Liposuction is a body contouring procedure that can remove local deposits of fat cells from nearly any area of the body. It is an option for patients that have achieved a healthy body weight but still have lingering areas of fat that refuse to respond to diet and exercise.  By eliminating the fat through surgery, we can efficiently sculpt and contour the body to help you reach your full aesthetic goals in a single treatment session.

Liposuction has evolved significantly in recent years, with specialised techniques like power-assisted liposuction that offer even better results with less trauma to the body and shorter recovery times. Dr Thomas offers a variety of liposuction techniques at Melbourne Institute of Plastic Surgery, allowing him to customise treatment to the unique needs and desired outcome of each of his patients.

Candidates for Liposuction

The ideal candidates for liposuction are men and women with one or more of the following concerns:

  • Focalised pockets of fat that cannot be reduced with diet and exercise alone
  • Clothing that doesn’t fit quite right due to stubborn bulges
  • Excessive bulk in areas like the abdomen, breasts and buttocks
  • Dissatisfaction with the body contour, due to fat pockets that just won’t go away
  • Fat deposits that are interfering with a smooth, proportionate body profile

Liposuction is typically recommended for patients that have already achieved a healthy, stable weight, as this is not a weight loss procedure. Good skin elasticity is also a must because while liposuction removes excess fat cells, it is not useful in tightening skin in the treatment area. Liposuction may be performed alone or at the same time as other surgical procedures, such as a tummy tuck, breast reduction or lower body lift.

Liposuction Treatment Areas

Liposuction can be used to sculpt nearly any area of the body. The most popular treatment areas include:

  • Midsection
  • Hips and flanks
  • Inner and outer thighs
  • Calves and ankles
  • Neck and underneath the chin
  • Breasts (including men, as a treatment for gynecomastia)
  • Upper and lower back
  • Upper arms

Dr Thomas will assess your circumstances to determine whether liposuction is the best option for you. In some cases, he might recommend liposuction in conjunction with other surgical and non-surgical treatments to help you achieve the best possible results.

Options in Liposuction

Dr Thomas offers the following liposuction techniques, which allow him to tailor his procedures to each of his patients:

Tumescent Liposuction

This method of liposuction involved initial injections of a sterile saline solution mixed with a local anaesthetic directly into the deposit of fat. The liquid loosens the fat cells, making them easier to suction away using a narrow tube known as a cannula. It also minimises bleeding, bruising and discomfort for a more comfortable procedure. Dr Thomas gently moves the cannula back and forth to loosen the cells further and remove an even amount from the treatment area.

Power-Assisted Liposuction

Power-assisted liposuction uses a motorised cannula that emits gentle vibrations inside the fat deposit to loosen cells without traumatising skin and tissue nearby. The process is preferable for removing a more significant amount of fat, as the cells can be removed without disturbing surrounding areas. It is also a good choice for denser areas of fat, as the vibration tends to break up the tissue more readily for a better result overall.


This technique uses state-of-the-art technology to go beyond simply removing the unwanted fat cells. In addition, this procedure provides additional sculpting benefits, crafting a toned appearance rather than just slimming down the area. This technique might be preferred for the arms or chin, where the extra sculpting offers better results in these smaller areas. It is also a preferred choice for the midsection, with the ability to craft a “six-pack” unachievable with basic liposuction techniques.

Dr Thomas will evaluate your specific concerns to determine which liposuction technique will fit your needs best. In some cases, he might use a combination of methods to achieve the absolute best outcome for you. You will discuss the various options at your initial consultation, so you will know precisely what will occur when you come in for your procedure.

About the Procedure

Liposuction is frequently performed under general anaesthesia at a local hospital to ensure the patient’s comfort and safety during and after the surgery. However, local anaesthesia may also be an option in some cases where the treatment area is smaller or less fat is to be removed.  Incisions are made to allow for the insertion of the cannulas into the treatment area. Because these incisions are very small, they leave almost imperceptible scars after the procedure. Shorter incisions also mean less trauma to the body, a reduction in discomfort and a quicker recovery period overall.

The duration of a liposuction treatment will vary, depending on the area to be treated and the amount of fat to be removed. Most of these surgeries take one to three hours and in many cases, patients can head home the same day as their procedure.

See Before and Afters

What to Expect after Surgery

Compression garments are usually provided after liposuction to minimise bruising and swelling and encourage a healthy healing process. Depending on the treatment area, some patient can return to work and regular activities within a few days. Your recovery process will also be dependent on the amount of fat that was removed, and the type of anaesthesia used for your procedure.

Because fat deposits are eliminated from the body, liposuction offers long-lasting results. However, remaining fat cells may expand at a future date if a healthy weight is not maintained, necessitating additional procedures to maintain your positive results. Dr Thomas can provide you with recommendations on lifestyle habits that will help you keep your slimmer, smoother body contour over the long term.

Liposuction is one of the most requested plastic surgeries today, due to its excellent results that require minimal discomfort and downtime. This procedure is an effective method of sculpting nearly any area of the body, whether you are looking to put the final touch on your weight loss efforts or simply want to eliminate problem spots once and for all. To learn more about your various options in liposuction, contact Dr Thomas at the Melbourne Institute of Plastic Surgery on 03 9508 9508.