As with any surgery, the elected procedure of liposuction comes with risks. All risks should be considered carefully before undergoing any surgery.
Liposuction risks can vary from simple scarring and contour irregularities to pulmonary embolism.
Surgical scars are permanent. These are usually small and can be mitigated by proper bandaging, resting and certain ointments and creams.
Swelling in the surgical area can result in numbness and tingling because of increased pressure on nerves. Seroma (fluid filled pocket) can appear as swelling after a liposuction procedure. This pocket can easily be remedied by draining with a needle
Redness, streaking, tenderness, chills, fever, or vomiting can be signs of an infection. It is not uncommon for doctors to prescribe antibiotics after a procedure to limit the chances on an infection starting.
During the procedure there is a possibility of organ damage. If the doctor is probing under the surface of the skin, removing fat, it might be challenging to see internal organs. Damaging internal organs may result in additional surgeries.
A pulmonary embolism could result from the movement and blocking of the lungs by small pieces of fat dislodged from the liposuction procedure. The greatest risk for this complication exists within the first 3 days of the completion of the procedure. If a patient experiences difficulty breathing, emergency help should be sought immediately.
No deaths related to tumescent liposuction have ever been reported due to the use of local anesthesia, rather than general anesthesia. For this reason, tumescent liposuction is a safer alternative to conventional liposuction.
Generally, patients that are not in good overall health should not consider or participate in elective medical procedures. The liposuction risks increase with the number of concurrent procedures performed.
The best circumstances to reduce liposuction risks is to only elect to have surgery if the individual is in good overall heath and seek out trained and experienced liposuction surgeons that use tumescent anesthesia in outpatient facilities.