Liposuction

Dr. Kunkel offers liposuction to patients from Fort Worth, Colleyville, Southlake, Mansfield, Arlington, across Texas and beyond.  Fort Worth physicians have recognized Dr. Kunkel’s outstanding care of patients and have voted him a TopDoc 19 times!

Among the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures, liposuction sculpts the body by tailoring fatty bulges. Liposuction is not a substitute for a healthy diet and exercise, but the procedure can enhance contours in areas where fatty fullness just won’t go away.

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(model, not an actual patient)

The Liposuction Consultation

The initial office visit usually takes about 1½ hours.  You will have a lot of direct interaction with Dr. Kunkel.  After examining you and listening to what you hope to achieve, a custom tailored treatment plan is made.   Dr. Kunkel will not try to sell liposuction or some other procedure to you.  He will help you understand what you need to know.

How common is liposuction?

Liposuction is one of the most commonly-performed plastic surgeries in our country. In 2019, more than 265,000 Americans underwent this body sculpting procedure. In 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 200,000 people underwent liposuction. This fat-reducing surgery has been a leading procedure for many years. We do not see that changing in the foreseeable future.

Am I A Good Candidate For Liposuction?

The best candidates for liposuction are

  • near their ideal body weight
  • in good health and have an active lifestyle
  • have some bulges in certain areas but are not heavy and substantially overweight
  • women often have fullness in their thighs, abdomen, and flanks
  • men tend to have fullness in their abdomen, flanks, and breasts

Liposuction is not weight loss surgery but rather a procedure to help reduce fullness and bulges in a few specific areas.

Are there any pre-existing conditions that disqualify you from lipo?

When consulting with a surgeon about liposuction, it is essential to be completely honest about health history and lifestyle habits discussed during the visit. Liposuction is not appropriate for everyone, and it is important to provide all necessary information that will allow the surgeon to make a fully informed recommendation for or against surgery. Conditions that may contradict the potential benefits and safety of liposuction include:

  • Poor mental health, including severe depression and body dysmorphia or an eating disorder. The happiest plastic surgery patients have a good sense of self-image and confidence before their procedure.
  • Significant obesity. Liposuction is limited to the removal of a moderate amount of adipose fat. Patients with a high amount of deep visceral fat may not be happy with the results of this procedure. Furthermore, without a strong commitment to a healthy lifestyle, the results of liposuction may be short-lived.
  • Conditions that may affect scarring and connective tissue healing, such as collagen vascular disease.
  • The use of Accutane in the 6 months before surgery.
  • Chronic health conditions such as heart or lung disease, diabetes, hypertension, blood clotting disorders, and autoimmune diseases such as Lupus.

How to prepare before a lipo procedure?

Once you have scheduled your liposuction procedure, there is very little to do. Patients may receive a general list of suggestions from our office to help them get ready for surgery and recovery. These may include:

  • Eat a well-balanced diet rich in nutrients, water, and antioxidants, all of which can provide the body with the energy needed to recover.
  • Arrange sufficient time off. This is usually 1 to 2 weeks, depending on the nature of the surgical plan.
  • Arrange someone to drive on surgery day.
  • Pre-make a few meals that can be easily served during the first few days of recovery.
  • Pick up medications and medical supplies if advised by our office.

What not to do before the lipo procedure?

In preparation for liposuction, there are a few things we want patients to avoid. These include:

  • Smoking. There is a good chance that a surgeon will not schedule liposuction until a patient has begun the process of smoking cessation. Smoking poses a significant risk to healing by inhibiting the circulation of healthy, oxygenated blood through the surgery site.
  • Certain medications. It is imperative to disclose all medications currently in use. This includes necessary prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, supplements and herbs, and recreational drugs. Substances that can thin the blood, such as aspirin, need to be avoided before surgery.
  • Dieting. Patients scheduled for liposuction should already be at a weight they want to maintain. Crash dieting before surgery can rob the body of the nutrients it would rely on for recovery.

