1 Orchard Boulevard #10-08 Camden Medical Centre, Singapore 248649 | 3 Mount Elizabeth, #08-05 Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre, Singapore 228510
6 Napier Rd, #08-01 Gleneagles Medical Center, Singapore 258499 | Tel: +65 6737 4565 | Mobile: +65 8828 4565 | Email: clinic@polarisplasticsurgery.com


What is Liposuction?

Liposuction is the removal of undesirable fat through using suction cannulae. It is performed using small skin incisions, resulting in minimal scarring. Liposuction can be performed in almost any region of the body and can help to shape, sculpt, and remove excess fat refractory to exercise, especially when there is not too much excess or lax skin.

Who needs liposuction?

Contrary to common misconception, liposuction is not for people who are “obese”, nor is it a treatment for weight loss. Although it does permanently remove fat cells in isolated areas, it is still a cosmetic procedure that mainly aims to improve one’s physical appearance. Some patients choose liposuction when even lifestyle changes such as exercise and diet are unable to effectively reduce stubborn areas of fat. In some other cases, liposuction can also be used to treat certain conditions such as lymphedema, gynecomastia, and lipomas (aka benign, fatty tumors).

To gain the greatest benefit from liposuction, you should be on a sensible diet and preferably an exercise program and have shown either loss or maintenance of your weight over a period of months.

How is the procedure performed?

Liposuction can be performed under local anaesthesia alone, sedation, or general anaesthesia. This depends on the estimated amount of fat to be removed. Before the procedure, your surgeon will take note of your desires and goals for the areas you would like to target and mark these and the surrounding areas to replicate the ideal peaks and troughs of the body. Liposuction is then performed using extremely small, well-hidden incisions. Depending on the amount of fat to be removed, manual, power-assisted, or ultrasound-assisted liposuction techniques are used. Liposuction techniques require factors like the estimated fat volume to be suctioned and blood loss to be taken into consideration, and wetting solution and replacement fluids will be given accordingly.

At Polaris Plastic Surgery, our doctors utilizes techniques in VASER (ultrasound- assisted) liposuction to perform high-definition liposuction. This liposuction technology uses ultrasound energy to first ‘melt’ fat in the different planes, followed by the use of manual or power-assisted (PowerXTM) liposuction to remove the residue. The addition of ultrasound energy allows to better address stubborn fat, as well as stimulating post-liposuction skin retraction. The advantage VASER liposuction has over traditional liposuction techniques is that VASER liposuction allows for fine contouring of almost any part of the face and body whilst minimizing complications.

What can you expect after the procedure?

Small volume liposuction (<2L removed) can be done as day surgery, while larger volume cases may require one night stay. After the procedure, you will be provided with compression garments to wear. This is to aid with the reduction of swelling as well as skin retraction, and should ideally be worn for at least 6 weeks. There is usually some pain and bruising at the sites of liposuction after the anaesthesia wears off, but these are manageable with medication. The downtime for most liposuction procedures is about a week.

How much weight can you lose and are the effects permanent?

Though it may have weight loss benefits, liposuction as a procedure should not be seen as the first choice when it comes to purely losing weight. In fact, most patients lose only about two to five pounds in total, and the most ideal candidates for liposuction are within 30% of their ideal weight. As far as weight is concerned, liposuction does not guarantee permanent weight loss over time, even though the removal of fat cells is permanent. However, the removal of the fat cells in specific areas is permanent and brings about long-lasting shape change given that there is proper diet and exercise.

Is liposuction safe in Singapore?

Liposuction in Singapore is generally safe thanks to the stringent regulations imposed by the Ministry of Health (MOH). Only certified doctors with the right accreditations are allowed to perform this procedure. Furthermore, the amount of fat removed and the choice of facility are also regulated to ensure the patients’ safety. At Polaris, we uphold professional and ethical standards to the highest degree so that our patients not only achieve their desired aesthetic outcomes, but also do so safely and healthily, with minimal risk.


What are the potential complications of liposuction?

Complications of liposuction, though uncommon, may include infection, contour irregularities, asymmetry, dehydration, complications from anaesthesia, and damage to deeper structures. Contour irregularities and asymmetry can be addressed through repeat procedures or fat grafting. Dehydration and complications from anaesthesia are minimized in a well-trained plastic surgeon and anaesthetist’s hands. Damage to deeper structures is extremely rare but has occurred locally as well as internationally. In most instances, this is detectable and treatable. However, in isolated cases, they could be life-threatening.

Do not hesitate to voice any concerns you may have about liposuction to the plastic surgeon at your consultation.

