What can go wrong with Liposuction?



F, 34, Delaware

There are many possible complications. The most frequent would be hematoma or extensive bruising.

See a Board certified plastic surgeonWhat can go wrong with Liposuction, submitted image.

Dear susanne:

Liposuction is a technique used to reduce the superficial fat deposits under your skin. In skillful hands you will end up with an envious body contour. Liposuction can be performed from small amounts around the face and neck (cc's) to moderate amounts (up to 5000 cc's) to large amounts 10 to 20,000 cc's) around the body and extremities. Each has its own level of side-effects and potential complications. 

Proper training and significant experience is required to obtain the best results with the least risk of problems. These concerns can include:

  • contour irregularities, skin laxity and asymmetry,
  • bruising, swelling, discomfort / pain, numbness, 
  • seroma or hematoma, infection, 
  • excessive blood loss, fluid / electrolyte imbalance and low blood pressure, 
  • need for blood transfusion and hospitalization for shock.

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It is therefore important to choose your surgeon wisely. Select a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to evaluate your desires and see if liposuction or other options are best for YOU!

I hope this is helpful. All the best!

Thank you for the question and as with any procedure there is a list of potential complications so choose your surgeon wisely.  Go on several complimentary consultations, look at photos, compare techniques and fees and find your surgeon

Dr. Frederic Corbin has 1 Liposuction before & after:

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Contour irregularities, fluid collections, hematoma , poor scarring, persistent fat deposits, open wounds, and bruising. 

Dr. Carlos Burnett has 1 Liposuction before & after:

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Hi Suzanne,

Thanks for your question!  Complications for any cosmetic procedure can be divided into medical and cosmetic.  Medical complications from liposuction are very rare in qualified hands but can include fluid overload, electrolyte abnormalities and lidocaine toxicity.

Similarly, cosmetic complications are rare and can include subtle contour deformities but these are correctable.

Patients are almost always pleased after liposuction.  There's a reason why it's the second most common cosmetic procedure performed in the U.S. - it was done more than 300,000 times last year!

Hope that helps!

Dr. Horowit

Dr. Jeffrey Horowitz has 2 Liposuction, Tummytuck, Fat Transfer before & afters:

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Liposuction is one of the most popular surgical cosmetic procedures that we offer. It helps the patient to achieve a slimmer, more contoured figure through the permanent removal of localized fat cells. While it has been proven to be a very safe procedure, there is still some risk of potential complications or adverse side effects occurring. However, ongoing research into lipoplasty is increasingly minimizing these risks.

Some individuals are more vulnerable to complications from liposuction than others. These include patients who have diabetes, suffer from obesity, have high blood pressure, severe cardiovascular disease, severe coagulation disorders such as thrombophilia, and patients who are pregnant. These patients should either avoid undergoing liposuction or seek medical advice before proceeding with treatment.

Liposuction is subject to certain risks common to all surgeries, including a potentially adverse reaction to general anesthesia, swelling or bruising occurring at the treatment site, blood clots, and pulmonary edema.

Liposuction surgery has also been linked to more specific complications, such as:

  • Damage to deeper structures like nerves, blood vessels and muscles
  • Infection
  • Asymmetry or contour irregularities in the treated area
  • Irregular skin pigmentation
  • Persistent swelling
  • Allergic reaction to Lidocaine. (tumescent liposuction commonly uses Lidocaine as a local anesthesia).
  • Poor wound healing
  • Hematoma
  • Seroma
  • Thermal burn or heat injury from ultrasound with the ultrasound-assisted lipoplasty technique

It is important to note that incidences of the most serious side effects are quite rare. Research shows that potential complications are increased when combining liposuction with other procedures, and that combined procedures performed on older or obese individuals can significantly increase the likelihood of complications occurring.

Placing yourself in the care of a board-certified plastic surgeon is the most effective way to mitigate the chances of anything going wrong during your liposuction procedure.

Board-certified surgeons must update their medical education every year and only work in accredited surgical facilities. Your plastic surgeon will outline and explain any potential risks to you prior to your surgery.

Dr. Frederic Corbin has 1 Liposuction before & after:

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