Sub-cutaneous stomach fat, if there is any, builds up with age and sits around the navel. It is very difficult to lose, even through dieting or doing sport. Sometimes, even great sportsmen who are otherwise slim resort to liposuction because despite their efforts they cannot shift the fat in this area.


Liposuction is of course carried out under anaesthetic, either general or local. First a very thin tube is inserted into the fat to be removed through the skin. This carries a fluid which is added to the fat to make it more liquid. This fluid also contains xylocaine to reduce any pain and adrenalin to reduce bleeding.

Once the fat has been sufficiently liquefied, it is sucked out through the cannula described above and is stored in a pouch. The quantity is noted. By adequately liquefying the fat, the patient suffers less loss of blood. This is one of the key factors in assessing good practice in the operating theatre.

Ideally, the pouch should contain yellow fat. Often it is more like pale orange. The cannula moves back and forth, removing a tube full of fat each time and creating a space that slowly closes during the healing process. This is why it takes time – from two to three months – to really see the results of the procedure. The fat is like dozens of little tunnels, leaving in their place fine tissue, fibres, nerves and blood and lymphatic vessels.
Small incisions of about 2 or 3 mm are closed using absorbable thread. Before the procedure, the patient tries out a compression garment to make sure it fits. This is then put on him while he is still in theatre and anesthetized.