Your Weight and Cosmetic Surgery

A common question that I hear when new patients are considering a cosmetic procedure, particularly liposuction or a tummy tuck, is “Should I lose weight first?”

My answer is that you should be within about 10 to 15 pounds of your goal weight at the time of surgery. Mind you “goal weight” is not the same as ideal body weight. Ideal body weight is a weight range that you will find on Body Mass Index charts. However, for a variety of reasons ideal body weight isn’t attainable , and honestly a lot of people feel more comfortable / think they look their best at a weight that is outside of this range. I call this your “goal weight” and I want you close to that number at the time of surgery.

The reason it’s ok to proceed with 10 pounds left to go is because as you lose weight it doesn’t all come off of one body part. There is no such thing as targeted or spot weight loss. Doing crunches doesn’t melt the fat on your tummy, it makes your abs stronger. Doing lunges doesn’t make your thighs smaller, it makes them stronger. When you lose weight you lose it all over your body. So 10 pounds isn’t really going to affect the  outcome. So, if you are more than 10 -15 lbs above your goal weight, it’s best to work on that before surgery.

Every plastic surgeon will have some guidelines on your weight, there are no hard and fast rules on this. But, most of my colleagues tend to agree on the 10-15 pound zone.

I hope this helps those of you who are contemplating cosmetic surgery prepare appropriately.

Lee Corbett, MD

Medical Director Corbett Cosmetic Aesthetic Surgery and Med Spa


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What’s a Mommy Makeover?

At Corbett Cosmetic, a Mommy Makeover is one of our most requested operations. A ‘mommy makeover’ is a generic term for some combination of breast procedure and tummy procedure.

The breast portion can be a lift, a reduction, an augmentation, or a lot of times an implant and a lift are combined. This allows me to restore the fullness to the top of the breast and reposition the natural breast tissue so that is doesn’t droop below the crease that is below the breast.

For the tummy portion, we typically will do a tummy tuck with liposuction, but sometimes Liposuction alone is all that is needed. The decision is based on how much loose skin you have, how much your muscles were stretched by the pregnancies, and how much fatty tissue we are dealing with.

These decisions are pretty simple to make after your consultation. It’s really just a matter of you stating your goals and then I can match the operation best suited for your particular problem.

If you are interested just give us a call at (502) 721-0330 or by e mail at

Lee E Corbett, MD

Medical Director: Corbett Cosmetic Aesthetic Surgery and Med Spa


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Swelling and Pressure Garments

After most body contouring surgery, especially liposuction and tummy tucks, post operative soft tissue swelling is a normal, natural occurrence. Basically, the skin, fatty tissue and muscle have been “traumatized” and they swell in response. To your body, the experience of surgery is the same as if you fell or were hit or had any other kind of accident. This is just the way the body heals itself.

So, as Plastic Surgeons, we use compression to help with the swelling. Usually after a body contouring procedure we recommend the patient wear some form of compression, be it a binder or girdle, for several weeks after surgery. The compression has many benefits. First, it minimizes the swelling, especially as you become more active at home and work. This in turn minimizes your discomfort. Almost 100% of my patients will tell me after surgery that they just feel better with compression. Secondly, especially in Liposuction cases, it helps the skin tighten and re-drape after the underlying fat cells have been removed. The amount of time one needs compression varies from patient to patient. Factors we consider are your age, skin quality, skin elasticity, amount of fat removed, and the scope of the procedure. In my practice, I usually recommend compression for at least 4-6 weeks but many patients will wear some form of compression for 2-3 months.

Every surgeon has his or her own practices so check with your doctor if you have questions. In general though, I think you will find most plastic surgeons feel as though there isn’t such thing as wearing your garment “too long”.

Lee E Corbett, MD

Medical Director, Corbett Cosmetic Aesthetic Surgery and MedSpa


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Butt Implants

We get called fairly frequently with the request for Butt Implants. For full disclosure, I don’t do butt implant operations. The reason is that the complication and re-operation rate are very high. In the Plastic Surgery literature, even in experienced hands, the re-operation rates for the surgery range from 13 to 25%. Risks include bleeding, infection, implant migration, chronic pain, numbness and extrusion. If someone is truly seeking a surgical option for a flat butt we recommend fat grafting, which has risks of its’ own. Otherwise, it’s lots of lunges and squats and step ups!

