Liposuction is the most common cosmetic surgical procedure performed on both men and women in the United States. When liposuction is performed on the appropriate patient, by a properly qualified plastic surgeon, in an accredited operating facility, it can produce profound body sculpting results with minimal scarring and an easy recovery.
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.
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 Dr. Vath, Dr. Wolfe, or Dr. Steinwald at the Center for Cosmetic Surgery in Golden, Colorado.
- Outer thighs (saddlebags)
- Flanks (love handles)
- Inner thighs
- Inner knees
- Upper arms
- Submental (chin)
- Gynecomastia (male breast tissue)
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.
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.
The tumescent technique involves pretreating the fatty tissues with large volumes of saline, local anesthesia, and adrenaline to maximize the effectiveness of fat removal while ensuring patient comfort and safety. Dr. Steinwald, Dr. Vath, and Dr. Wolfe routinely employ this technique whenever performing liposuction.
Power-assisted liposuction, used in conjunction with the tumescent technique, is a new technology in body sculpting that allows fat to be removed more easily and precisely. The suction tip vibrates at a rapid speed causing the fat to easily dislodge from surrounding tissues so that it may be suctioned away gently and quickly. Operative times are decreased which translates into less cost for you and increased safety due to a shorter duration of anesthesia. Furthermore, the canula slides easily through the fat causing less fatigue to the surgeon and enabling maximally precise body contouring. Traditionally more difficult areas such as the back, love handles (flanks), and male breast tissue (gynecomastia) are now more amenable to successful fat removal and contouring with PAL technology.
This important advancement in liposuction technology gives Dr. Steinwald, Dr. Vath, and Dr. Wolfe a superior method for permanently removing unwanted fatty bulges and creating a more attractive body contour.
- Shorter operative times
- Less anesthesia time
- Reduced costs
- Less surgeon fatigue
- No skin or thermal injury
- Increased effectiveness in difficult, fibrous areas
- More effective in revisional surgery
- Decreased bruising
- Increased precision
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.
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.
Liposuction is performed at Apex Surgical Facility – a AAAHC accredited operating facility where your safety is of highest importance.
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.
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. Non-strenuous activity can begin at 5-7 days, low impact exercise at 3 weeks and unlimited activity at 6 weeks.