Although no type of liposuction is a substitute for dieting and exercise, liposuction can remove stubborn areas of fat that don't respond to traditional weight-loss methods.
‘After having my operation I’m very pleased with the results that Dr Stone produced for me. I’m also thankful to Exeter Medical and Nuffield Health who have helped and cared for me through the process. I would highly recommend both companies and my surgeon to anybody in the future.’
‘When I first approached Mr Stone to consider my operation he was very helpful and put me at ease. My operation went smoothly and my recovery was very good. I am extremely pleased with the outcome and have never looked back or regretted having it done for one minute. I would advise anyone to do their research when looking for a surgeon. I did and I would not hesitate to recommend Mr Stone.’
‘I received an excellent and professional service from Mr Stone with no complications. I am extremely happy with the results and would not hesitate to use this service again in the future.’
‘I am delighted with the result and was treated with the best of care and attention throughout the procedure.’
‘Thank you so very much for the amazing cosmetic surgery you completed for me. I am so incredibly pleased with the results. The confidence, happiness and love for my new body is priceless to me and you helped me achieve this. From the day of my first consultation appointment and throughout the healing process Exeter Medical have been fantastic.’
Liposuction is a very commonly-performed cosmetic surgery procedure in the UK and is intended to address discrete areas of fat deposition as may occur, for example, on the hips or tummy. Before your consultation it would be helpful to consider what areas of your body you feel are disproportionate due to an excess of subcutaneous fat so that these can be specifically targeted for treatment. It is important to realise that liposuction is not a treatment for generalised obesity for which general advice regarding diet and exercise might apply. Liposuction may be undertaken as an adjunct to other procedures, typically abdominoplasty. Indeed some patients who are unhappy with the appearance of their tummy, and who feel that liposuction may be an effective treatment, may also need to consider an abdominoplasty.
Mr Stone sees his private cosmetic patients at ‘Exeter Medical’, a private clinic close on Exeter Business Park. He generally reserves around 45 minutes for each new patient.
When you see Mr Stone he will go through your medical and surgical history to assess your overall fitness for surgery. In the vast majority of cases there will be no concerns about undergoing the operation although some patients may need a pre-operative assessment at the prior to admission. He will spend some time listening to the concerns that you have and will need to examine the areas of your body that you have identified as concerning you. During the examination there will, of course, be a female chaperone in attendance.
Mr Stone will then discuss how liposuction, or indeed other treatments, might be used to help you. He will explain to you how the operation of liposuction is performed, the risks that are associated with it and the recovery period afterwards.
Some patients may wish to see pictures of other patients who have undergone similar surgery to you, so there will be a selection of clinical photographs for you to see. These will help you get an idea of what can be achieved but may not be directly relevant to you nor will they necessarily predict your own individual result.
Mr Stone will not normally need to see you between your initial consultation and your admission date unless you have any specific concerns in which case he would, of course, be more than happy to do so.
Mr Stone charges £100 for a new patient consultation. There is no fee for any related follow-up consultations.
Mr Stone will write to your GP informing them about your proposed operation and he will send you a copy of that letter.
Liposuction is a relatively straight forward procedure. It is usually performed under general anaesthesia and most patients are suitable for discharge home either the same day or the day after treatment.
Several small incisions are placed around the area to be treated to allow access for the liposuction canula. These incisions are placed carefully so as to hide them in as favourable a cosmetic location as possible. Mr Stone uses a tumescent technique for liposuction. This means that a solution of saline, local anaesthetic and adrenaline is injected in to the fat tissue before it is removed to make the aspiration of fat cells more effective. This technique also minimises bleeding and bruising as well as post-operative discomfort.
The liposuction canula is then introduced through one of the incisions and suction is applied. The canula is criss-crossed through the area to be treated from several different angles using each of the planned incisions, thereby helping to produce a smooth, even result.
Mr Stone will measure the volume of fat that is removed, matching similar areas on either side of the body as closely as possible to maintain symmetry. However, perfect symmetry may not always be achieved. At the end of the operation a dissolvable stitch is used to close each of the small incisions and a pre-ordered pressure garment is then fitted.
The operation can be undertaken at the Nuffield Health Exeter Hospital, the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital or Mount Stuart Hospital in Torquay. Payment will be requested in advance of your operation. The cost of cosmetic surgery will reflect hospital, surgical and anaesthetic fees, and follow-up with Mr Stone. Costs sometimes vary depending upon the specific nature of the proposed procedure. You will be advised of the cost of your operation at the time of your consultation.
There are risks associated with any operation. Mr Stone will take some time to outline the risks and complications that can be associated with liposuction. In brief, these include risks that are associated with any surgical procedure including scarring (which can occasionally become lumpy), infection, bleeding, and thrombo-embolic complications (clots in the legs or lungs).
While scars are inevitable, liposuction scars are small and generally well hidden. The other complications are rare, but there are some factors which might increase your risk of thrombo-embolic complications such as smoking, obesity, a previous history of deep vein thrombosis and taking the oral contraceptive pill. Every precaution is taken to avoid clotting problems in all patients. Those patients who are taking the oral contraceptive pill are asked to discontinue for six weeks prior to surgery. Infection complicating a liposuction procedure does have the potential to be relatively serious because of the wide areas treated but, once again, this is very uncommon.
