Liposuction is one of the five most common types of plastic surgery in the UK. It’s a cosmetic surgery to remove unwanted fat. Despite the innovation and growing trends in plastic surgery, liposuction is still one of the top surgeries performed. The safe, effective, and popular procedure can help contour, define shape, and balance proportions. It can be a powerful tool for removing unwanted and stubborn 

For many men and women, losing weight and toning up requires a lot of dedication following a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Sometimes, this process can leave you with stubborn fat that you just can’t shift, no matter what you do. If you’re considering liposuction, knowing what to expect before, during and after the surgery can make the process much easier. 

What is Liposuction?

Liposuction is a surgical procedure to remove fat from the body using suction. It’s is a highly efficient solution to leave you with more defined and balanced proportions. Surgery time really depends on the amount of fat being removed from the body. This is something you will discuss with your doctor beforehand. 

Liposuction: Quick Overview

How Does Liposuction Work?

When certain areas of your body don’t respond to exercise or a healthy diet, liposuction may help shift that extra bit of fat. Your doctor will make tiny incisions using small tubes, the will gently suction out fat tissue. 

During the procedure, your surgeon starts by making small incisions where the fat will be removed. Next, your doctor uses thin, hollow tubes to loosen up fat tissue and make the body area being treated into a nicer shape. Then, a special attachment is added to the tubes to suction out fat from the body. Your surgeon will then sew up the cuts in the skin using stitches, and bandages will be applied. 

What Happens During Your Liposuction Consultation?

During your liposuction consultation, you will meet your surgeon. You will talk about the procedure, why you want it, and ask questions. Your surgeon will carry out a medical assessment and discuss your medical history. They will take photographs, examine you, and measure your body and height to make sure it’s safe to go ahead with the procedure. 

What are the Benefits of Liposuction?

Liposuction can treat areas of fat that have stopped responding to exercise and diet. One of the biggest reasons to get liposuction is to tackle areas of fat you struggle to shift to boost your self-confidence. Other benefits of liposuction include:

  • Improve your health 
  • Contour body shape 
  • Results are permanent 
  • Remove pockets of fat 
Tummy tuck, liposuction, and breast augmentation at The Harley Clinic

Who is the Ideal Candidate for Liposuction?

By no means is liposuction a weight loss procedure. It won’t make you immune to weight loss. The best candidates for liposuction are at a healthy weight and about 30 pounds away from their ideal weight. They have areas of fat that are just not responding to exercise and diet. Fortunately, there are several parts of the body you can use liposuction effectively to create a smoother and leaner body.  

Who Should Avoid Liposuction?

If you’re still losing weight or not within 30% of your ideal weight, you will need to lose more weight before getting liposuction. Anyone with serious health problems should avoid liposuction, such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Weakened immune system 
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Blood flow problems 

How Can You Help the Procedure Be a Success?

To get the best results, you should be as physically healthy as possible. That means maintaining a steady, healthy weight, following a nutritious diet, and exercising regularly. You should be a non-smoker or stop smoking several weeks before the procedure and avoid certain medications.  

Abdominal liposuction with 6-pack etching before and after photos at The Harley Clinic, London

Is Liposuction Permanent?

Yes, liposuction is permanent, but you can gain weight after. You are less likely to gain weight in the liposuction area. To maintain the result, you need to commit to a healthy lifestyle and stable weight. 

What Areas Can You Treat with Liposuction?

When it comes to liposuction, many areas of the body respond well. Everybody is unique, and trouble areas differ massively from one person to another. Liposuction can effectively treat several parts of the body. Here are 7 of the most common areas for liposuction. 

1. Love Handles 

Love handles refer to the waist and flanks. This a very common area for liposuction as it can help to create the contours that can be difficult to achieve through diet alone. 

2. Abdomen Liposuction

For anyone losing weight, you probably know how troublesome the abdominal area can be. This is why it’s one of the most popular areas for liposuction. Following weight loss, many men and women struggle to lose excess fat around the stomach. 

