What to expect

Before the operation

You should have had a full discussion about the procedure, its suitability, outcomes, complications and long-term effects with Mr Khandwala. You should be clear about the incisions to be used, the area(s) to be treated, length of stay and the costs of the procedure. If you are unclear about any aspect of your care or the procedure itself you must contact Mr Khandwala (contact details below) to clarify the situation before committing to surgery.

In hospital

You will normally be admitted to the hospital on the day of surgery. You will be seen by your anaesthetist and you will have an opportunity to discuss your anaesthetic with him/her. Mr Khandwala will review you before your operation and go over the procedure again. You will sign a consent form confirming that you are aware of the risks, complications and benefits of the operation. If you have any last minute questions please make sure that you ask them at this stage. You will be dressed in a gown before you go to theatre. You will have a general anaesthetic i.e. you will be asleep and unaware of the procedure. After the operation you will be looked after in the recovery area until you are awake enough to go back to the ward. You will have a compression garment on the treated area and small dressings over the incisions used for the liposuction. You may be sore at this point and the nursing staff will ensure you get enough painkillers to make you comfortable. After the Operation If you have your surgery performed as a day case you will be reviewed by Mr Khandwala after your operation to check all is well before being discharged. If the surgery requires an overnight stay you will have regular checks by the nursing staff and be reviewed by Mr Khandwala the following morning before discharge. You will be given appropriate painkillers which you should take regularly according to the directions given. Arrangements will be made for a review in the outpatient clinic before you go home – usually for about 2 weeks after the operation. Please ensure that there is someone to look after you at home for the first few days. You may find it harder to do many things and may feel quite tired and sore.

At Home

You should avoid driving for approximately 1-2 weeks according to the areas treated. Equally you should avoid strenuous activity/sport/fitness for a similar period. Mr Khandwala will advise you on the specifics relating to your case before you go home. Taking adequate rest at this stage is essential. You must wear your compression garment all the time (except when showering!) to help reduce the swelling and keep the skin firmly compressed. Although you may shower it is best to avoid getting your wounds wet for the first 48 hours. After this time they may get wet but it is best not to let the wounds soak in water for too long. You should avoid baths or swimming until you see Mr Khandwala in the outpatient clinic. At your clinic appointment Mr Khandwala will advise you on further management and what to expect over the ensuing weeks.

Your Expectations

Liposuction is a technique that is especially useful for changing the profile of an area to improve its appearance. Its effects may be more noticeable in clothing rather than without. It may not significantly alter a person’s clothing size but clothes may fit better after treatment. Everybody is different and individual patients vary in their recovery time. You should expect to feel bruised, sore and swollen for the first week or so. This will gradually improve. The treated area will go through many changes before you arrive at your final result. This process may take between 3 – 6 months and is a gradual process. Liposuction, as with all surgical procedures, has risks and complications and you should be fully aware of them before committing to surgery. Although it is a relatively safe procedure even minor complications may have an adverse effect on outcome. Listed below are some of the risks/complications relevant to liposuction: Bruising All patients experience some bruising but in some this may be extensive. This often results in increased swelling and a longer period of settling down. Rarely the bruising may cause a lump which takes several weeks to settle.


The treated area will lose sensation (feeling) after the operation and it will take several weeks for it to return. Sometimes there are small (rarely large) areas that remain numb. Permanent loss of sensation can rarely be treated. Wound infection The incisions used for liposuction are small and usually sutured. Rarely they may get infected. If this should occur you will need to have antibiotics and frequent dressings. The final appearance of the resulting scars may be unsatisfactory (pink, wide, raised and itchy) and may take a very long time to settle down. Such scars may be difficult to improve.

Abnormal scarring

Sometimes even if all heals well a patient may develop abnormal scars (pink, wide, raised and itchy). Patients may already have noticed such a tendency from previous scars. Such scars take a very long time to settle (up to 18 months) and may be difficult to treat. Skin irregularity Liposuction can sometimes result in an irregular surface to the skin which patients may be able to feel or to see. There may be some lumpiness in the treated area which may be permanent.

Skin laxity

The skin over the treated area often takes weeks or months to gain its new shape. This is helped by the compression garment but in some cases it does not fully retract resulting in skin laxity. This is dependant on a patient’s skin quality and the amount of liposuction performed. Skin laxity is difficult to treat and one option may be to consider surgical excision of the excess skin. However this results in a long scar that may not be cosmetically acceptable. In some cases it may be appropriate to limit the amount of liposuction performed to reduce the risk of skin laxity.


It is rare for any individual to be exactly the same on both sides and although surgery is intended to achieve symmetry it is impossible to guarantee. The final result from liposuction may be different on one side when compared to the other. Overcorrection/undercorrection All patients have expectations of how the final result will look and the amount of liposuction to be performed will be discussed before any surgery. However sometimes the final result may appear too hollow (overcorrection) or still have some residual fullness (undercorrection). Liposuction is not an exact science and individual patient variation can have an effect on the final outcome. Weight gain
If a patient gains weight after liposuction the distribution of fat may differ from their pre-operative pattern. This is because it is less likely for the treated area to lay down fat. This may mean that areas previously unlikely to change after weight gain may do so post – treatment. To avoid this situation it is important to maintain weight at a steady level.

For more information about liposuction, contact Mr Khandwala.

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Asit Khandwala - Cosmetic Surgeon

Find answers to the most common questions about cosmetic surgery on the Q&A page.

Alternatively, fill in the form send and enquiry to Mr Khandwala.

Asit Khandwala - Cosmetic Surgeon

Mr Khandwala is available in Sussex, Surrey, Kent and the London area. Send a request for a consultation in person.

www.plasticsurgeon.org.uk     email: info@plasticsurgeon.org.uk    tel: 01342 776 463    fax: 01342 770 575