Lee E. Corbett, MD

Medical Director Corbett Cosmetic Aesthetic Surgery and MediSpa

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Tummy Tucks and Swelling…How long will it last?

As Spring nears I have done several Tummy Tucks the past few weeks and one of the most common questions after surgery is how long the swelling will last. The answer is that some patients will have swelling for as few as 6 weeks but some will have some swelling for 3-6 months. Now, before you get too worried, understand that after these procedures, you will look significantly better immediately swollen or not. These operations produce very dramatic results for most patients and are very popular. The swelling is more of how the tummy feels as opposed to how things look. Patients will report feeling a bit bloated by the end of the day yet they still look flat. The swelling is a result of the tiny veins and lymphatic vessels that are divided as part of the operation. It takes those a while to grow back and until they do some swelling will result. The good thing is, in the end, it always goes away!

Lee Corbett, MD


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What is the typical recovery after Plastic Surgery?

Recovery after Cosmetic Plastic Surgery varies  significantly, as you might imagine, but there are some general guidelines. In my Louisville Cosmetic Surgery practice, I tell my patients no exercise for two weeks to avoid post operative bleeding. For facial surgery, I ask that they sleep with their head elevated for the first 48 hours. With Breast and Body procedures, past the two week point, most restrictions involve strenuous exercise and heavy lifting, pushing, pulling. As a rule most patients are up and around the day after surgery and are capable of taking care of themselves after the first 48 to 72 hours. With more minor MediSpa procedures like Botox or fillers, there is no downtime.

Lee Corbett, MD

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Why does the skin sometimes ripple after liposuction?

In my Louisville Liposuction practice, I find this procedure to be often reqeusted, right behind breast augmentation in popularity.

One known side effect of liposuction is rippling of the skin. Plastic Surgeons refer to this as a contour irregularity. This isn’t very common but it certainly can occur.

The reason patients experience this problem is twofold. First, if the patient is older and/or has loose skin, when the fat is removed the skin isn’t able to snap back tightly enough and it can leave some ripples. The second reason we see this is if the liposuction cannula is passed just under the skin. Everytime we advance the liposuction cannula a small tunnel is made. As the tissues heal and the tunnels collapse on themselves, if they are just under the skin, the skin can be pulled in which will cause a rippling effect. To combat this we try to stay a bit deeper with the cannula and will cross-hatch the tunnels.

Are you prone to this problem? The only way to really know is to let your Plastic Surgeon examine the area you are interested in having treated.

Lee Corbett, MD

All posts on this blog are provided by Louisville Liposuction doctor, Lee Corbett, MD.

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“Life Expectancy” of Plastic Surgery

Often times in my Louisville Plastic Surgery office I get questions about how long the results of an operation will last. The answer is there really isn’t an answer so here’s how I answer the question.

Be it a Louisville Facelift, a Louisville Breast Lift or a Louisville Tummy Tuck, all of which are lifting/tightening procedures, some diminution of results is to be expected. The reasons are varied but all are based around the fact that our skin is a living breathing ever-changing tissue. So, with continued aging, health changes, sun exposure things will change. Now, what I also tell my patients is that though the results do fade over time, it isn’t like all of a sudden everything goes to “heck in a handbasket” at a certain point in time. You will always see an improvement vs. doing nothing at all.

Some patients do come back in 10-20 years for a redo lift, be it face, breast, brow, etc… but many do not.

Lee Corbett, MD

All posts on this blog are presented by Louisville Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Lee Corbett

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Fat Freezing gets FDA approval

Louisville Liposuction is one of my more commonly performed procedures, but now it appears new technology in on the way that may replace liposuction in selected cases. The process has been used in Europe apparently for some time to treat small fat deposits close to the skin surface. The skin is pinched between cooling plates and the fat pad trapped between the plates is frozen and killed. The dead fat cells then are broken down by the body. The skin, due to its superior blood supply, is able to survive the freezing.

The treatment is not applicable to deeper fat deposits nor for very large areas. Here Liposuction, a tummy tuck and of course diet and exercise are still the main players.

Lee Corbett, MD

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