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MESSAGES TO

Fat Reduction & Liposuction

A DxD Session with Dr Christopher Chui


Ended on Tue Nov 13 2018
Ended

Top Answers


People who want spot fat reduction are ideal candidates for liposuction. It's much easier to get outstanding results when only small areas need to be worked on. 

It's like removing an imperfection in an otherwise perfect shape. If the shape was perfect to begin with one would have to change every aspect of it in order to make it smaller but keep it's perfect shape.

The only issue is that liposuction is an invasive procedure and not without risk. Non-invasive methods of fat removal are safer, but I wouldn't say they don't have any risk at all. They are also less effective at removing fat.

What should your first option be? It depends on whether you want to avoid surgery or not. If you find a plastic surgeon you are comfortable with and you are not against surgery, I would recommend liposuction.

Downtime for liposuction is not that long. You can be back to work in about 2 to 3 days. There will be some bruising for 2 weeks, but no major issues otherwise. If you really don't want surgery, then try a non-invasive method. Liposuction can still be done if you are not satisfied with the results. Hope this helps.

22 Jul 2018

Many people have areas that no matter what t they can't seem to lose fat from these stubborn areas. These patients are very good candidates for liposuction or liposculpture. Sculpting of the stubborn areas can be performed by sucking out the fat in these areas and shaping your body into a more athletic and appealing shape. The fat can even be used to make other areas bigger!

Other causes of a bulge in your tummy would need to be excluded first by a clinical examination. Things such as intraabdominal visceral fat, hernias or muscle separation could be the cause of your stubborn bulge.

Other options include non-invasive methods of fat reduction, the good thing about them is that they are non-invasive, however, they are not as effective as liposuction to permanently remove fat. A clinical examination is also needed to assess your suitability for these treatments.

20 Jul 2018

Liposuction is an invasive cosmetic procedure performed under general anaesthesia. It is not a weight loss tool and has no proven medical benefits.

Therefore, suitable patients must be able to tolerate general anaesthesia safely. They shouldn’t have heart problems, their blood pressure must be under control and they should be generally well.

The best candidates for liposuction are people who have a stable weight, who exercise regularly, but for some reason can’t get rid of a stubborn area of fat.

Doing liposuction well doesn’t mean taking out the most amount of fat. A well done procedure should leave you with a more pleasing shape, in males that may mean defining a six-pack, in females that may mean giving a nicer waist but preserving other curves.

From your description, you sound like an ideal candidate for liposuction.

3 Aug 2018

The basic liposuction operation in Singapore involves making a small incision less than 1cm long in the skin then inserting a metal ‘straw’ called a cannula into the fat and sucking the fat out. The fat is not liquid, so the cannula needs to be moved in and out to loosen it so it can be removed.

A good knowledge of anatomy is essential to avoid putting the cannula in the wrong place.

liposuction procedure in Singapore

There are many ways this basic operation can be modified. Personally, I perform a technique called SAFE lipo. This uses special cannulas and powered liposuction to break up the fat prior to suction and then redistributing the fat to reduce contour irregularities.

In Singapore, the Ministry of Health regulates who can do liposuction and how it can be done.  A doctor needs to be accredited to perform liposuction outside of restructured hospitals. It can only be done in clinic if the amount of fat removed is less than 100mls and only a syringe is used to suck out the fat.

Unless it’s liposuction of the face, most liposuction procedures will remove more than 100mls, therefore, it usually needs to be done in at least an Ambulatory Surgery Centre (ASC). If more than 2L of fat is removed, then the procedure must be performed in a hospital on an inpatient basis.

Not all liposuction must be performed under general anaesthesia, but patients will not struggle or feel any pain under a full general anaesthesia. Liposuction can be done under deep sedation or even just infiltration with local anaesthesia, but patients may feel some mild discomfort.

For that reason I prefer a general anaesthetic. In any case, whether using general anaesthesia or deep sedation it must be administered by an anaesthetist, so I don’t see much benefit in performing liposuction under deep sedation.

3 Aug 2018

It’s hard to give you the cost of liposuction in Singapore because different surgeons use different techniques and charge differently.

Most surgeons will charge you an all-in fee that covers surgeon fee, anaesthetic fee and OT fee. But I don’t believe this is best for the patient because if the operation is shorter than normal the patient should pay less.

On the other hand, if the operation is taking longer than usual the surgeon may feel the monetary pressure to finish the surgery without achieving the desired result because the excess OT and anaesthetic fees will be coming out of his/her pocket.

