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Dr Sharp is a specialist plastic surgeon in Brisbane that uses Vaser liposuction to reduce small pockets of fat on the neck, torso, arms and upper legs. Scroll down for benefits, risks and recovery information, as well as before and after photos. 

Liposuction is the surgical removal of fat deposits from specific areas of the body, most commonly on the stomach, flanks, chin, upper arms, knees, hips and thighs. Dr Sharp is currently the only qualified plastic surgeon in Brisbane with a Vaser liposuction machine exclusively for his patients’ use at South Brisbane Day Hospital.

Liposuction is not a substitute for weight loss; it is however, an effective method of removing local deposits of fatty tissue that do not respond to diet or exercise. Liposuction may be performed as a primary procedure or combined with other procedures such as facelift, abdominoplasty, breast augmentation or brachioplasty (arm lift). 

Vaser liposuction in Brisbane – exclusive to Dr Sharp’s patients at South Brisbane Day Hospital

Dr Sharp is the only specialist plastic surgeon with his own dedicated Vaser liposuction machine at South Brisbane Day Hospital. He also uses Vaser liposuction when he operates at Greenslopes Private Hospital. VASER stands for Vibration Amplification of Sound Energy at Resonance. It is an ultrasonic machine that uses powerful ultrasound waves to disrupt the bonds between fat cells.

Am I a good candidate for liposuction?

The best candidates for liposuction are patients who have achieved a healthy, normal weight – but still have small deposits of fat in specific body areas that they wish to reduce. Individuals with poor skin tone, medical problems, obesity or unrealistic expectations may not be candidates for liposuction. Having healthy skin will result in a better final result after liposuction. Skin that is loose, thin or has diminished tone due to stretch marks, weight loss, or natural ageing will not reshape itself to the new contours and may require surgical excision to remove and tighten.

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How is Vaser liposuction different?

Vaser allows your surgeon to remove fat while causing less trauma to surrounding tissues than traditional forms of liposuction. In the right candidates, the heat generated by the ultrasonic technology can also cause some residual skin tightening. It may also result in greater definition and revelation of anatomical landmarks, such as underlying muscle or bone structure.

Studies have indicated that the Vaser-assisted liposuction method demonstrates improved skin retraction and reduction in blood loss compared with suction-assisted liposuction. 

To learn more about Vaser technology, book a consultation with Dr Sharp for Vaser liposuction in Brisbane or send us a message via our chat window.

What does liposuction surgery involve?

A small incision (3-5mm wide) is made, and a blunt cannula is inserted. The area is infiltrated with fluid that contains local anaesthetic, adrenaline, and saline. Modern liposuction technology usually involves either ultrasound or ‘power assisted’ removal of the fat, so the surrounding tissues aren’t traumatised as much as they were by liposuction technology in the past. This reduced damage may be beneficial in reducing the occurrence of fat necrosis and other complications, although these risks do still exist with all types of liposuction. Vaser technology enable the surgeon to be particularly precise and less destructive to adjacent tissues when removing targeted fat, preventing damage to surrounding structures.

A small stitch is placed in the cannula entry point at conclusion of surgery and drains are left in place to remove excess fluid. Scroll down to read more about the benefits, risks and recovery involved. 

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When viewing before and after images, please note they are only indicative of the individual patient’s result and outcomes vary depending on a number of factors including genetics, nutrition, natural body habitus and adherence to post operative instructions. To view scarring, please click here.

Scroll down to read more about liposuction surgery with Dr Sharp, after the image gallery.

before and three months after liposuction surgery to the lower back with Dr Sharp

before and three months after submental (under chin) liposuction surgery with Dr Sharp

before and three months after lower back liposuction surgery with Dr Sharp

before and six months after submental (under chin) liposuction surgery with Dr Sharp

before and six months after abdominal liposuction surgery with Dr Sharp

before and three months after submental (under chin) liposuction surgery with Dr Sharp

before and three months after liposuction surgery to upper mid back with Dr Sharp

before and after upper thigh liposuction surgery with Dr Sharp

Liposuction results: what to expect

Everyone’s body responds differently to liposuction, and while most patients achieve a pleasing reduction in pockets of fat from their first treatment, sometimes subsequent treatments are required, especially for patients with significant fat deposits.

It’s important to consider this when factoring in further treatment to smooth and refine your results; and the emotional and financial costs of subsequent surgery.

What areas of the body can be treated with liposuction?

  • ESubmental (under chin) fat and neck
  • EUpper back
  • EFlanks
  • ELower back
  • EUpper and lower abdomen
  • EThighs
  • EButtocks - please note, we do not offer high volume fat grafting to buttocks, also known as 'Brazilian butt lift'
  • EKnees and ankles
  • EUpper arms
  • EBuffalo hump (upper back fatty deposit) - in some cases this is considered medically required and rebates may apply

Liposuction and fat grafting

Patients also often ask if the liposuctioned fat can be injected into other parts of the body such as breasts – also known as autologous fat transfer or ‘fat grafting’. While it is possible to graft fat to other areas of the body, Dr Sharp only performs small volume transfer. This is because it can be difficult to safely harvest large amounts of fat and build significantly bigger breasts or buttocks. Large volume fat grafting carries higher safety risks and a greater chance of patient postoperative dissatisfaction.

