Liposuction is surgery, and
with surgery comes inherent risks. With liposuction the most serious of
complications are related to anesthesia and also from blood clots. The most
"common" complications are lumping and dents.
see our anesthesia section for more
There is a risk of an allergic reaction to the
medications used throughout your surgery, from start to finish.
Laser and Ultrasonic-Assisted Liposuction Risks
Although some newer machines made safety mechanisms that actually turn off
the laser or energy source when the surgeon stops moving the cannula, older
machines or less advanced machines on the market either release too much
high heat or are not sufficiently controlled. Burns can occur with
some laser and some ultrasonic machines.
Fat Cell & Skin Necrosis
Although very rare in liposuction, fat cell necrosis occurs when either
there is an infection present which spreads to the remaining fat cells which
are left in your treatment area. Or when blood supply is disrupted from the
remaining fat cells and not restored fast enough naturally. The result
can be fat cell die off which can cause contour irregularities,
Skin necrosis is even more rare in liposuction and
occurs when the dissection of the skin, or burning of the underside of the
skin, during liposuction disrupts the blood flow to the surface skin. When
this happens, the skin can turn black and slough off. Additional procedures
may be necessary to hinder spreading of the necrotic tissue, infection and
removal of the edges may need to be performed. Prolonged wound care will be
required until the area closes, if the area cannot be sutured closed.
In severe cases, skin grafts are necessary. As said before, with
liposuction, this is very, very rare.
Pulmonary Thromboemboli is a blood clot which forms during your
liposuction procedure that can break free and travels to your lungs.
However, the methods used today usually decrease the incidence of bleeding
during the procedure, and therefore larger blood clots are much less likely
to form. Symptoms include difficulty breathing and severe fatigue.
The incidence is rare in liposuction, but still worth mentioning,
Fat Embolism is when a small piece of fat breaks free and is absorbed by
a blood vessel. The fat can travel to your lungs, brain and heart.
The symptoms are similar to pulmonary thromboemboli.
This risk is also rare, but worth mentioning.
High Volume Liposuction
High Volume Liposuction increases your chances
of very serious risks. Liposuction is not for weight loss, nor is
it a safe option to treat obesity. Removing significant amounts of
fat in one procedure can increase blood loss and the fluids used during
the procedure, if not mostly removed, can cause what is called a fluid
shit. This is when there is too much fluid in the body suddenly
and the body's natural electrolytes are thrown off. You may have
heard this about military personal who were forced to over-hydrate by
drinking gallons of water in basic training until they become very sick,
or even died. Skilled surgeons monitor your fluid intake and output,
combined with aspirate volume so that this is not an issue. If you
have large amounts of fat which you'd like removed, please consider diet
and exercise first or Lapband surgery to reduce your body fat
percentage. At the very least, have liposuction in stages and in
Lidocaine is a pain reliever used in the tumescent fluid during your
procedure. Lidocaine toxicity occurs when a surgeon either uses
too much lidocaine for the patient's weight, does not use adequate
suction to remove the amount of tumescent fluid infused, does not use
enough epinephrine to decrease uptake through returning blood vessels,
or the patient cannot sufficiently metabolize the lidocaine. It
can be very dangerous, and sometimes fatal. However, there are
strict protocols which skilled surgeons adhere to and a recognized
tumescent fluid to body weight ratio which most adhere to.
The risks of liposuction include dents, lumps, waviness and other contour
irregularities from aggressive over-suctioning in one area. This is
usually the chief complaint of patients. Liposuction is not an exact
and precise method of fat removal, but with newer machines, it can be pretty
close! This is my it is imperative to go to a surgeon who is
experienced and skilled at the art of body contouring. A surgeon must
also be proficient with the liposuction method and machine of choice.
There is a learning curve even with the most experienced surgeon when
introduced to a new method.