I prefer to charge a surgeon fee and the patient will settle the rest. We can give you an estimate of what the total bill will be, it could be lower or it could be higher, but you can rest assured that I will be achieving the result the patient desires.

The main factors that affect the cost are: surgeon fee, venue, and method used. The surgeon fee will depend on how many areas will be treated and what technique is used.

Some surgeons use more traditional techniques while others use more modern techniques that require special equipment. It’s good to check with your surgeon what technique they use.

If more than 100mls of fat are to be removed then the surgery must be done in an ambulatory surgery centre or a hospital, if more than 2L of fat is removed, then the patient must stay in hospital. This will affect the cost.

6 Aug 2018

In Singapore, liposuction is a special service that is regulated by the Ministry of Health. This was done to improve the safety of the procedure.

This means that patients cannot be rushed into the surgery (they have to wait 1 week between consultation and surgery), and only doctors with the required training are accredited to do it. The procedure must be carried out in an approved facility with adequate emergency facilities.

The safety has also been improved by anaesthetic guidelines that mean only qualified anaesthetic doctors can give deep sedation. These doctors are the best in dealing with life threatening situations.

Overall, it is a very safe procedure.

The risks for liposuction are small but you can get infections, bleeding, contour irregularities, asymmetry or perforation of abdominal organs.

The most dangerous complication is perforation of your organs, the risk is higher if you’ve had liposuction in that area before or if you have an abdominal hernia. Technique plays a huge part in whether this happens or not, so it’s very important that the procedure is done by a qualified plastic surgeon.

It is not easy to differentiate plastic surgeons from ‘cosmetic surgeons’ overseas. However in Singapore, doctors are not allowed to call themselves by any title they choose.

6 Aug 2018

After liposuction, the treated areas will be bruised and swollen. They will be tender to touch and there will be some pain on movement. The pain feels like a strenuous workout and is usually managed with painkillers. If the pain is very severe, it’s possible a haematoma or infection may have developed and you should seek a consultation with your surgeon.

The bruising will last for about 2 weeks. The swelling will last for about 1 month.

You will have small incisions that you should keep dry for the first 3 days. After that you can get them wet but avoid soaking them in water. You should avoid swimming for at least 1 week, but you probably wouldn’t want to go swimming with all the bruising anyway! You can start exercising by 1 week without restriction.

Getting back to work depends on your pain tolerance. You can get back as early as the next day if your pain tolerance is high and you don’t have a physically demanding job. But most would take a few days off to recover.

10 Aug 2018

Firstly, there is no such thing as non-surgical liposuction. Liposuction involves making a small incision in the skin and sucking out fat though a metal straw called a cannula.

Non-surgical fat reduction technologies cause your fat cells to die, they are then reabsorbed by your body. Regardless of the method used, their effectiveness is in the range of 20% reduction.

Some methods require only one treatment, whereas others require a number of treatments. The only minimally invasive fat reduction technique I know of is accusculpt.

This uses a laser to breakdown the fat. Again, your body will get rid of the dead cells. This can also be combined with traditional liposuction.

10 Aug 2018

Liposuction is a procedure that has many different variables that surgeons can choose from. There are differences in the tools used as well as differences in technique.

For the tools used, the suction can be just from a syringe or it can be from a suction machine. A machine can definitely provide more suction than a syringe. The cannulas come in a variety of shapes and sizes as well as specialised tips.

There are special machines that help break down the fat in different ways – powered liposuction vibrates the cannula, bodyjet uses a jet a water to loosen the fat, VASER uses ultrasound energy to emulsify the fat prior to suction, lasers can also be used prior to suction but this is not common in Singapore.

Techniques also vary from surgeon to surgeon. Every surgeon’s technique will be different from another’s. I use a technique called SAFELipo. In this technique special cannulas are used to loosen the fat before suction, as well as after, to reduce the risk of contour irregularities.

I find this technique is efficient and gives superior results compared to traditional techniques. Techniques using energy to break down the fat, such as VASER or laser, have a small risk of burn injury to the skin. I would prefer not to take that risk.

10 Aug 2018

Top Questions


Hi, I have read that fat grafting with PRP is performed in Korea, and results in better outcomes. I would like to find out if fat grafting with PRP indeed results in improved outcomes, and whether it is available in Singapore?

I’ve had a couple of kids and want to get my pre-baby look again. What’s the difference between liposuction and a tummy tuck?

I've seen different information online saying that liposuction treatment does and does not have lasting results. Are there any other options instead of liposuction that definitely have lasting results?