Before and after liposuction and scar revision, the Harley Clinic
360 abdominal liposuction at The Harley Clinic, London
Abdomen and arm liposuction before and after at The Harley Clinic

3. Thigh Liposuction and Lower Legs

Even with plenty of diet and exercise, many people find that fat tends to settle in the thigh region. You can perform liposuction on the inner and outer thighs as well as the lower legs. 

thigh liposuction at The Harley Clinic London
abdominal and thigh liposuction before and after
thigh liposuction 5 months post op at The Harley Clinic London

4. Chin and Neck Liposuction


As you age, fat can start to accumulate underneath the chin despite no changes in weight. Because liposuction can target small areas, it’s a good solution for excess fat underneath the chin and around the neck that can help take years off. 


Chin, jawline, and neck liposuction before and after, the Harley Clinic London
submental and jawline liposuction at The Harley Clinic, London

5. Arm Liposuction


Another common problem area is fat deposits in the upper arms. When weight lifting and diet isn’t working, many people turn to liposuction for additional help. Liposuction is a good option for targeting unwanted fat in the upper arms. 


6. Male Breast Reduction 


Gynaecomastia is a type of hormonal imbalance that causes breast tissue to develop in men. Although it’s not a medically serious condition, it can be embarrassing and really impact your self-esteem. Liposuction can target this area and remove fat. 

Male chest reduction is a surgical procedure to treat gynaecomastia. Although gynaecomastia can go away on its own, it doesn’t respond to exercise and diet the same way fat does. 

During male breast reduction surgery, your surgeon will remove excess breast glandular and fatty tissue from the breasts. This will result in a more masculine and defined chest. Male chest reduction surgery can treat gynaecomastia and restore a more masculine and defined chest. In general, the procedure takes between 1-2 hours to complete. During the surgery, your plastic surgeon uses small incisions under the arms to remove the excess tissue. Your nipple may be repositioned if necessary. 

7. Buttocks Liposuction 

While some fat in the bum is desirable, excess fat can result in dimples and sagging. Liposuction in the buttocks can make you look more in proportion. If you’re looking for another solution for your bum, some patients prefer the Brazilian butt lift for a full and shapely rear. 

8. Breast Liposuction (Breast Reduction) 

You can achieve a significant breast reduction and breast lift through liposuction. It can reduce the weight of breasts and produce a lift by removing excess weight. 

Typically, you will go home the same day as your surgery. We always advise that you ask a friend or family member to drive you home. After your surgery, you will wake up wearing a compression garment. This is to help control the swelling and bleeding. 

It’s a good idea to pencil in around one week of downtime after your surgery. It’s important to stay hydrated after your surgery and take the time to rest and recover. For the first days, you will be wearing your compression garment. After about a week, you can gradually increase your activity. If your surgery is in the lower body, it will still be uncomfortable to move. 

After 7-10 days, your stitches will either dissolve or will be removed. In 2 weeks, you should be able to go back to work if you have your surgeon’s approval. At 3 weeks, you may still need to continue wearing your compression garment. But you can start to return to normal activities.  

After about 4-6 weeks, you can return to normal exercise. At the 6-week mark, the majority of the swelling and bruising should have subsided. Your surgeon will talk you through everything you need to do to prepare for your surgery and create your individual recovery plan. If your weight has remained stable, you should be able to see the final result between 1-6 months, depending on your procedure. 

When Will You See Results from Liposuction?

Although you will start to see results immediately, you will experience swelling after the surgery. You can expect to see the final results between 1 to 3 months. As the incisions are small, you will have small scars that will naturally fade over time. You are unique, which means recovery schedules can differ. Recovery is an individual process. 

To get the best results, your doctor will create an individual treatment and recovery plan. It’s essential that you follow your surgeon’s recovery schedule so that you give your body the best opportunity to heal. 

How Much Weight Can You Lose With Liposuction?

