What is liposuction?

If the terms “saddlebags”, “love handles”, “pot belly” or “thunder thighs” ring true for you, and you have been trying hard to remove those last stubborn deposits of fat, then liposuction might be your answer. Liposuction is a common cosmetic procedure that removes areas of unwanted fat to improve the shape and contour of your body.

Common areas where liposuction is used include around the face or neck to reduce a double chin. It can also be used to smooth the appearance of your thighs, hips, abdomen, calves or ankles.


Who is it for?

The reasons for thinking about a liposuction are entirely personal. Some of them may include:

  • Wanting to get rid of a stubborn little hold-out of excess fat that will not shift, no matter how much you diet or exercise.
  • Increasing self-esteem by removing excess fat that is uncomfortable or impacts on your life.

To gain the best outcome from liposuction it is best that you:

  • Have resilient skin – skin that doesn’t stretch too easily and will ‘bounce back’ after liposuction.
  • Are realistic in your expectations. Liposuction will remove excess deposits of fat, but does not address the internal fat deposits around your organs that cause things like a beer belly.
  • Don’t smoke or have recently quit (smoking impacts recovery from this procedure).


What happens during liposuction?

Before surgery

The first step is to make an appointment to see Dr McMillan.

You will meet Dr McMillan at his private rooms in Fernbrae House, Dunedin or in Invercargill to discuss your personal goals and talk though the different options. This is an important step; not only outlining your expectations, but also developing your relationship with Dr McMillan as you work together to achieve your goals.

Liposuction may also be done at the same time as other cosmetic procedures such as abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), arm or thigh lift, breast augmentation or breast reduction. Discuss these options with Dr McMillan at the time of your consultation to decide if this is right for you.

Once you have decided on what needs to be done, a date will be booked for you to have your liposuction.

During surgery

The procedure will involve having a general anaesthetic or local anaesthetic and will be done at either Fernbrae House or Mercy Hospital in Dunedin.

Once you are asleep or the area is numbed, a device with a needle is inserted into the area where the fat is to be removed.

Through this device a saline solution will be injected into the area to make removal easier. The fluid and fat are then sucked back out.

Recovery process

This is a day procedure so you will not need to stay in hospital after liposuction.

There will be some initial swelling, bruising and tenderness around the area that received liposuction.

In some cases you may need to wear a compression garment to assist with minimising the swelling.


Expected outcome

Liposuction removes fat cells permanently. However, there is always the potential for new fat cells to develop.

As long as you maintain a healthy diet and exercise regime, then the shape and contours achieved through liposuction will be long lasting.


Risks and complications

As with all surgical procedures there are risks and potential complications when having liposuction. Dr McMillan will discuss all of these with you during your consultation and answer your questions.



As liposuction is not funded there is a cost. The exact figure will depend on a range of factors but generally the cost is between $9,000 and $18,000 including hospital and anaesthetic costs.


Contact us

Start the journey to the new you; get in contact to make an initial consultation with Dr McMillan about having liposuction.

Get in Touch

Contact Dr McMillan to make an appointment.

Dr Will McMillan Plastic Surgery in Dunedin

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