Liposuction is a surgical procedure that removes unwanted fat from the body. The procedure is done by inserted a cannula under the skin and remove fat via the suction mechanism. Liposuction removes fat from a target area in the body. Common target areas are the abdomen, thighs and hips, arms, chin and neck, and chest. The objective is reshaping the body so that it becomes slimmer and aesthetically more attractive.


There are various methods of liposuction; each has its advantages and disadvantages. In essence, they all work on the same principle: a tumescent solution is injected into the target area to numb and minimize bleeding, followed by fat removal by various suction cannulas. The removed fat is either discarded or can be used for fat grafting. (see Fat Graft).


Liposuction is useful to treat localized fat in various target areas. However, liposuction is not a treatment for generalized obesity. In generalized obesity, diet, exercise, and other weight reduction treatments are more appropriate.




  1. Inform the doctor of any pre-existing medical conditions and drug allergy. All medical conditions must be treated and stabilized before surgery.
  2. Stop smoking at least one week before surgery. Smoking is harmful to wound healing and increases the risks of other post-operation complications.
  3. Stop the following medications and supplements from one week before surgery until one week after surgery.
    1. All supplements containing vitamin E, ginseng, ginkgo, garlic, fish oil, and other ingredients that increase bleeding during the procedure. Other supplements, traditional medicine, and herbs, in which ingredients are unknown, have to stop as well.
    2. Medicine that increases bleeding during the procedure such as aspirin, NSAIDs, and warfarin. However, you may need to consult your physician who prescribed the medication before you stop them.
  4. On the day of surgery, wear simple and comfortable clothing and do not wear any makeup. Do not wear any jewelry and metal objects on the face and body.






  1. Thighs: 2 hours
  2. Abdomen 1 hour
  3. Arms: 1-2 hours
  4. Chin and neck: one hour

Anaesthesia: Local anaesthesia or general anaesthesia, depending on the extent of liposuction and patient’s preference

Hospitalization: Not required except for massive liposuction involving multiple body areas.

Recovery*: Back to work in 1 to 7 days, light exercise after one week, heavy exercise after 4 weeks. * The actual recovery speed depends on the extent of the liposuction and may vary from person to person.


Small openings around 2 to 5mm are made around the target areas. Tumescent fluid is injected to control pain and blood loss. Fat is suctioned with a liposuction cannula.




Post-operative Care**

  1. What to expect: Swelling usually peaks on the second to third day after surgery and will gradually subside that. Bruises may take 1 to 2 weeks to settle.
  2. Use a supportive garment for at least one month.
  3. General care:
    1. Avoid smoking for at least one month. Smoking increases the risk of wound complications.
    2. Be relaxed and calm. Contact the clinic if there are any queries.
    3. Adequate rest and sleep are helpful for a speedy recovery.
    4. Early ambulation is encouraged to speed up recovery.
  4. Medicine: Finish the oral antibiotics as prescribed. Take the painkiller as prescribed when necessary.
  5. Wound care: After removing the wound dressings, clean the wounds with clean cotton tips soaked with sterile water/saline. Apply antibiotic ointment.
  6. Physical activity: Avoid heavy physical activity and exercise for at least one month.
  7. Follow-up: Come back one week after surgery for review.
  8. Emergency: If there is heavy bleeding, a rapid increase in swelling or severe pain, immediately contact the clinic/doctor for advice.


** The instructions in this list are only for general guidance. If you have any specific queries or concerns during the post-operative recovery, please contact the clinic for further advice.

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