The Center for Cosmetic Surgery
725 Heritage Road #100
Golden, CO 80401
Phone: (303) 278-2600
Monday-Friday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
The Center for Cosmetic Surgery
501 South Cherry Street #900
Denver, CO 80246
Phone: (303) 951-2100
Monday-Friday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Liposuction is the most common cosmetic surgical procedure performed on both men and women in the United States. When our board-certified plastic surgeons perform liposuction at our Denver, Colorado, practice, they produce profound body sculpting results with minimal scarring and a comfortable recovery.
What Is Liposuction?
Liposuction is a surgical procedure that reduces unwanted fatty deposits in various areas of the body, including the abdomen, buttocks, inner and outer thighs, hips, flanks (“love handles”), back, neck, and arms. This body contouring procedure can help give a desired shape, whether it’s a more tapered waist, thinner thighs, contoured neck and chin, or flatter abdomen. It is also helpful in men with unwanted breast tissue or “love handles.” Generally, liposuction works best for patients without skin laxity, who have localized deposits of unwanted fat. For patients who have less prominent fat deposits or prefer a non-surgical approach, CoolSculpting® may be a suitable option.
What Is Power-Assisted Liposuction?
Modern liposuction emerged in Europe in the early 1970s and was gradually adopted across the United States during the 1980s. Since then, many refinements have been made to increase its safety and effectiveness, especially during the last decade when liposuction became the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure with people from Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, the Denver area, and throughout the country.
One of the more recent advancements in liposuction technology is power-assisted liposuction (PAL), available in Colorado with Dr. Wolfe, Dr. Vath, and Dr. Steinwald. This technique employs a small suction tube, or cannula, that vibrates rapidly to loosen fat cells so they may be safely and gently suctioned away. Unlike other procedures, such as UAL (ultrasound-assisted liposuction), patients don’t need to worry about trauma to the surrounding tissues with PAL.
Other advantages of power-assisted liposuction include:
- Improved safety
- Smaller incisions
- No thermal injury to skin or tissues
- Reduced bruising and swelling
- Faster recovery
- Minimal discomfort
- Shorter procedure times
- Greater precision
- Better results in difficult, fibrous areas
- Better results in revision procedures
PAL is performed using the tumescent technique. This involves infusing large volumes of saline containing local anesthesia and adrenaline into the target area to maximize fat removal, ensure patient comfort, and minimize bruising.
Through a variety of independent studies, PAL has been shown to offer many benefits for both the patient and surgeon. In one study published in the scientific journal Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, “PAL was found considerably superior [to traditional liposuction] as far as ease of fat extraction.” The procedure was approved by the FDA in 1998.
Am I a good liposuction candidate?
The ideal liposuction candidate is someone who has localized areas of fatty deposits but is not obese. Liposuction is not a weight-loss operation as much as it is a body sculpting procedure. Areas that are resistant to weight loss and are seemingly genetically predisposed to holding on to fat, such as the saddlebag or hip regions, are ideally suited for liposuction. The main limitation of liposuction is suboptimal skin quality. If your skin is too lax from previous obesity, pregnancy, or simple aging of the tissues, it may be left hanging loose after the underlying fat is removed. Certain areas are more amenable to liposuction than others. The best way to determine where liposuction will work for you is to see one of our board-certified plastic surgeons.
What areas are most commonly and effectively treated with liposuction?
- Outer thighs (saddlebags)
- Flanks (love handles)
- Inner thighs
- Inner knees
- Upper arms
- Submental (chin)
- Gynecomastia (male breast tissue)
Does liposuction help tighten loose skin?
Generally, it does not. The skin must rebound on its own. The elasticity of your skin can be determined on exam. If the skin is too stretched out, an excisional procedure such as a tummy tuck might be a better option.
After liposuction, what happens if I gain weight?
Liposuction removes fat cells forever. However, not all of the fat in any given area is gone. Therefore, if you gain enough weight, some fatty enlargement of the treated areas may potentially occur. Most likely, they will not become as prominent as they once were.
Is there a limit to how much fat can be removed?
The safety guidelines instituted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons recommend that no more than 5 liters (11 pounds) of fat be removed at any one procedure. One must remember that it takes small increments of weight reduction in localized regions to make a noticeable difference.
Meet Our Surgeons
Board-certified plastic surgeons Dr. Steven Vath, Dr. Andrew Wolfe, and Dr. Paul Steinwald lead our patient-centered practice with warmth, honesty, and respect. Their combined expertise and credentials have placed us among Colorado's premier aesthetic centers.
What is the most common complication of liposuction?
The most common complication of liposuction is called a contour irregularity. This is an indentation, dimple, or groove. Areas with poorer skin quality are more susceptible to this occurrence. Great care is taken to avoid suctioning the fatty layer directly beneath the skin to prevent creating a contour deformity.
Where is the surgery performed?
Liposuction is performed at Apex Surgical Facility – a AAAHC accredited operating facility where your safety is of highest importance.
What kind of anesthesia is used for the procedure?
General anesthesia is the preferred method of achieving adequate sedation and pain control. You will be entirely asleep for the duration of the procedure and awake in recovery before you know it. Board-certified anesthesiologists deliver the anesthesia and care for you before, during, and after surgery so that you have a comfortable and safe experience.
What is recovery like after liposuction?
You will able to go home after surgery. You will have compression garments made of spandex over the operated areas. These should be worn around the clock for 2 weeks followed by another 2 weeks when active. You will be walking around the day of surgery. The degree and duration of discomfort varies from patient to patient. Most patients are able to stop taking pain medication and are back to work within a few days. In general, exercise may be resumed as follows:
- Non-strenuous activity at 5 to 7 days
- Low impact exercise at 3 weeks
- Unlimited activity at 6 weeks
The Center for Cosmetic Surgery has 2 offices conveniently located in the Denver metropolitan area. One is located just outside of Denver in lovely Golden, Colorado immediately off 6th Ave West and the other is located downtown in Cherry Creek, Denver. Please schedule a personal consultation to learn what PAL can do for you. Simply call (720) 279-1926 or request your consultation using our online form.Back to Top