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Minor Volume Liposuction & Liposculpture in Melbourne | Dr Patrick Briggs Plastic Surgeon

Our plastic surgeons believe liposuction should be used to remove small amounts of excess fat to help alter your body shape.

Small Volume Liposuction is also a possible addition to some cosmetic plastic surgeries like abdominoplasty, Breast Surgery and Fat Grafting to the Breast.

Liposuction is NOT a solution for Weightloss

Please Note that Liposuction is NOT a weight loss procedure and performing large volume liposuction can result in many problems.  The ideal candidate for Liposuction is near their healthy weight range (BMI < 30).

You may need to see a Melbourne Bariatric Surgeon for obesity issues.

Please Send In Your Photos before a Consult

Liposuction is NOT for everyone, perhaps you need excess skin removal or another procedure altogether.

Before booking an appointment at Coco Ruby you will need to send in your photos to ensure you are a suitable candidate for Liposuction.

What is Liposuction?

Small Volume Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure aiming to remove fat from targeted areas such as the abdomen, hips, arms, buttocks, legs, and even the neck.

It involves using a suction technique to remove fat pockets from the body, which may result in a more contoured appearance. That being said, it is not a cure for weight loss. However, it may be recommended as a body contouring procedure for stubborn fat pockets.

If you are wanting to lose weight dramatically, liposuction/liposculpture are not the right options. Furthermore, you should avoid so-called high-volume mega liposuction performed by underqualified doctors.

If you have lost a lot of weight and have excess loose skin then body lift surgeries like abdominoplasty, Brachioplasty (arm lift), Thighplasty (Thigh Lift) and Mastopexy (Breast Lift) may be a better option for you.

Am I a Suitable Candidate for Liposuction?

Liposuction gets rid of small amounts of stubborn fat that are difficult to get rid of with exercise and diet alone. While it may be a useful treatment, it may not a suitable option for everyone.

If you are looking for body contouring treatments like liposuction, you’ll need to have realistic expectations about the treatment. If you are looking for a contoured body and not just drop weight overnight or get rid of cellulite, this might be the right treatment option.

You also need to have suitable skin elasticity. People with thicker skin have good elasticity and tend to show better results with liposuction as they do not have the problem of excess loose skin.

Your weight needs to be stable for at least a year. If your weight fluctuates, it is advisable not to choose liposuction. Instead, you should wait for it to stabilize and then opt for the treatment.

You do not drink or smoke or alternatively you can quit smoking and drinking for an extended period of time both before and after the surgery.

You are already in good health condition, lead a healthy lifestyle and have no chronic illnesses. Healthy patients are less likely to experience complications, and will therefore get the desired outcome.

If you need to reduce fat in specific areas such as hips, abdomen or any other areas where it is difficult to lose weight then liposuction may help.

Potential Outcomes of Liposuction

Liposuction comes with many potential outcomes including: 

  • Long-lasting result (If you have a stable weight).
  • Although there will be some swelling and bruising after the treatment, results can usually be seen in a few days.  
  • It is an option for men who face the problem known as gynecomastia.
  • It may partially and completely remove lipomas in certain areas.
  • It may help patients struggling with lipodystrophy syndrome (a disturbance in fat metabolism which results in fat deposits in some areas while none in others).
  • It may encourage patients to lead a healthy lifestyle to maintain the results of liposuction.

About Liposuction Surgery

Liposuction is the process of permanently removing fat through suctioning. It is not a substitute treatment for weight loss but, rather, a method of reshaping the body’s contours/removing fat.

As we advance in life, the body tends to remap the areas where it deposits most of the excess fatty tissue. The flanks, lower abdomen and thighs become common areas that fat deposits to for women. While in men it is commonly the abdomen flanks and chest that are affected.

In some people, even at a young age, there are stubborn fatty tissue deposits, mostly around the thighs, which are often genetic.

Liposuction is the removal of fat from deposits beneath the skin using a hollow stainless steel tube called a cannula and a powerful vacuum.

In the early days of liposuction, the procedure involved using relatively large cannulae and was associated with extensive bruising and a higher risk of irregularities.

