What Are the Risks of Liposuction?

October 2, 2017 9:26 pm

Liposuction is a popular procedure for men and women who have stubborn deposits of fat that resist the efforts of diet and exercise. My patients tend to be very happy with their results and gain confidence in their appearance, which carries over into their work and social life. When performed by an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon in a properly equipped hospital, liposuction typically has minimal side effects. However, like any surgical procedure, liposuction carries some degree of risk.

Common side effects include temporary swelling, bruising, soreness, and numbness in the treated areas, all of which resolve over time. Some patients may also have irritation and minor scarring around the incision sites. Initially, there may be baggy or uneven skin, but the areas usually tighten after a few months. For this reason, skin elasticity and other factors are evaluated during your initial consultation.

Less commonly found side effects include changes in skin color, uneven skin over the treated areas, or persistent skin numbness. The risks of complications increase if you are obese, are having large amounts of fat removed, or have other underlying health problems.

Liposuction should not be performed in people with severe heart problems or who have blood-clotting disorders. While severe, if not fatal, complications are very rare, they can happen, especially if you receive treatment from an untrained, inexperienced physician, or if you have the procedure in a facility that is not properly equipped to handle complications.

I am board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and I have been in private practice here in Austin for 20 years. I only perform liposuction in accredited hospitals, using board-certified anesthesiologists. Although these extra safety precautions increase the price of the procedure, I firmly believe that safety is not something you can discount.

Ultimately, liposuction offers a way to improve the body’s contour with little risk and downtime. Patients deserve to have a body that improves their self-esteem and confidence, and liposuction delivers.