To gain the best possible results from aesthetic surgery requires careful patient selection. Not all procedures are suitable for all patients, therefore it is impossible to offer anything other than very general advice before seeing a patient. It is certainly better to have no procedure than an inappropriate one. To undergo aesthetic surgery is a major decision requiring appropriate discussion and thought.
Cosmetic Procedures

Liposuction is a technique for removing excess body fat. Having softened the area to be treated with an injected liquid, the fat is removed via a hollow metal tube (cannula) connected to a high vacuum suction apparatus or syringe. The technique was first described during the late '70s but more recent developments, known as liposculpture, have added considerable refinement and improvement in results.

Neither technique is a substitute for controlled diet and results are best in patients who are not grossly overweight, but who have localised collections of fat - for example, over the hips and outer thighs, buttocks, inner side of the knees, tummy and beneath the chin. Good results depend on an elastic skin, which will adapt to a new contour having removed the underlying fat. With age, skin becomes less elastic, but the condition of the skin rather than chronological age is most important.

Liposuction or liposculpture may be used alone or in combination with other surgery, such as beneath the chin together with a facelift or in the abdomen together with an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). Modern cannulae are of small diameter, so the scars that are left are minimal (less than 1cm in length) and are usually placed in a natural skin crease so as to be well disguised.

There is no strict limit to the amount of fat which may be removed, but the greater the volume the higher the complication rate and it is necessary to replace fluids in proportion to the amount of fat and fluid removed. High volume removal (more than 2.5 to 3 litres) may necessitate blood transfusion and therefore the amount removed in any one session is usually kept below this level. Fat is less dense than water so although weight loss is proportionate to the volume removed, a litre of fat will weigh less than 1kg. It should be remembered that liposuction/liposculpture is essentially a contouring procedure and not a weight losing procedure.

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