There are also some potential complications related specifically to liposuction. Contour irregularities may sometimes be encountered following liposuction, with residual areas of lumpiness or the perception that either too much or not enough fat has been removed from a particular area. This may occasionally necessitate further surgery, potentially at extra cost, although often these irregularities settle down in time of their own accord. From a cosmetic point of view, liposuction can also generate some skin redundancy in treated areas. While this would be likely to resolve in younger patients, older patients, smokers and those patients who have lost a significant amount of weight may find that this redundancy persists. Consequently a secondary skin tightening procedure may sometimes be required.
Most patients have an element of swelling for at least a fortnight after liposuction and some report numbness which would normally settle. There is, however, a risk to skin and other nerves during liposuction, depending partially upon the area treated, but this is rare. One other risk of abdominal liposuction, albeit extremely rare, is abdominal wall perforation and injury to the underlying abdominal contents. This has been reported very infrequently across the world but because it would be a serious complication it is worthy of mention.
This list is not exhaustive and there may be some risks that are relevant to you as an individual that have not been specified here.
You will be asked to come in a couple of hours before your scheduled theatre time. One of the nurses will perform some routine pre-operative checks and you will be seen by a consultant anaesthetist. Mr Stone will then see you to sign a consent form and take some pre-operative photographs (see below). Mr Stone will draw contour lines around the area(s) to be treated to guide the liposuction in theatre.
When you wake up you will have already been fitted with a pressure garment. The aim of this is to compress the area(s) treated by liposuction both to control swelling and encourage the soft tissues to heal together. You are also likely to be wearing support stockings and calf pumps which gently massage your lower legs to maintain the venous circulation, and thereby reduce your risk of a DVT. A drip will be placed in the back of your hand and the nurses and anaesthetist will ensure that you have all the painkillers that you might need. There is usually some leakage of tumescent solution (most of which is removed with the liposuction) from the dressings beneath the pressure garment after surgery, but you should not be at all worried by this as it is self-limiting and is otherwise harmless.
Patients are encouraged to mobilise as soon as possible after liposuction. After you have been discharged from hospital you should require simple pain killers (such as paracetamol and ibuprofen) only and you will be advised to keep the pressure garment on for the next two weeks day and night, removing it only briefly for bathroom visits. Mr Stone or his nurse will see you for review after two weeks at which point the pressure garment will be removed and the scars inspected. You can then start moisturising the scars, either with a standard moisturising cream, such as Nivea, or with a silicone-based cream such as Dermatix which has been shown clinically to improve some scars. Alternatively, some patients elect to use Bio-oil to soften their scars which generally heal very cosmetically anyway. Pressure garment support should be maintained for a total of six weeks post-operatively; a second garment will help with rotation and washing of the garments.
Most patients find that they are confident to drive after a couple of weeks at which point, depending upon their occupation, they can consider a return to work.
Mr Stone will see you again for a final check up after 6-8 weeks. Thereafter he will not normally need to see you again but is always available should you have a problem.
Adverse outcomes are very unusual following liposuction. Certainly, if there is an immediate post-operative complication, or one arising within one month, necessitating a return to the operating theatre (such as bleeding or infection), there are no cost implications for you. Even after one month both Mr Stone and the provider hospitals understand that their overriding priority is to try to achieve for you what you had hoped, and so any further surgery that may be required will be considered on an individual basis in terms of on-going costs. You should anticipate, however, that there will be a cost for surgery related to problems that occur in the longer term such as cosmetic adjustments etc.
It is important that you have a full understanding of the nature of the proposed treatment, its purpose, the risks that any reasonable patient would consider to be significant and the alternative treatment options before agreeing to undergo surgery. If there is anything that you have not understood from this information leaflet you should ensure that you have clarified it with Mr Stone, either verbally or in writing, before your operation.
When advising patients upon cosmetic surgery, the surgeon must consider the distress caused by the presenting deformity, or perceived deformity, and advise the patient upon the alternative and preferred options for managing that deformity and any symptoms arising from it, including psychological symptoms. Consequently, as part of his duty of care to prospective patients, and in accordance with the GMC's document Good Medical Practice, it is important for Mr Stone to consider the psychological welfare of patients seeking cosmetic surgery. If you have any history of psychological or psychiatric illness you should disclose this to Mr Stone. If you have no such previous history but either you or Mr Stone feel that a referral to a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist would be in your best interests before going ahead with surgery then Mr Stone can arrange this for you. Mr Stone will also, as a matter of routine, confirm with your GP that there are no concerns arising from your medical history that would prevent you from undergoing your planned procedure.
Mr Stone will take some clinical photographs before and after your operation. These photographs constitute an important part of your clinical records and you will be offered copies of the images obtained on each occasion. The photographs will be stored on an encrypted dedicated hard drive in Mr Stone's home office. Good Medical Practice requires that your consent is sought to obtain, store and use these images.