Risks of Liposuction

Liposuction risks should always be taken into account by patients preparing for have lipo surgery. Although the percent of patients who develop serious complications after the liposuction surgery is very small, being aware of possible risks of liposuction is very important.

Alternative (non-surgical) liposuction methods (such as laser liposuction, VASER liposelection, SmartLipo, lipodissolve) are associated with smaller risks and complications because of little trauma to the tissues. For example, laser liposuction risks do not include cellulite aggravation. On the contrary, cellulite and skin tone improve after the laser lipo treatment.

Today Alternative liposuction method these methods are becoming increasingly popular not only because of smaller risks but also because the price difference between these methods and tradition liposuction has significantly decreased.

The most common liposuction risks are the following:

  • Embolism (Pulmonary Embolism) may occur when small loosened particles of fat left after liposuction enter the blood through the damaged vessels. These pieces of fat travel to the lungs, gather there causing breath difficulty, or even reach the brain. Embolism can be fatal so if you become short of breath during the first days after liposuction, seek the emergency immediately.

  • Loose skin unable to shrink to conform to the new shape. That can happen after removal of large amount of fat in one operation, especially with aged patients with poor skin elasticity (stretch-marks are a sure sign of inelastic skin). Loose skin on the abdomen may require a tummy tuck surgery in addition to liposuction.

  • Nerve damage can result in paresthesia - altered sensation in the areas affected by liposuction. The sensitivity may be increased in the form of pain or completely lost, the liposuction area becomes numb. Paresthesia in liposuction areas can last for weeks, months or even become permanent. Do not hesitate to inform you physician about such changes.

  • Swelling (edema) is an common problem and even considered a part of postoperative healing. The swelling may last for weeks or even months after liposuction procedure.

  • Skin necrosis above the liposuction area. Large areas of skin necrosis may become infected with bacteria.

  • Infections may occur after a liposuction surgery, as after any surgery. In order to prevent infection, some doctors would prescribe antibiotics. In any case, it is important to keep wounds clean.

  • Visceral perforations. Internal organ damages may occur during liposuction because surgeons operate through a small incision in the skin and don’t see the inside. The most common case is bowels poked by the probe, specially if the patient has hernia with intestines protruding through the abdomen. Such damages may require another surgery.

  • Side effects of general anesthesia that may affect the whole body.

  • Dimples, skin irregularities or irregular contour. An additional surgery may be required to correct the liposuction results.

  • Anesthesia toxicity develops from overdosing of lidocaine, a drug used to numb the skin during liposuction.

  • Heart or kidney failure can develop because of fluid imbalance when too much fluid is removed along with the fat or large amounts of fluids is injected during liposuction.

  • Seroma, liquid that appears in the areas of tissue damaged by liposuction. Seroma needs to be drained out.

  • Burns from ultrasonic liposuction caused by overheated ultrasound probe.

  • Blood clots, the most common cause of death from liposuction.

Remember that liposuction may cause complications ranging from minor, close to norm, to fatal ones. The reports on fatal outcomes of liposuction vary considerably, form 3 per 100.000 cases up to 20 per 100.000 cases. However, liposuction is the most popular type of plastic surgery in the United States which helped many people obtain the desired body contour and improve the quality of life. You should always consider liposuction alternatives, count liposuction risks and benefits and discuss them with your doctor before you decide on a liposuction surgery.

Stay Fit and Fine!

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