Written by Dr Jill Tomlinson on .

Liposuction ("liposculpture", "lipoplasty") is used to remove fatty tissue from any area of the body. It is used in reconstructive surgery to thin microsurgical flaps to perfect the contour of body parts. The same technique can be used in aesthetic surgery to enhance body contours.

Liposuction is appropriate for areas where there are localised deposits of fat that do not shift with diet and exercise. It is especially suitable for people who are genetically predisposed to storing a disproportionate amount of body fat in a particular area, like the hips, thighs, chest, arms, chin or abdomen.

What is involved in liposuction or liposculpture?

femalebodybehindDilute local anaesthetic solution is infiltrated into the treatment area, numbing the area. In addition to local anaesthetic the solution also contains sodium bicarbonate, adrenaline and hyaluronidase, to reduce bleeding and discomfort. A suction cannula is then passed through small (<1cm) incisions in the skin and tunneled through the treatment area multiple times to remove the excess fat. In most cases the incisions are hidden in skin creases or areas where they will be inconspicuous after they have healed. Fat is removed carefully, aiming to leave you with a smooth and aesthetic contour to the treatment area.

Liposuction can be performed alone, or in combination with other surgical procedures such as female breast reduction, male breast reduction, brachioplasty and abdominoplasty. Liposuction is also used in fat grafting; if you wish to have the fat that is removed used for fat grafting to the cheeks, lips, back of the hands, eyes, temporal hollows or an area of contour irregularity from previous surgery or trauma we will discuss this procedure further in your consultations.

What type of anaesthetic is used?


Liposuction can be performed under local anaesthetic, local anaesthetic with sedation or general anaesthetic. The type of anaesthetic used is determined by the extent of the liposuction that is to be performed.

What happens before surgery?

I will see you a minimum of two times in my consulting rooms before the surgery to discuss your health and desired outcomes, to take preoperative photographs and measurements, to review any pre-surgery investigations, to order your compression garment and to discuss all your questions and concerns.

Where is the surgery performed?

I perform the liposuction in both an accredited day surgery centre and a hospital operating theatre.

What is the recovery period?

I recommend that you take a minimum of one week off work. You will need to wear a compression garment for at least 3 weeks after the procedure. You will be given pain relief, anti-inflammatories and preventative antibiotics to take after the procedure.

Are the results permanent?


The results are permanent. If you gain weight after the procedure you will not maintain the same exact body shape, but as there are less fat cells in the treatment area it will not increase in size to the same extent that it would have before the surgery.
What are the possible risks (complications)?

When is liposuction not suitable?

Liposuction is unsuitable for

  • individuals who are medically unwell, with significant heart or lung problems, bleeding or clotting disorders, liver or kidney disease
  • Overweight or obese individuals
  • Individuals who have unrealistic expectations about the likely outcomes and possible risks and benefits of the procedure
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • Treating body areas where there is excessive skin laxity

What are the costs of liposuction?

You will be provided with a quotation at your first consultation. The costs covered in a quotation for liposuction includes:

  • Your surgeon’s fee
  • Your anaesthetist’s fee
  • The cost of the compression garments
  • The theatre fees for the day surgery centre or hospital
  • Scar management products
  • Your follow-up appointments for one year

Unless your liposuction is performed in conjunction with another procedure that is covered by Medicare, you will not receive a rebate from Medicare or your health fund for your hospital admission or surgery. Cosmetic surgical procedures are not eligible for Medicare or private health insurance rebates.

To schedule an appointment to see Dr Tomlinson about liposuction in Melbourne please phone (03) 9427-9596.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks.
Before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

Website Disclaimer

This website is authored by Dr Jillian Tomlinson, a fully qualified plastic, reconstructive and hand surgeon who practices in Melbourne, Australia. This website aims to inform patients and health professionals about hand surgery, illness prevention and the practice philosophy of Dr Jill Tomlinson. This website's content is designed to complement, not replace, the relationship between a patient and his/her own doctor. The information is not intended to replace the advice of a health professional. This website does not host or receive funding from advertising or from the display of commercial content.