This is one of the most frequently requested cosmetic operation in the UK.

Treatment of relatively small areas an be carried out under sedation and local anaesthesia: anything larger is generally carried out under general anaesthetic (asleep) but may still be performed as a day case. For large areas, a night in hospital is advised.

To access an area, two or more small ‘stab’ incisions are made. Mr Matthews uses the ‘tumescent technique’ in which fluid is introduced to the ‘target’ area, partly to reduce bleeding but, also, to spread the tissues out. As a result, when the fat is then sucked out, the likelihood of damage to blood vessels and nerves is reduced.

The ‘stab’ incisions are then closed with fine stitches and tape is applied to the skin over the area treated to help control swelling. A pressure garment is then fitted, either customised or perhaps cycling shorts for the tummy/hip/thigh region. This is best worn for 3 weeks after treatment.

There is usually some discomfort straight after liposuction for which pain relief is given but this normally settles quickly allowing a return to normal behaviour and to non-strenuous work within a few days. Energetic exercise is not recommended for 3 weeks.

Some bruising occurs which tends to settle by 3 weeks and there is some swelling, most of which settles in the same time but more subtle improvement continues for several months. Feeling in the skin can be quite numb to start with but has usually returned to normal by 3 – 4 months.

The small scars sometimes do not fade as well as hoped for but are usually placed as inconspicuously as possible anyway. Very extensive liposuction at a single operation is best avoided as it can cause serious complications.

The result depends on how well the skin settles over the treated area and many things, including age, can affect this. Mr Matthews will advise about this at consultation.