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Liposuction Risks and Complications

What are
Risks and Complications?

Most of the time, cosmetic surgery procedures go smoothly, the patient recovers completely, and everything goes the way it should. However, despite all the precautions surgical staff and clinics take to prevent complications, they do sometimes occur. So as with any surgery, liposuction comes with certain risks. It’s also possible to develop complications during or after surgery. Before you have any surgical procedure, it’s important to educate yourself about these risks.

If, after reading this page, you still have questions, we invite you to schedule a consultation so we can talk with you about the procedure, and provide you with more information.

Risks and Complications: Medical

At TCC, your safety is our number one priority. We take every precaution to ensure our state-of-the-art facility provides you not only with comfort, but security in the knowledge that your procedure is being performed in a sterile and technologically advanced environment.

However, complications can still sometimes arise either during or after any type of surgery. Medical complications of liposuction include, but are not limited to:

This is a buildup of fluid that can occur after surgery. It usually appears as a small bump in the surgical area. A seroma occurs when damaged blood and lymphatic vessels expel plasma, the clear, yellowish fluid portion of blood. Small seromas can be absorbed back into the body as your body heals itself. However, larger seromas can sometimes become infected, and require medical attention.

Anesthesia Reaction
The more areas you have treated, the longer the surgery will last. This also means you’ll be under general anesthesia for a longer period of time, which could increase your risk of complications, depending on your overall health. We perform a detailed health history so the anesthesiologist can rule out any potential problems.

Allergic Reaction
Lidocaine is one of the main ingredients used in tumescent liposuction solution. In rare cases, some patients do not respond well to it. If you have a lidocaine allergy, or you’ve had adverse reactions to similar drugs in the past, it is vital that you disclose this to your surgeon.

Excessive movement or pressure put on the surgical site may cause incisions to reopen. It’s rare with liposuction, but it’s a possibility. This is part of why post-surgical care is so important.

Fat Embolism
Fat that has been loosened during the liposuction procedure can break away, become trapped in a blood vessel, and travel to the lungs, or even the brain, blocking proper organ function.

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Risks and Complications: Aesthetic

Some problems that may arise are not life-threatening, and don’t require medical treatment, but instead affect the cosmetic results of your liposuction procedure. Aesthetic complications of liposuction include, but are not limited to:

Liposuction is performed using a cannula, which is inserted into the subcutaneous (under the skin) fat layer in order to suction it out. In order to reach that layer of fat, small incisions must be made in the skin in order to accommodate the liposuction cannula. While your surgeon will make every effort to minimize the visibility of scars by placing incisions in discreet locations whenever possible, scarring is an unavoidable aspect of any surgery.

Your doctor can recommend topical creams that may help reduce scarring. Protecting the scar from sun exposure is also recommended. With proper care and time, it will fade into a minor blemish.

Contour Irregularities
This is one of the most common complications of liposuction surgery. It happens when subcutaneous fat pockets are unevenly distributed due to excessive or poorly performed liposuction. Choosing an experienced and skilled surgeon minimizes the risk of this occurring. Wearing your liposuction compression garments also helps ensure smooth, even results.

Loose Skin
Some patients, particularly those who are older, and/or have poor skin elasticity, may experience loose skin after having a liposuction procedure. It’s sometimes a result of removing larger amounts of fat, and can be corrected with additional surgery to remove the excess skin. Toning or building the muscles in the area may also help. In addition, laser liposuction can help minimize the probability of loose skin occurring.

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