The chance of complications depends on the exact type of operation you are having and other factors such as your general health. We will talk to you about the possible risks and complications of having this procedure and how they apply to you.

If you have any questions or concerns, we’re ready to help.

Why choose Spire?

We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.

If you decide to have cosmetic surgery at Spire Cheshire, you can be sure you’ll be cared for by a team of highly experienced specialists who are dedicated to achieving the look you want. Any cosmetic surgery treatment will be tailored around you and we will give you all the information you need to make the choice that’s right for you.

At Spire Cheshire Hospital we have a dedicated cosmetic nurse adviser who offers free one-to-one appointments to answer any questions, provide advice and give you further information about the cosmetic procedures available.

These appointments are ideal if you feel like you need more information before you make your decision, or need to chat through your options before booking a consultation with a cosmetic surgeon.

For more information or to make an appointment please call 01925 215 029

How much does it cost?

A fixed price for this treatment may be available on enquiry and following an initial consultation.

You can trust Spire Cheshire Hospital to provide you with a single, fixed price (1) so there are no surprises. And, through our carefully chosen partner (2) you can even be considered for interest free finance.

We’re here to help you with making these important choices, so you’re then free to concentrate on your treatment and on getting back to being you.

(1) Important: Please read Spire’s terms and conditions for full details of what’s included and excluded in your fixed price* when paying for yourself.

(2) Zebra Finance Ltd trading as Zebra Health Finance , Lincoln House, Stephensons Way, Wyvern Business Park, Derby, DE21 6LY. 

Important to note

The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.