Liposuction in Denver, CO
Liposuction is a fairly minimally invasive cosmetic procedure used to remove localized areas of fat from the body, performed through a small thin tube called a liposuction cannula (looks like a hollow knitting needle). The fat from the targeted area is suctioned from the body through the cannula to help patients achieve a slim and balanced appearance.
While the conventional liposuction procedure was effective in removing excessive fat deposits, it was a painful procedure that involved suctioning out large areas of solid fat. New technology has allowed for different techniques that improve the accuracy and reduce the pain associated with this procedure. Today, liposuction is usually performed via the tumescent technique, which breaks of fat cells and also provides for temporary profound numbness and vasoconstriction (less bleeding), making it easier to suction the fat, allowing for more fat to be suctioned safely and providing for less post-operative pain. Additionally, smaller cannula caliber size and the judicious use of ultrasound tipped cannulas, add to the beneficial results. These technologies have transformed liposuction into a much safer and less invasive procedure.
Candidates for Liposuction in Denver
The ideal candidate for liposuction is someone who is in good overall health and maintains a healthy life, but has one or more problem areas with unresponsive fat deposits. It is also important for patients to have realistic expectations, and remember that liposuction cannot be used as a means for weight loss. It is instead used to remove localized areas of stubborn fat strictly for appearance and only after the patient has attempted other natural weight loss methods. In fact, since fat, volume-to-volume, weighs less than water, significant weight loss is not appreciated after liposuction even though large "volumes" are removed. This operation is a sculpturing procedure, not a weight loss procedure.
Liposuction can be used to treat localized fat deposits within the:
The Liposuction Procedure
There are several different techniques currently available for patients seeking liposuction treatment in Denver, CO. New technologies have improved the accuracy of this procedure for both patient and doctor, and allow patients to achieve their desired results through a much less invasive procedure. Liposuction is performed through a tumescent technique, and may also include the assistance of an ultrasound tipped cannula.
Liposuction is performed on an outpatient basis under either general anesthesia or local anesthesia with IV sedation. Several tiny incisions are made and an infusion of the tumescent fluid (which contains saline with a local anesthetic and a local vasoconstrictor called adrenaline) is performed into the space to be suctioned. This tumescent fluid expands the fat territory, breaking up fat cells thereby making it easier for volume removal. After the tumescent fluid has been injected, and allowed to percolate, various size liposuction cannulas are then inserted through the same incisions and the fat is suctioned. The tiny access incisions are closed and a surgical garment placed.
What are the Benefits of the Tumescent Liposuction Technique?
Tumescent liposuction is a technique that utilizes large volumes of what's called tumescent fluid. This consists of saline, a local anesthetic, and adrenaline. These substances, when administered in substantial quantities, fully anesthetizes the treatment area. The numbing effect of the tumescent fluid is so profound that patients rarely require general anesthesia for liposuction anymore, nor narcotic pain medication. In addition to being very comfortable without significant sedation, the tumescent liposuction technique also enables you to get back to your normal activities pretty quickly. You'll be able to walk out of the office without assistance and will be walking for a few minutes at a time several times a day thereafter.
When Can I Get Back to My Normal Activities after Liposuction?
Your return to normal activities may depend on the area of your body we've treated, as well as the degree of physical activity that you consider normal. Due to the way in which tumescent liposuction works, you may feel well enough to drive as soon as the day following your procedure. At a minimum, you should feel comfortable taking short walks and getting in and out of a chair. Moving periodically throughout the day can actually feel better than lying down or sitting for long periods, so we encourage doing what feels comfortable. You may be able to start exercising (very lightly) about one week after liposuction but will need to keep it on the mild side for about two weeks. As you feel your energy return, you can gradually increase the intensity of your workouts, maintaining mindfulness of your body's sensations. If you feel too drained or start to feel pain, stop.
How Much Fat can be Removed During Liposuction?
The general standard for liposuction is to remove between two and five liters of fatty tissue at one time. This results in satisfying physical improvements but does not equate to much in terms of weight loss. At its max, "high-volume" liposuction may remove anywhere from five to 10 pounds of weight from the body.
Can Liposuction Give me a Flatter Tummy?
There are two kinds of fat that accumulate in the abdominal area: visceral fat and subcutaneous fat. Liposuction only removes the latter. Subcutaneous fat is the layer of fat cells that sits between the skin and the abdominal wall. Visceral fat exists behind the abdominal wall within the abdominal cavity. Having significant amounts of visceral fat may not exclude you from having liposuction. However, it can diminish the cosmetic outcome of your procedure. During your consultation, the doctor can discuss where your fat is located, how much can be removed, and, even with remaining visceral fat, the cosmetic outcome you can expect. Whether before or after surgery, a healthy diet and active lifestyle are the best remedies for eliminating visceral fat and preventing the health conditions it contributes to.
What to expect during recovery
After the liposuction procedure, patients experience mild swelling, bruising and discomfort in the treated areas. A compression garment is worn for at least 6 weeks to help reduce these symptoms, as well as potential ripples and dimples, while the areas heal. Patients can return to work and other regular activities as soon as they feel comfortable, which is usually after a few days. Exercise and other strenuous activities should be avoided for a few weeks.
Dr. Bershof will give you special instructions on how to care for your treated area to help reduce any complications after the procedure. The results of the liposuction procedure may not be completely visible until after swelling and bruising subside. This may take several months, and results will appear gradually throughout this time.
Results of liposuction
The results of liposuction can be long-lasting, as long as patients maintain a healthy and active life. If substantial weight is gained after this procedure, the results may be altered, such as re-depositing fat in the areas already suctioned, or depositing fat in other areas.
All surgery carries risk
Although liposuction is considered safe, there are certain risks associated with any type of procedure. Some of these risks may include infection, scarring, allergic reactions, hematoma, ripples, dimples, unevenness, asymmetry or unsatisfactory results. Liposuction is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures in Denver and is almost always performed with no serious complications.
You can minimize potential risks by choosing an experienced doctor such as Dr. Bershof and by following instructions before and after your procedure. To learn more about the liposuction procedure by Denver plastic surgeon John Bershof, MD, we encourage you to call us today and schedule a consultation.