Liposuction: Possible Risks and Complications of Surgery

liposuction risks northern virginia

Liposuction remains an extremely popular method of fat removal. Because it’s elective, people often forget that liposuction is a surgical procedure, with associated side effects and possible complications.

If you are considering liposuction, continue reading to learn liposuction risks and how to avoid them.

What Factors Increase Liposuction Risks?

Liposuction risks can be increased when the provider elects to perform too much liposuction in one day. Accordingly, the use of general anesthesia or IV sedation can also tempt a surgeon to treat more areas than is safely possible.

Liposuction is also riskier when it’s combined with other surgical procedures, such as facelift or gynecological surgery.

Research has shown that the use of tumescent anesthesia and microcannulas can help reduce liposuction risks.

Common Liposuction Side Effects

Liposuction is a surgical procedure and certain side effects are to be expected. These include swelling, bruising, numbness, and contour irregularities. However, in most cases, such issues are temporary and resolve on their own within a matter of days to weeks.

Major Liposuction Complications

While uncommon, patients can experience major complications from liposuction. Here are 7 liposuction risks to consider prior to surgery.

1. Organ Puncture

Although a skilled and qualified surgeon will take every precaution to avoid intraabdominal injury, it is possible for a cannula to pierce an organ during surgery.

If this occurs with tumescent anesthesia, the patient will experience intense pain right away and the injury can be repaired immediately.

2. Hematoma or Seroma

A hematoma refers to collection of blood under the skin or the leakage of fluid into a closed space.

3. Nerve Damage

While nerve damage is often temporary, it may persist following liposuction, or any surgery for that matter.

4. Skin Necrosis

Skin Necrosis, also known as tissue death, can be the result of thermal injury, infection, or damage to the blood vessels that supply oxygen to skin.

5. Pulmonary Embolism

During liposuction, fat could potentially break off and form a blood clot in the lungs. This is considered a medical emergency and should be addressed with urgency.

6. Allergic Reaction or Toxicity

These complications can arise with local or general anesthesia, both during and after surgery.

7. Pulmonary Edema

When patients receive excess fluids, intra- or post-operatively, they have the potential to accumulate in the lungs and cause serious issues.

If you are considering liposuction but want to learn more about non-surgical alternatives like Emsculpt or Vanquish, please contact our office today to schedule a comprehensive consultation with board-certified dermatologist Dr. Nicole Hayre.