I Had a Liver Transplant 2 Years Ago. I Am in Excellent Health. Could I Get Liposuction on Thighs?

I had a liver transplant 2 years ago. I'm in excellent health now and have had no complications at all. I do take prograf 6 mg. daily I would love to get lipo on thighs, the kind where you are not knocked out, just numb. Would this be too drastic a procedure for a post transplant patient.

Doctor Answers 10

Liposuction of Thighs after Liver Transplant

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   If medical clearance can be obtained, liposuction of the thighs is probably reasonable.  The risks are increased in this scenario, and the liposuction should probably not be as extensive as one would ordinarily perform.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Transplants and cosmetic surgery

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I have performed cosmetic procedures on patients with transplants in the past.  It was with a coordinated dialogue between me and the transplant doctor, as the medications might need to be adjusted for a temporary time while you heal.  You need to discuss your desires with your plastic surgeon and be able to understand what realistic goals can be achieved.

Patients with Medical Problems Can Have Cosmetic Surgery

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Patients with medical problems, including those with organ transplants, can undergo cosmetic surgery safely with appropriate precautions.  We have assisted patients with kidney transplants, liver transplants, diabetes, lupus, hepatitis C, and other conditions undergo safe and effective procedures.  If you have an organ transplant, it is important to select more limited procedures and have your transplant physician clear you for surgery.  Your immunosupressive medications need to be evaluated, and appropriate antibiotics should be used. 

Stephen Bresnick, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

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Thigh Liposuction in Liver Transplant Recipient

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As long as you have clearance from your transplant doctors and the procedure is not too extensive, you should be perfectly fine. Outer thigh liposuction is a relatively small area and could be comfortably and safely performed under local anesthesia.

Liver Transplant and Cosmetic Surgery

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To liposuction or not to liposuction after liver transplantation requires risk analysis:

  • where is the fat? There are lots of germs in the inner thighs, fewer on the hip skin.
  • how much do you want removed? Removing a little fat is less risky.
  • Do your transplant surgeon and immunologist approve of your liposuction?
  • Can you accept the risk, even if low, of infection damaging your transplanted liver? 
  • Is there a plastic surgeon willing to risk doing that to you?

I have done high risk procedures like this, so far, successfully.

But the risk is real. If you wanted a small liposuction on the outer thighs and your other doctors agreed  - I'd probably agree to do the surgery. 

Hope this helps and I'm glad you're doing so well.


Liposuction in transplant patients

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I have performed breast augmentation, abdominoplasty and liposuction on previous transplant patients without a problem.  Although immunosuppressants do not interfere with healing because they are usually very low levels, there is always an increased risk of infection. In your case we would want to make sure that your liver function is normal for both the processing of anesthesia and also the production of clotting proteins.

You can choose the type of anesthesia you want, but recommend a little sedation with local numbing.

Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Liposuction after organ transplant not recommended

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I am thrilled to hear you are doing so well 2 years after liver transplant!  I wouldn't recommend elective cosmetic surgery for you because your immune system is suppressed.  Prograf is essential to keep your body from rejecting the liver, but it lowers your body's ability to fight infection following surgery.  Infection is one of the top complications of liposuction - even liposuction performed under local anesthesia would pose this risk.  Best of luck!

Andrew Jimerson, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 557 reviews


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In our practice we have no problem taking patients that have medical conditions because we take our patients to out patient surgery centers and use Certified Anesthesiologist, but most importantly we talk to your doctor and make sure he/she is OK that you have surgery and getting a clearance and whatever blood work from them is all that is needed. Make sure you go to a Certified Plastic Surgeon to take your case. It should not be a problem in the right hands.

Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Cosmetic surgery after liver transplant

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This is a great question and one I hear occasionally.  Unfortunately, having your immune system suppressed so that your transplant does not get rejected means that you are more prone to infection.  We like our cosmetic patients to heal well, and unfortunately you are at significant enough risk, being immunosuppressed, that you may not.  Basically, the risks do not outweigh the benefits.  Best of luck to you. 

I would not recommend lipo in this case

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 I would not recommend liposuction in your case because the prograf suppresses the immune system's ability to fight off infection.  Any elective surgical procedure should probably be avoided in your case because your immune system has been purposefully weakened to prevent organ rejection.

Jay Zimmerman, MD
Walnut Creek Dermatologic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.