Liposuction Technique

Dr. Kunkel performs liposuction in an outpatient surgery center or hospital.  You are put to sleep under the direction of an anesthesiologist (general anesthesia) for optimal comfort. The procedure usually takes from one to three hours, depending on the amount of fat being removed and the number of areas being treated.

Liposuction begins with injection of a saline (salt water) combined with a local anesthetic (lidocaine) and adrenaline (epinephrine) into the areas being treated. This is known as tumescent technique.  Almost all liposuction is performed using tumescent technique.

Today there are several technologies available for liposuction, including different types of ultrasound and laser-assisted devices.  Studies to determine which type of liposuction creates the best results are mixed.  Dr. Kunkel has found that power-assisted liposuction provides reliable results and uses this in most cases.

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(liposuction cannisters)

The suctioning begins a few minutes after the fluid has been placed.  A thin tube called a cannula is attached to a suction device.  The tube is inserted into the tissues and moved back and forth rapidly.  Fat is suctioned through the tube and collected in a canister.

Fat grafting is common today.  Instead of discarding the fat that is suctioned, many patients choose to have some of the fat injected into other areas.  For instance, fat can be added to the breasts and buttocks to create more shape and contour.

Frequently a few Band-Aids are all that are needed for dressings.  Compression garments and topical foam pads are also usually placed.

Dr. Kunkel Performing Liposuction of the Lateral Abdomen

What Is Recovery Like After Liposuction?

It’s usually relatively easy.  Most patients don’t have much pain after liposuction.  The day after surgery people usually feel sore, like they had a hard work-out.  The treated areas are swollen and bruised for a few weeks.  Many patients return to work within a few days. Strenuous activity should be avoided for about a month.  Dr. Kunkel suggests compression garments for at least three weeks, and many patients wear them for two or three months.

Is Liposuction Painful?

No. Dr. Kunkel’s patients receive general anesthesia for their liposuction procedure. This technique puts the patient into a deep sleep state, during which they are closely monitored by a board-certified anesthesiologist. General anesthesia interrupts nerve signals from the body to the brain, temporarily shutting down pain-receptors. While patients do not experience pain during the liposuction procedure, they can expect to feel sore or tender for a few days afterward.

Does lipo leave scars?

Liposuction is performed through tiny punctures in the skin. In the vast majority of cases, only a Band-Aid is needed to cover these areas, followed by the compression garment. While small dots of scars may form, these usually fade over time. That said, patients with a history of raised or discolored keloid scars should discuss the risks of liposuction.

Risks Of Liposuction

As with any surgery there are some risks. Some of the liposuction risks include:

  • Asymmetry of the results
  • Irregular contours
  • Numbness of the skin
  • Pigmentation changes of the skin
  • Infection
  • Delay in healing
  • Fat clots or blood clots
  • Shock
  • Fluid accumulation under the skin
  • Burns
  • Perforation injury
  • Lidocaine toxicity

See What Our Patients Are Saying...

"Dr Kunkel and his staff are incredible. Liposuction of my thighs had been on my bucket list for many years. Every concern and fear I had about this surgery were laid to rest with this team. I am a Registered Nurse so believe me when I say I’ve had years of being around doctors with varying degrees of bedside manors. Dr Kunkel explains at levels all can understand and genuinely cares about your outcome. He is truly an artist and my results still blow me away! Also, I’ve been a client of Krista’s for 4 years now. She is his medical aesthetician and, speaking of artist, she blows me away with how natural my face looks every time she treats me with Botox and/or filler. I am 50 and my skin looks better than it did at 35! I recommend this team to everyone! Thank you Dr Kunkel and Krista!" - C.D.

Schedule a Lipo Consultation with Dr. Kunkel!

If you have any questions about the Liposuction procedure, or if you wish to learn whether you are a candidate for the procedure,, be sure to reach out and schedule a one-on-one appointment with Dr. Kelly R. Kunkel! Call 817.335.5200 or click here to send our staff a Consultation Request Form. Our practice serves Fort Worth and the surrounding Texas areas.

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