This is because not all transferred fat survives the process.

When Dr Sharp performs fat grafting to parts of the face or body, he uses a fat harvesting apparatus to strategically extract small quantities of good quality fat, with minimal disruption to the actual fat cells. The fat is passed through a process that creates tiny ‘micro’ fat that can be injected into the face. Liposuction focuses on the volume of fat removed, whereas fat grafting is all about quality of fat being transferred.

Fat grafting can be used to revolumise the face, improve contour irregularities following trauma or reconstructive surgery – as well as breast asymmetry, or alongside breast implants.

Dr Sharp performs fat grafting at the same time as Vaser liposuction in Brisbane.

Cost of Vaser liposuction in Brisbane

The cost of Vaser liposuction is impacted by a number of factors:

  • surgeon’s fee
  • surgical assistant’s fee
  • hospital facility: theatre fee and inpatient stay, if applicable (usually performed as a day procedure)
  • anaesthetic fee – this is based on time in theatre
  • compression garment/s required

A consultation is required to provide an accurate and tailored quote, based on the number of areas to be treated and surgical time required.

Are liposuction results permanent?

We all have a fixed number of fat cells in our body; when we gain weight, we don’t grow more fat cells, just the pre-existing fat cells become enlarged. So, when liposuction removes fat cells, they’re gone forever. Liposuction doesn’t however stop the remaining fat cells from getting bigger if you put on weight, so in that way, liposuction results are only permanent if your weight remains stable. Liposuction will not improve the quality or elasticity of the skin, and recurrence of skin looseness will occur at some time in the future.

Liposuction in combination with abdominoplasty, breast augmentation or reduction and facelift surgery

Liposuction is often paired with abdominoplasty, breast augmentation / reduction or facelift surgery to refine results. Vaser liposuction in Brisbane can also be combined with abdominoplasty, breast augmentation or facelift surgery.

Generally, liposuction can be performed in combination with most other procedures, so sometimes a patient having another procedure will also take the opportunity to have a small pocket of persistent fat liposuctioned while they are under general anaesthetic as well, to reduce the number of general anaesthetics and time off work required for two separate operations. Talk to your surgeon about whether combination liposuction is appropriate for you.

Recovery from Vaser liposuction

You will need to wear a compression garment for at least six weeks after surgery. You may choose to take one to two weeks off work or your usual daily activities while bruising and superficial swelling subsides, as only light duties can be performed during the first six weeks after Vaser liposuction.

Lymphatic drainage massage is highly recommended from the first week post op, to aid swelling reduction and overall healing. After six weeks, normal activities can gradually be resumed in small increments, such as exercise or gym workouts. Strictly adhering to postoperative instructions will ensure optimal recovery and results. Deeper swelling can take up to six months to fully subside.

Cannula entry points leave small scars that usually respond well to diligent at-home scar care, including daily massage. In some cases, persistent pain and swelling can slow the recovery process down and it is important to consider how you may feel if this occurs. You can discuss any further concerns relating to your individual circumstances or needs during your consultation for Vaser liposuction in Brisbane with Dr Sharp.

Risks of liposuction surgery

When performed by a specialist plastic surgeon in an accredited facility with anaesthetist present, liposuction surgery carries low morbidity and mortality rates in Australia. But as with all surgery, it still carries very real risks – which must be weighed up against potential benefits when holistically considering this procedure. There are certain things that you and your surgeon can do to help reduce these risks, and Dr Sharp follows best practice when it comes to all aspects of patient care. Sometimes, unavoidable complications still occur despite patient and surgeon’s best efforts.

It isn’t just important to consider the financial and recovery cost of potential complications; it’s also worthwhile to consider the impact on your emotional wellbeing and body image should these occur. Potential risks include, but are not limited to:

  • EDelayed healing
  • EBleeding and swelling (seroma and haematoma)
  • EInfection and fat death (necrosis)
  • EUnfavourable or prominent scarring
  • EFirmness and changes in skin sensation - temporary or permanent
  • ESkin contour irregularities
  • ESkin discoloration
  • EPersistent swelling
  • ESkin sensitivity or damage
  • EDamage to deeper structures
  • EAcute medical event such as stoke, heart attack, pneumonia
  • EThe need for revision or further surgery
  • EPain that does not respond to pain relief
  • EDeep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolisms (PE)
  • EAllergic reaction to medication, sutures, tape
  • EWound dehiscence (incision separation)
  • EPsychological impact of surgery, recovery or altered appearance
  • EAnaesthetic risks, which are explained by your anaesthetist
  • EDeath