Liposuction Side Effects and Risks
Dec 12, 2012 @ 12:00 PM — by Dina Eliopoulos
Liposuction, like all surgical procedures, has possible side effects you need to be aware of before your treatment. By learning about the possible side effects and their causes, you can help reduce your risk of complications. Receiving treatment from an experienced surgeon, like Dr. Dina Eliopoulos, is also important to reducing your risks. At our Chelmsford plastic surgery practice, we make every effort to minimize post-surgical side effects and risks.
Side Effects of Liposuction
Liposuction is associated with side effects that should be expected after surgery:
- Bruising: Bruising is a common side effect of liposuction. Bruising generally resolves in about a month.
- Swelling: Swelling following liposuction is to be expected. Swelling that persists or worsens following surgery should be discussed with your doctor as this may be a sign of more significant problems like infection or blood clots.
- Scars: Scars will result at the incision sites used during the liposuction procedure.
The Possible Risks of Liposuction
- Infection: Infection can result if liposuction incisions are not properly cleaned and cared for. On rare occasions, bacteria can be introduced into the body during the liposuction procedure, which is why an experienced, reliable surgeon is of utmost importance.
- Lumpy Appearance: A possible risk of liposuction is a lumpy appearance of the remaining fat beneath the skin.
- Skin Numbness: Following liposuction the skin may feel numb. Many people will regain sensation during the recovery process.
- Blood Clots: Blood clots are a possible complication of liposuction treatment. The danger of blood clots is that they can potentially travel through the bloodstream, to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary embolisms are potentially fatal.
- Excessive Bleeding: Excessive bleeding is a possible complication of liposuction.
- Allergic Reactions to Medications or Anesthesia: As with any new medications or anesthesia, there is a slight risk of having an allergic reaction.
- Cardiac Issues: Liposuction, like most surgeries, has the rare but possible side effect of causing cardiac arrest or a cardiac arrhythmia. Both are potentially fatal.
- Permanent Nerve Damage: Another rare side effect of liposuction is the possibility of permanent nerve damage.
You can help reduce the likelihood of complications and adverse side effects by following your surgeon's instructions. Here are some other tips on reducing side effects:
- Follow Your Surgeon's Instructions: Following your surgeon's instructions prior to and after your surgery is key to ensuring you're prepared for the procedure and will improve your likelihood for a successful recovery.
- Disclose Your Medical History to Your Surgeon: Be sure to tell your surgeon your full medical history so your surgeon will be aware of any conditions that could create complications. This includes letting your surgeon know which medications you are taking to avoid any adverse drug reactions.
- Do Not Smoke Two Weeks Before Surgery: Smoking greatly impairs the body's healing ability. It is advisable to quit smoking for at least two weeks before surgery and to avoid smoking during recovery.
Schedule a Consultation
For our patients in Chelmsford, liposuction surgery offers the long-term benefits of increased confidence and self-esteem. We encourage you to schedule a consultation with board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Eliopoulos to find out your specific risks and benefits of receiving liposuction.