Today, liposuction uses much finer cannulae. This results in less trauma to the tissue and allows more control in the removal of fat. Furthermore, surgeons can use these finer cannulae closer to the skin surface to provide a desired result.

Surgeons no long consider the earlier approach, Dry Technique Liposuction, effective. Today, the worldwide standard of care is the Tumescent Technique.

In tumescent liposuction, the area undergoing treatment is injected with a buffered salt solution. This solution contains adrenaline to control bleeding and a long-acting local anaesthetic to minimize discomfort after the procedure.

Recent changes in Liposuction

A more recent addition to body sculpting surgery is the LipoSelection technology termed VASER®. Based on an ultrasonic-assisted system, it allows for a carefully controlled surgical process to dissolve areas of fatty tissue deposition. You can use this form of liposuction around the face, neck, body and limbs.

The potential outcomes of the technique include;

  • Less post-operative bruising and swelling post-operatively
  • Generally shorter recovery time
  • Often a smoother surface even after more intense contouring.

Dr Patrick Briggs offers liposuction and liposculpture in Melbourne. Get in touch 

Risks and complications of Liposuction

All surgery incurs risks. Your Surgeon will make you aware of potential complications during your consultation. This includes; general anesthesia, bleeding (Haematoma), infection, wound healing, deep vein thrombosis, scarring and numbness.

Always stay informed and healthy, do not smoke before or after your procedure and read and understand your risks.

Liposuction Before and After Photos

Due to the recent updates in guidelines by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), our website is currently undergoing substantial revisions. As a result, we have had to remove the majority of our Before and After photos to comply with these new regulations. Our utmost priority is to maintain the accuracy and compliance of our content, and we are actively working to reintroduce a more extensive collection of before and after photos in the near future.

You can view additional Before and After photos of Dr Briggs’ patients, during an in-person consultation at our clinic.

*Results depend on individual patient circumstances and can vary significantly.

How do I Prepare for Liposuction?

During your consultation, Dr Briggs will brief you on the procedure and what you need to do prior to the day.

Your surgeon will most likely ask you about current medications and supplements you are taking and possibly suggest alternatives if they could interfere with your surgery.

Generally, surgeons will ask you to stop taking any blood-thinning medications for 2 to 4 weeks prior to the surgery.

Dr Briggs might also ask you to get a few lab tests done.

Furthermore, in certain cases, the doctor will ask you to stay overnight, this will be discussed prior to surgery. So you will need to make the necessary arrangements.

Download a free guide

Take advantage of our FREE GUIDE TO YOUR PROCEDURE that includes resources for plastic surgery patients. They’ll assist with your journey from thinking about having plastic surgery to aftercare and recovery.

If you’d like more information about a particular surgery, please call our surgical support team on (03) 8849 1400 between 9 am – 5 pm on weekdays.

Recovery after Liposuction Surgery

Post Op Instructions

  • It’s important to follow your post-surgery instructions closely to ensure you have a successful recovery process and optimal surgery results.
  • It’s common to have some swelling and tumescent fluid.
  • This will resolve over time.

Wearing Post Op Garments

  • Compression garments are often necessary for anywhere from three to six weeks and sometimes longer (sometimes your Surgeon may recommend 8-12 weeks).
  • These garments are beneficial for decreasing the amount of bruising and swelling.
  • They also help loose skin to retract.
  • While some plastic surgeons do not use garments, you can often achieve a better and smoother result by using them.

Downtime & Back to Work

  • Most doctors recommend taking at least a week off work and your regular routine.
  • However, those who undergo only a small amount of lipo may just need a few days.
  • In order to prevent blood clots and discourage swelling, you should do some light walking, starting the day of surgery.
  • Avoid both, heavy exercise and strenuous activities for two to three weeks.
  • Always get the all clear from your surgeon before resuming any strenuous activities.

Seeing Results of Liposuction

  • You’ll likely see some results immediately after surgery, but swelling and bruising are normal and can take weeks to resolve.
  • In fact, some residual swelling may persist for several months.
  • Most people see final results six months after surgery, but you may continue to see changes for up to a year.

