All Surgery Carries Some Uncertainty and Risk
Liposuction is a common procedure and is generally considered safe. However, like any surgery, there are certain complications associated with the procedure. Many a times complications occur because the surgeon hurriedly chooses high risk patients for what is strictly an elective procedure. Often the surgeon has minimal experience with the technique and performs procedures in the office rather than the hospital
Complications associated with liposuction include:
- bleeding, which can be massive and require blood transfusions
- delays in healing
- formation of fat clots which are released into the blood circulation and cause shortness of breath and even minor strokes
- blood clots in the legs which may migrate to the lungs and cause death
- excessive fluid loss leading to shock
- friction burns
- damage to the skin from the constant pushing in and out of the trochar
- damage to nerves from the cannula
- damage to the blood vessels
- injury to vital organs
- reactions related to anesthesia
When Ultrasound liposuction is used, the heat released may cause injury to the
- deeper organs
In the tumescent and super-wet techniques, the anesthetic fluid that is injected may cause
- lidocaine toxicity (if the solution's lidocaine content is too high)
- The collection of fluid in the lungs (if too much fluid is administered).
Other complications of liposuction include
- Imperfections in the final appearance are not uncommon
- Irregular, asymmetric or even "baggy," skin in those with lax skin.
- Pigmentation changes may occur. Sometimes, additional surgery may be recommended.
- Persistent fluid drainage from the skin incision requiring a small drainage tube for a few days
- Swelling of the skin. To control swelling and to help your skin better fit its new contours, you may be fitted with a snug compression/elastic garment to wear over the treated area for a few weeks.
- Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection.
Despite the availability of finer equipment and better techniques, liposuction does take a toll on most individuals. After the procedure, you will feel
- temporary numbness
- feel sore and stiff for a few days
Over the ensuing few days, the mild side effects subside and resolve.