Liposuction Risks & Complications

Are you seeking a liposuction surgeon? The first step in minimizing risks and preventing complications with any surgery, is finding a good surgeon, and at SurgeonGate, we do that for you. We work with leading cosmetic surgeons and can promptly connect you with the most experienced and highly trained specialist in your area. We only trust the most experienced and highly trained liposuction surgeons, and so should you. Request a consultation today and a Michigan lipo expert will contact you as soon as possible to address your goals.

Laser-Assisted Liposuction is a cosmetic surgery designed to lean out and reshape troublesome parts of the body such as the midsection or upper legs. During the procedure, a plastic surgeon removes excess deposits of fatty tissue from beneath the skin, improving a patients body contours and physical proportions. The surgeon also works to sculpt the area of focus in order to permanently reshape the patient’s figure.

Evolution of liposuction

Liposuction went from a novelty of the late 70s to become one of the most commonly performed procedures by plastic surgeons in the last decade. The key to successful liposuction begins with the consultation for candidacy. Candidacy begins with an examination of a patients complete medical history that assesses the risk factors of each patient, and opens communication about the procedure including the risks, complications, and limitations.

Although lipo is considered a safe procedure, it has inherent risks that in most cases can be avoided with a thorough pre-surgical analysis. Complications associated with liposuction are also are extremely rare with laser-assisted liposuction by the hands of an experienced and well-trained surgeon.

Documented liposuction complications 

Contour irregularities can occur in any treated area. Several studies have shown that ultrasound-assisted liposuction and laser-assisted liposuction greatly reduce these complications.

Decreased sensitivity of the skin surrounding the treatment area is a normal and expected side effect to liposuction. This occurs due to transient inflammation of the nerves in the area and is usually relieved by anti-inflammatory medications and massages.

Edema is one of the most frequent side effects of liposuction, which is controlled with the use of compression garments provided by your surgeon.

Bruises are inevitable due to the manipulation of the tissue and the injury of small vessels. In most cases the bruising disappears spontaneously, however in rare cases there may be permanent changes in skin color.

Bleeding: In rare cases, postoperative bleeding may occur, which can be avoided by adequate tissue infiltration with epinephrine solutions which, due to their vasoconstrictor effect, reduce bleeding from small vascular lesions.

Seromas: The appearance of seromas (accumulation of liquid fat, serum, and lymph) occurs more frequently with the use of ultrasound and when large amounts of fat are removed or when the procedure is combined with open surgery such as a tummy tuck. Its frequency can be reduced by limiting the time of exposure to ultrasound and by utilizing a drainage system.

Surgical site infections

Fortunately, infection is not a frequent complication and can be prevented with adequate washing and sterilization of the equipment that will be used in surgery. Infections are also minimized by the use of adequate asepsis and antisepsis during the procedure. Some surgeons recommend the prophylactic use of antibiotics to further reduce the chances of infection.

Perforation of internal organs

Perforation of internal organs is a serious but rare complication that has been documented with traditional dry liposuction. Patients with high risk of intestinal perforation are those with abdominal wall hernias or a history of abdominal surgery including laparoscopy, so the preoperative physical examination should include the search for abdominal scars and any herniation that alerts the surgeon to a risk of drilling. 

Venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolisms

The incidence of deep vein thrombosis is approximately 0.1 to 0.8% in patients undergoing liposuction. Clinical manifestations are variable and nonspecific and may or may not present signs or symptoms even when there is extensive deep vein thrombosis. The most common symptoms are inflammation and pain or tightness in the leg that is exacerbated when walking.

Pulmonary embolisms represent the few reported causes of death associated with liposuction. Although its incidence is extremely rare, it should be taken into account due to its severity. It is a fact that pulmonary embolisms lead to high mortality if it is not diagnosed early and treated properly. The main symptoms are chest pain, sudden onset of respiratory distress, cough, and tachycardia.

Liposuction Risks & Complications

Risk factors associated with deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolisms

  • Over 40 years old
  • Use of oral contraceptives or hormone therapy
  • Obesity
  • Excess visceral fat deposits
  • Coagulation disorders such as dysfibrinogenemia
  • Coagulation abnormalities of factors VIII, IX, and X.
  • History of venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism
  • Antiphospholipid syndrome
  • Heart disease
  • Polycythemia
  • Radiotherapy

Common treatments measures

There are a few common techniques used to prevent and treat embolisms. The first is early ambulations in the first hours following surgery, in which the patient performs guided physical activities to encourage proper blood flow. The use of compression bandages also increases venous blood flow and prevents the formation of blood clots. Surgeons may also prescribe oral anticoagulants if they feel a patient is at risk of an embolism. Oral anticoagulants such as warfarin or heparin may be used in high-risk patients to prevent the development of thrombosis. The use of aspirin as prophylaxis is not recommended

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