Healing & Scars after Liposuction

  • Liposuction involves a series of small incisions less than a centimeter long.
  • Just like scarring from any other type of injury, these incisions will go through a maturation process, likely over the course of a year.
  • For the first few months, scars may be red and possibly raised and/or firm.
  • As the scar matures, it becomes softer, paler, flatter, and much less noticeable.
  • Some people are prone to hypertrophic scars or keloids which are abnormal scars that become prominent.
  • If you or a blood relative have a tendency for these types of scars, please inform your doctor prior to the procedure.
  • Your plastic surgeon may suggest;
    • Scar lightening cream
    • Silicone scar sheets
    • Laser treatments
    • Or, injections to further minimize the appearance.
  • Use sunscreen and avoid exposure to the sun for at least two months. UV rays can darken the appearance of scars.

Minimizing Scars after Liposuction

It is important to remember that all surgical procedures leave scars, including ‘so-called’ scarless methods.

Experienced plastic surgeons are careful about scar placement and minimization, with surgical scars generally fading over 12 months.

We will arrange post-op appointments with our specialist nursing team after your procedure to ensure everything is healing well and to monitor your progress.

You will see your surgeon and/or nurse and/or dermal team about six to eight weeks later for a scar consultation and organise scar treatments.

The Coco Ruby dermal team conducts a series of follow-up scar treatments using a customized selection of Skin Needling, Healite II LED and massaging with oils,  Fraxel Laser, V-Laser, Silicone strips & gels and Steroids can also help manage scars.

Note – The length of your recovery period will depend on your procedure, health and lifestyle factors. Recovery times can vary from person to person – resting aids healing.

Please avoid subjecting your incision to abrasion or excessive stresses during the recovery period.

How much is Liposuction in Melbourne? Prices & Costs

Many Liposuction patients ask about the price and whether Medicare or Private Health Insurance will cover the procedure.

All procedures are individualized and customized to achieve the desired results for you and your excess fat concerns. For this reason, it is hard to determine an exact price that would be valid for a liposuction patient without a consultation first.

During the consultation, Dr Briggs will talk to you about your wishes, possibilities, and expectations that you have from plastic surgery. You will also receive a specific quote for your operation after the consultation.

If you need more information, visit our pricing page to learn more about payment, approximate prices, payment methods, and more.

How to find a Liposuction surgeon in Melbourne

Your surgical results will depend heavily on the surgeon you choose. Since liposuction is a major procedure, you’ll need a qualified liposuction plastic surgeon.

In Australia, a plastic surgeon must have the following qualifications:

  • An undergraduate degree in medicine, typically a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree.
  • A minimum of two years of general medical training as a junior hospital doctor.
  • Completion of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) surgical education and training program, which includes at least five years of accredited surgical training, with at least two years in plastic and reconstructive surgery.
  • Fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) in plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Plastic surgeons in Australia must also be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and adhere to the standards and guidelines set forth by the Medical Board of Australia.

You also want to ensure the surgeon you choose has:

  • Experience in different types of liposuction.
  • Patient Before and After Photos .
  • Empathy and caring with recovery and aftercare.
  • A reliable support team with long term follow up.

Liposuction Journey

What to Expect Before the Procedure?

Before starting liposuction, Dr Briggs will mark the areas of your body to undergo treatment. The markings consist of circles and lines.

Afterwards, your surgeon will take photographs for ‘before and after’ comparison purposes.

What to Expect During the Procedure?

What happens during the procedure will depend on the technique used for liposuction, the treated area and the expected result. Let’s have a look at a few of the most commonly used techniques;

Tumescent liposuction

It is the most common type of liposuction. The surgeon will inject a sterile solution into the treated area. The solution is made up of a mixture of salt and water, an anaesthetic to reduce pain, and epinephrine. This mixture causes the marked area to swell and stiffen up afterwards.

Once the above process is done, your surgeon will create tiny cuts into your skin and insert a cannula under your skin. This cannula is used to suck out the fat and is connected to a vacuum. The body fluid will be replenished with an IV line during the process.

Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction (UAL)

UAL is often used with traditional lipo. During UAL, the surgeon uses a metal rod that emits ultrasonic energy under your skin. This UAL will rupture the fat cells, which results in easier fat removal.