How much does liposuction cost?

The cost of getting liposuction in Singapore can range from $3,000 to over $10k, depending on the number of areas, as well as other cost-incurring components such as the surgeon’s fees, the anaesthetist fees, facilities charges, medication, and aftercare/ follow-ups. Feel free to consult our doctors about the recommended treatment and the corresponding charges.

Before and After Liposuction

The best results from liposuction are achieved in individuals who are not in the process of putting on weight. This should include a healthy lifestyle including exercise and a mindful diet. If this can be maintained for at least 2-3 months, it would imply that this is sustainable and that the results from the liposuction procedure can be optimized.

Before surgery, your general health should be good, without any debilitating medical issues. Any medication or supplements that can lead to increased bleeding or bruising should be stopped. Smoking cessation must be done for at least 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after the procedure to reduce wound healing complications.

Most liposuction procedures at Polaris Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery are done as day surgery, meaning you can go home and recover that very same day. Oftentimes, sedation or general anaesthesia with a fully qualified anaesthesia specialist is required to minimize pain and ensure your comfort. This would mean having to fast for at least 8 hours prior to the liposuction procedure. The length of time of the procedure is dependent on the number of areas and amount of liposuction required. In Singapore, up to 2 litres of fat can be removed in a day surgery setting. Any amount more than this will require an overnight stay in the hospital to reduce the risk of any complications. During liposuction, your safety and well-being are paramount.

After the surgery, you will be placed in pressure garments that help with the reduction of swelling and skin retraction. These are usually worn for a few weeks and are paired with lymphatic massage sessions to optimize recovery. You will usually be reviewed at 2 days, 2 weeks and 2-3 months after the procedure. Some bruising is to be expected and usually resolves in 1-2 weeks. Maximal swelling is in the first-week post-surgery, and will gradually decrease over the following weeks and months. Light exercise can start 2 weeks after surgery, building to full exercise at 1 month. You should see the final result of your liposuction at 3-6 months after the procedure.

Liposuction Scars

Liposuction is performed through small (<5mm), inconspicuous incisions which are hidden in natural folds of the body or in areas which are covered by undergarments. During the procedure, these incisions are protected to prevent trauma at the edges of the liposuction cannula and are sutured carefully to optimize healing and minimize scarring. Early on in the healing process, scars may appear red in colour. At this stage, scar therapy, such as silicone gel, will be given to help. Most scars heal to an almost imperceptible line with very little difference from normal skin colour by 2-3 months. If scars are raised or bumpy, steroid therapy can be applied. In cases of scar discolouration, laser treatments can be performed to reduce pigmentation and/or smoothen out the scars.

Are there any alternatives to liposuction?

Fat freezing (cryolipolysis) uses externally placed cooling systems to freeze fat cells, causing fat cell death and the natural removal of the waste products by the body. This may be suitable those with relatively thin layers of fat to remove. However, in cases involving larger volumes of fat, fat freezing is not as effective as liposuction and may require multiple sessions. Also, if done poorly, fat freezing can lead to contour irregularities and pain.

Other alternatives include surgical excisional techniques such as abdominoplasty, brachioplasty, thighplasty, and mastopexy.

Why choose Polaris?

Polaris chooses modern and advanced technologies when performing aesthetic procedures. Our surgeon is skilled in VASER liposuction, which is not only less invasive than traditional liposuction methods, but also promotes skin tightening and helps achieve smoother body contouring results. Aside from consistently integrating modern techniques, we also provide professional consultation and deliver tailor-made solutions that prioritise our patients’ needs and goals. We understand that corrective procedures such as liposuction can hold different meanings to everyone and each individual has gone through a unique journey to arrive at this decision. Thus, while ensuring robotic precision, we strive to take a compassionate, patient-centred approach to help our patients restore their confidence in a safe and non-judgmental environment. Having doubts about what kind of procedure to pursue? Consult us today.

1. Hoyos A, Perez ME, Guarin DE, Montenegro A. A Report of 736 High-Definition Lipoabdominoplasties Performed in Conjunction with Circumferential VASER Liposuction. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2018 Sep;142(3):662-675.

2. Hoyos AE, Millard JA. VASER-assisted high-definition liposculpture. Aesthet Surg J. 2007 Nov-Dec;27(6):594-604.

3. Rohrich RJ, Leedy JE, Swamy R, Brown SA, Coleman J. Fluid resuscitation in liposuction: a retrospective review of 89 consecutive patients. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2006 Feb;117(2):431-5.


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