Thigh and Knee Liposuction Workup

  • Author: John A Grossman, MD; Chief Editor: Zubin J Panthaki, MD, CM, FACS, FRCSC  more...
Updated: Jul 23, 2015

Laboratory Studies

Every patient must undergo an appropriate complete medical history and physical examination. A perfunctory examination and limited laboratory studies for a young and apparently healthy patient are inappropriate. Laboratory tests should include the following:

  • CBC
  • Urinalysis
  • Electrolytes (if patient is taking diuretics)
  • Chest radiograph (when none has been performed for more than 1 year or if patient has history of cigarette smoking)
  • Electrocardiogram (for men older than 40 years and women older than 50 years, unless there is a history of hypertension, stroke, arrhythmias, diabetes, cigarette smoking)
  • Pregnancy test in women of childbearing age
  • HIV and hepatitis testing
  • Accurate weight (and date of that weight) as well as measurements of the areas to be liposuctioned (If the patient's personal physician or an outside physician other than the surgeon is performing the physical examination, record weight and measurements at the surgeon's office. Patients are notorious for providing inaccurate reports of their weight and dimension measurements.)

Imaging Studies

Other than a routine chest radiograph where indicated by age, smoking history, or history of prior disease, no imaging studies are necessary in the preoperative liposuction patient. Ultrasound examinations of the fat layer before and after suctioning are interesting but expensive and unnecessary.


Histologic Findings

Histologic findings are not relevant, as surgeons are not working with tissue pathology; however, research studies pertaining to histologic changes following liposuction have been performed. Carpaneda in 1996 reported that "Histologic studies [postliposuction] disclosed extensive amounts of dead adipocytes and free fat within the aspirated area. The pockets left behind were filled with serum hemorrhagic material and evolved to the healing process. Collagen synthesis increased initially then followed by gradual decrease and a remodeling process. Our findings suggest that liposuction techniques preserve some vessels and nerves, but the final resolution may take several months or years, depending on the amount of tissue damage."[8]

Contributor Information and Disclosures

John A Grossman, MD Clinical Instructor of Plastic Surgery, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center; Private Practice, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

John A Grossman, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Burn Association, American Medical Association, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Colorado Medical Society, Lipoplasty Society of North America, Pan-Pacific Surgical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

Alan Matarasso, MD, FACS PC, Clinical Professor of Plastic Surgery, Albert Einstein College of Medicine; Immed Past President of New York Regional Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Alan Matarasso, MD, FACS is a member of the following medical societies: American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American College of Surgeons, American Medical Association, International College of Surgeons US Section, New York Academy of Medicine, New York County Medical Society, Pan America Medical Association of Central Florida, Pan-Pacific Surgical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Zubin J Panthaki, MD, CM, FACS, FRCSC Professor of Clinical Surgery, Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic Surgery, Associate Professor Clinical Orthopedics, Department of Orthopedics, University of Miami, Leonard M Miller School of Medicine; Chief of Hand Surgery, University of Miami Hospital; Chief of Hand Surgery, Chief of Plastic Surgery, Miami Veterans Affairs Hospital

Zubin J Panthaki, MD, CM, FACS, FRCSC is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Surgeons, American Society for Surgery of the Hand, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons, Miami Society of Plastic Surgeons, Medical Council of Canada, Canadian Military Engineers Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Gregory Gary Caputy, MD, PhD, FICS Chief Surgeon, Aesthetica

Gregory Gary Caputy, MD, PhD, FICS is a member of the following medical societies: American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, International College of Surgeons, International College of Surgeons US Section, Pan-Pacific Surgical Association, Wound Healing Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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Cabot high-pressure infusion pump for infusing tumescent fluid.
Standard liposuction machine.
VASER ultrasonic liposuction machine including tumescent infiltrator, ultrasound generator, and suction with some aspirate in container.
Ultrasonic VASER probe.
Highly emulsified fat with high fat-to-fluid ratio with UAL VASER and standard tumescent SAL.
Liposuction, thigh and knee. Mercedes tip design liposuction cannulas.
Liposuction, thigh and knee. Infusion solution formulas.
Liposuction, thigh and knee. Making incisions for tumescent infusion.
Liposuction, thigh and knee. Infusing tumescent fluid.
Liposuction, thigh and knee. Introducing the cannula.
Before and after views of liposuction of thighs.
Before and after views of liposuction of thighs as well as hips and abdomen.
Before and after views of liposuction of thighs and knees.
Before and after liposuction of knees (front view).
Before and after liposuction of knees (posterior view).
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