Updated September 24, 2020
Fort Worth Liposculpture by Dr. Kirby
Liposuction (lipoplasty) slims and reshapes the body by removing excess fat deposits, most commonly from the thighs, hips, arms, abdomen, back, knee, and neck. The result is a more shapely, proportional, and firmed body contour.
Although you may exercise regularly and be physically fit, localized fat deposits may remain, which can be due to genetic inheritance rather than to weight. Liposuction may be performed in combination with a variety of other procedures, including facelift, neck lift, tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), or breast reduction, among others.
Liposuction surgery is not a treatment for obesity and is not a replacement for regular exercise and good eating habits. People within 30% of their ideal weight who have firm, elastic skin and good muscle tone are the best candidates for liposuction.
Where will my incisions be?
Several different small incisions are used to perform your liposuction. The incisions are about 5 mm in length, or about the size of a pea. They will be closed with stitches that dissolve after surgery and will not have to be removed. The placement of your incisions is specific to your body and to your surgery. Dr. Kirby will discuss the incision locations with you prior to your surgery.
How long will my surgery last?
Liposuction, if performed alone, typically takes 1-2 hours, depending on the areas you have chosen to have treated. Liposuction may be performed in combination with a breast reduction, facelift, neck lift, or tummy tuck as well. Combination surgery will take longer.
What kind of anesthesia will I have?
Liposuction is typically performed under general anesthesia for optimal comfort. It can also be done using intravenous sedation that gives you medicine through an IV in your arm that makes you drowsy. Dr. Kirby will discuss these options with you so that the best choice can be made.
What are the risks?
The decision to have liposuction is extremely personal and you will need to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable. Possible liposuction risks include: uneven skin contour, rippling or loose skin, skin or nerve damage, skin discoloration, infection, fat clots or blood clots, unfavorable scarring, thermal burn or heat injury from ultrasound with the ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty technique, anesthesia risks, bleeding (hematoma), asymmetry, damage to deeper structures such as nerves, blood vessels, muscles, lungs, and abdominal organs, persistent swelling in the legs, deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications, possibility of revisional surgery.
How do I prepare for surgery?
Prior to any procedure, it is necessary to review medications you are taking that may affect your surgery. You may be asked to stop or to adjust some medications you are on. As always, it is important to include supplements on your list of medications. Aspirin and aspirin products (Alka-Seltzer, Carisoprodol, Excedrin, Goody’s, Midol), anti-inflammatory medications (except acetaminophen, or Tylenol), and herbal supplements must be avoided for 10 days prior to your surgery. For more details about which medications and supplements to avoid, click here. Dr. Kirby will discuss your medications with you.
Depending on your medical condition, you may be asked to get lab testing or a medical checkup prior to your surgery.
Tobacco products impair your body’s ability to heal. You will be asked to stop smoking for 6 weeks prior to any surgery. Tobacco step-down products such as chewing gum and Nicoderm continue to provide your body with tobacco and must be stopped as well. Please ask Dr. Kirby if you will need assistance with quitting.
Be sure to arrange for a responsible adult to drive you to and from your surgery. You will need someone to stay with you the night following your surgery as well.
You will receive specific instructions for your surgery day from Dr. Kirby’s office.
What is my recovery from surgery like?
After surgery, you should expect to have some soreness, swelling, and some temporary changes in sensation. Typically you can expect to return to work within a week after your procedure, depending on your occupation. Soreness will likely last for several weeks, though. You will wear a tight post-operative garment following surgery to help your body heal appropriately. Scar massage techniques will be discussed by Dr. Kirby when the timing is appropriate.