Liposuction is a technique used to reduce unwanted fat deposits. The unsightly distribution of body fat is usually due to an inborn tendency to deposit fat in one particular area of the body, most commonly the hips. Other areas include the neck, arms, tummy, thighs, and inner side of the knees. The growth of a benign fat tumour (lipoma) can also be a disfigurement and in men fatty deposits can develop under the nipples to look like breasts. Liposuction can be used to reduce the bulk of localised areas of fat.
The operation is normally carried out under general anaesthetic. A narrow metal tube is inserted through a small incision in the nearby skin. It is attached to a strong vacuum pump which is drawn back and forth within the area of excess fat. The process removes tunnels of fat leaving the small blood vessels and nerves intact. The skin will then retract.
It is important to understand that liposuction is not a treatment for obesity.