Risks and Complications


Almost all patients are satisfied with the results of their surgery. Still, just like any surgical procedure, risks are involved. That's precisely why it is necessary that you be aware of the limitations and potential complications of liposuction surgery.

Prior to deciding to undergo the surgery, you should be aware of these risks and must consider the risks and benefits according to your own valuation.

Avoid getting affected by friends who have had the surgery or doctors forcing you to do so. Decide upon the fact that risks are involved in the procedure.

Invest some time determining if you are prepared to accept the risks inherent in liposuction. Since it is generally a cosmetic procedure, and not medically required, there is absolutely no reason to hurry.

Gain a great deal of information as possible allowing you to come up with an educated decision about whether the surgery is best for you. Don't assume complications "only happen to other people." It is crucial that you know what the risks are and decide if you really are prepared to accept the likelihood that it could happen to you.


Infections could occur after any surgery and may also occur after liposuction. Several surgeons prescribe an antibiotic to all patients undergoing liposuction but other surgeons choose not to. It is vital to always keep the wound(s) clean yet even if you do, infections may possibly occur from the surgery.

Embolism can happen once fat is loosened and moves into the blood via blood vessels ruptured (damaged) during the procedure. Bits of fat become stuck in the blood vessels, accumulate in the lungs, or reach the brain.

Shortness of breath or difficulty of breathing is a sign that fat clots have occurred in the lungs (pulmonary emboli). Should you have the signs or symptoms of fat emboli after surgery, it is crucial that you ask for emergency medical care immediately. Fat emboli may result in long-term disability and in rare cases, it could be fatal.

Visceral Perforations (puncture wounds in the organs) can happen during the course of the surgery, the surgeon cannot see exactly where the canula or probe is. It is possible to puncture or damage internal organs during the procedure.

This could occur, for example, in case the intestines are punctured during abdominal liposuction. In case organs are injured, surgery is often necessary to repair them. Visceral perforations can also be fatal.

Seroma is the condition where serum accumulates in the spots where tissue was removed during surgery. Serum is the fluid portion of your blood.

Nerve Compression and Alterations in Sensation - you could possibly experience "paresthesias" which is a changed sensation at the area of the surgery. This could possibly be in the form of a heightened sensitivity (pain) in the area, or the lack of any sensation (numbness) in the area.

In case these changes in sensation continue for a long time (weeks or months) you need to inform your surgeon. In rare cases, these changes in sensation could be permanent.

Swelling or edema may possibly happen after surgery. Occasionally, swelling could continue for weeks or months.

The skin on top of the area where fat was removed can become necrotic (necrosis = death). Necrotic skin could be infected with bacteria and become the source of infection. Dead skin changes in color and may fall off.

Burns can happen during the course of ultrasound-assisted liposuction, the ultrasound probe could become very hot that can result in burns.

Fluid imbalance results when considerable amounts of liquid are removed with the fat during surgery. Fat tissue contains large amounts of liquid. Surgeons also inject fluids during the procedure and this adds to the fluid imbalance.

Anytime you are in the hospital, the staff will be observing you for signs of fluid imbalance. Yet, this could occur once you go home and can develop critical conditions such as heart problems, excess fluid collecting in the lungs, or kidney problems as your kidneys attempt to preserve fluid balance.

Significant amounts of fluid with lidocaine are usually injected during liposuction. This could give you too much doses of lidocaine. The signs of this are lightheadedness, uneasiness, drowsiness, tinnitis (a ringing in the ears), slurred speech, metallic taste in the mouth, numbness of the lips and tongue, shivering, muscle twitching and convulsions.