Liposuction Procedure Basics

Before going for your surgery, you will receive specific instructions about how to prepare for your liposuction surgery. This will include specific instructions on eating and drinking, taking or avoiding certain medications and vitamins and smoking.

Your surgery may also be postponed should you develop a cold or an infection. Some surgeons recommend you have blood drawn prior to your surgery in case there is a need for it during or after the surgery.

You should also ensure there will be a relative or friend available to take you home following the procedure and be available to look after you a day or two after you have been discharged from the clinic or hospital.

Where is it Done?

Liposuction is often performed in the surgeons outpatient centre or in a hospital. Procedures involving smaller volume liposuction are often performed in an outpatient centre, this helps minimise cost and is more convenient for may people.

Should a large volume of fat be removed, or if the liposuction is being performed alongside another procedure, a night’s stay in hospital is usually required.


There are various types of anaesthesia that may be used for liposuction procedures. You should discuss these with your surgeon to decide which will provide the safest and most effective comfort during your surgery.

Liposuction may be performed under local anaesthesia if only a small amount of fat and a smaller amount of body sites are to receive liposuction. This will numb the areas affected.

Some patients prefer to use local anaesthesia in conjunction with sedation to allow them to feel more relaxed whilst the procedure is taking place. An epidural block is a popular choice for more extensive procedures.

Many patients prefer a general anaesthesia, especially those who are having a large amount of fat removed. An Anaesthetist will be present throughout the procedure to ensure you are asleep during the procedure and there are no complications relating to the anaesthetic.

How Long Does it Take?

The duration of the procedure depends upon the size of the area to receive liposuction, the amount of fat that is to be removed and the type of anaesthesia that is to be used.

To enhance the outcome of the liposuction procedure, there are several techniques used to make the procedure easier whilst enhancing the outcome.

The procedure itself involves ensuring localised deposits of fat are removed and one or more areas of the body are re-contoured. A narrow cannula or tube is inserted through an incision in the skin and used to vacuum the fat layer sitting quite deeply beneath the skin.

The tube or cannula is then pushed and pulled through the layer of fat to break up the fat cells and suck them out. A vacuum pump or large syringe provides the suction action. If you are having many sites treated, the surgeon will repeat this procedure on each site. The incisions are kept as inconspicuous as possible.

Fluid is also lost during this vacuum process and it is essential it is replaced during the procedure to prevent complications such as shock. Patients are therefore monitored carefully and given intravenous fluids during and after the surgery.