Liposuction is a surgical procedure that removes excess and unwanted fat from the body that has not responded to diet and exercise. It can be performed almost anywhere on the body, including the face and neck, chest, abdomen, back, "love handles", buttocks, hips and thighs. While not a substitute for weight loss, it works well as a spot reduction and body contouring tool. When performed well on a candidate who's well-suited for liposuction surgery, it results in a leaner, smoother appearance.
Liposuction consistently ranks high in the top five surgical cosmetic procedures performed in the United States. In Denver, Dr. Serota uses an instrument called a cannula that is connected by a tube to a vacuum pump machine to perform liposuction. A small incision is made in the skin and the cannula is inserted into the targeted pockets of fat. Dr. Serota moves the cannula tip back and forth to break up the fat, which is then sucked out through the tube. Several different liposuction techniques are currently in use, including dry, tumescent, super-wet, internal and external ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL) and power-assisted liposuction (PAL). Newer procedures, like laser liposuction, emulsify the fat which is then drained or absorbed by the body with no vacuum required.
Liposuction Scar Size
Regardless of the type of liposuction, incisions are a standard operating procedure. There's really no way around it. Luckily, liposuction scars are typically so small (between 4 and 10 mm, or 0.2 and 0.4 inches) that, once healed, they border on invisible. Or they're strategically placed in an area of the body (within natural skin creases, pubic hair or the navel) where they're not easily visible.
The degree of scarring depends on several factors including the patient's genetic tendency to scar and the surgeon's technique. The very small cannulas, referred to as microcanulas, used in modern liposuction require very small incisions, resulting in very small scars. Most will fade with time, although they tend to remain more visible in patients with darker skin.
How to Minimize Liposuction Scars
There are several techniques that can be used to minimize the appearance of liposuction scars once they are healed. Massaging them with a fingertip and protecting them from the sun can keep them from hardening or darkening in color. There are also scar minimizing creams and gels that work well for some people.
If you are interested in liposuction or would like more information, contact Advanced Cosmetic Surgery Center at 303-367-9000 or serotamd.com to schedule a consultation.