Laser-Assisted liposuction (LAL)

This technique involves a high-intensity laser light for breaking down rigid fat deposits. A surgeon will insert a laser fiber underneath your skin to emulsify fat deposits which are then removed with the help of a cannula. 

Power-Assisted liposuction (PAL)

During PAL, a cannula that moves in a back and forth motion will be used. This rapid motion is helpful for fat removal. Many surgeons use Micro-Aire Power-assisted Liposuction.

The actual procedure

The surgeon will begin the procedure by administering anesthesia. Once, this process is done, the surgeon will continue with the chosen technique (from the list above).

During the entire process, your heart rate, oxygen levels and blood pressure are under constant monitoring. The procedure can last for few hours depending on the extent of fat removal.

If the doctor has given you general anesthesia, you will wake up in a recovery room where you’ll spend a night before going home.

What to Expect After the Procedure?

After the procedure, you will experience swelling in the treated region. Some patients also experience extreme bruising but it will fade away in a few weeks. Your surgeon will give you pain relievers to minimize pain. They will also give you antibiotics to minimize the risk of infection. Some of your incisions may be left open to promote fluid drainage.

Your surgeon will also suggest and encourage you to wear a compression garment for a few weeks after the surgery to reduce swelling. They will also likely advise a rest period of 6 to 8 weeks.

Your Consultation for Liposuction Surgery

During your consultation, your surgeon will ask about your;

  • General health
  • Medical conditions
  • Goals for the surgery
  • And the specific areas where you want fat removed.

It is important that you discuss your goals fully with your surgeon so he can advise you as to whether the results will meet your expectations. He may tell you that you could require more than one liposuction session to achieve your goals without unacceptable risk.

Your Surgeon may also recommend an alternative procedure such as an Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) if the abdominal skin has become too loose. If you have loose skin and/or dimpling (cellulite) you are probably not a suitable candidate for liposuction. In fact, liposuction could make these conditions worse. In these situations, an Abdominoplasty, thigh lift (thighplasty), or body lift (belt lipectomy) may be a better procedure for you.

As part of your consultation, your surgeon will perform an exam, explain the details of the procedure and develop a specific plan for surgery and recovery with you.

In most cases, your Surgeon will require that you be relatively close to a healthy and sustainable body weight but this is not an absolute requirement. Rather, it reflects the fact that there is a limit to the volume of fat that a surgeon can remove at any time and a limitation on how much your skin will shrink after large-volume liposuction.

For these reasons, if you are contemplating liposuction as part of a more extensive diet and exercise program with the aim of losing 5 or more kilograms of weight, your Surgeon will recommend that you lose the weight before your surgery.

Dr Patrick Briggs Melbourne

Dr Patrick Briggs FRACS (Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons) is a Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon.

Both he and his team are dedicated to patient care and are committed to treating each and every patient with respect and privacy.

Furthermore, he is experienced in BreastBody and Face Surgery having performed over 4500 Surgeries in private practice.

How can we help?

Dr Briggs’ Patient Coordinators take pleasure in assisting you with any questions when considering a plastic surgery procedure. Please call the Hawthorn East clinic in Melbourne between 9 AM – 5 PM on Weekdays.

Phone (03) 8849 1400 Or Email us.

What Next?

Want more information about your Procedure?

  • For more information about pricing and payment methods, please visit our page on Surgery Payment options.
  • Talk to our Patient Care Team from 8 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday on (03) 8849 1400.

What to Bring to Your Consultation

  • If you like, please bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices.
  • Take a lot of notes and thoroughly examine the documents your surgeon provides.
  • You may need to undress so it’s a good idea to wear simple clothes.

How to Book a Consultation

  • Dr Briggs’ Consultation fee is $300.
  • A referral from your GP or your specialist is essential (as of the 1st July 2023).
  • Please contact the Patient Care Team at Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery to book your consultation.


The information provided in this article is for educational and informational proposes. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article. The author and publisher of this article make no representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability, or completeness of the content of this article. The information contained in this article is strictly at your own risk.