You shouldn’t expect to lose a dramatic amount of weight. Liposuction is not weight-loss surgery but can improve the contours of the body. Usually, the amount of fat suctioned out is equivalent to up to 10 pounds. Liposuction can make significant improvements to the way you look and feel. It can increase the risk of complications if you remove too much fat in one surgery.  

Full drainless tummy tuck recovery and liposuction at The Harley Clinic

What is the Difference Between Liposuction and a Tummy Tuck?

Liposuction and tummy tuck surgeries often appeal to people with similar aesthetic goals, but they are very different. When a person is looking for a smoother, flatter stomach, the two primary cosmetic surgeries that can help you achieve this is liposuction or a tummy tuck. 

A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is often used to remove excess skin from the stomach. This could be after pregnancy or weight loss, where no amount of exercise or healthy eating can fix the problem. During a tummy tuck, your surgeon removes sagging skin and excess fat and tightens the abdominal walls. 

Liposuction also aims to flatten and improve the appearance of the stomach. During liposuction, your surgeon will remove excess fat from the abdomen. However, it does not remove excess skin, any stretch marks, or tighten the abdominal wall. 

Before and after liposuction and mini tummy tuck at The Harley Clinic, London

Can You Get Liposuction Done at the Same Time as Your Tummy Tuck?

Tummy tuck with liposuction and breast augmentation fat transfer at The Harley Clinic, London

It’s common to perform different plastic surgeries at the same time. Often, when a patient is already in the surgery room, they want to take care of multiple areas simultaneously. 

You might be thinking if you can get liposuction and a tummy tuck at the same time together? The short answer is yes; they are frequently done together. It is entirely possible to have abdominal liposuction and a tummy tuck, but don’t expect aggressive liposuction. Liposuction to non-abdominal areas and a tummy tuck often takes place at the same time with excellent results. 

The right procedure or combination of procedures is based entirely on your body and the results you’re looking to achieve. Although both a tummy tuck and liposuction can produce similar results, they are very different, so it’s important that you make the right decision. 

Before and After Liposuction

Surgery After Weight Loss: Before and after liposuction, dieting, drainless tummy tuck, breast augmentation, and lift at The Harley Clinic, London
Tummy tuck for men: Male extended tummy tuck and liposuction at the Harley Clinic
Liposuction abdomen and thighs before and after at the Harley Clinic
Body contouring surgeries - Liposuction to back and thighs

The Harley Clinic - Liposuction Patient Reviews

What are the Risks and Side Effects of Liposuction?

There are potential risks and side effects with all types of plastic surgery including:

  • Infection 
  • Bleeding 
  • Hematoma
  • Anaesthesia risks 
  • Skin and or fat/necrosis 
  • Fluid accumulation 
  • Pain 
  • Swelling 
  • Poor wound healing
  • Poor scarring 
  • Nerve injury 
  • Contour irregularity
  • Seroma
  • Over/under correction
  • Asymmetry
  • Damage to other structures
  • DVT
  • PE
  • Chest infection
Risks and side effects of liposuction include: 
  • Change of colour of skin – wearing a compression garment for several weeks may change the colour of the skin of the treated area. 
  • Damage to deeper structures – this is rare, but there is a risk of damage to the nerves, bowel, blood vessels, and muscle. 
  • Unsatisfactory outcome – sometimes, patients do not like the final result if the outcome doesn’t meet their expectation. Liposuction is not a treatment for weight loss. 
  • Changes over time – the appearance of the treated area can change over time because of pregnancy, weight gain, and ageing.  


With any plastic surgery, one of the best things you can do is find a certified and experienced plastic surgeon who you trust. Your surgeon will take you through the whole journey and talk about all the options you have available. Liposuction is a flexible and versatile plastic surgery that is effective in several different areas on the body. 

If you find that your body doesn’t respond to exercise and diet, liposuction could help you remove that stubborn fat you’re struggling to budge. 

To book a consultation today, please call 0203 582 4947 or email [email protected].