Will I have side effects if I get liposuction?

I'm gathering information before actually scheduling an appointment with a plastic surgeon because I have decided to get liposuction on my stomach and hips. My mind is made up and I won't change it unless I learn something that gives me reason to. Like if the side effects of the procedure were such that I could be incapacitated for months and months. I might reconsider then. However, I'm assuming the best and hoping you'll confirm for me that the side effects of liposuction are no different than those related to other similar procedures: tiredness, maybe some pain at the site, bruising, etc. My overall health is good - I don't suffer from any chronic illness. I think I'd be a good candidate. Does that actually make a difference in the side effects, the health of the patient? I'm hoping so.


F, 41, Utah

Thanks for the question.

Liposuction is generally safe when performed on properly selected patients. This means taking a full history and performing a physical exam, assessing your cosmetic goals, and performing the surgery in an accredited facility with proper safety precautions.

Main risks of lipo include rare risks of infection, bleeding, irregular texture (indentations/lumps), fluid collections (easily drained in most cases), bruising, swelling, pain at the surgical sites, fatigue during recovery, and possible asymmetry/dissatisfaction with cosmetic outcome. Much rarer risks include blood clots in the legs (which could move up to the lungs and be life-threatening), or fat getting into the bloodstream and having a similar effect. Liposuction of large or multiple areas should be performed under general anesthesia for your comfort, efficiency of the procedure, and lowering of risks of problems from numbing medication being excessively used when these procedures are done on the awake patient. Followup includes 3 months of wearing a garment (girdle/Spanx for medical compression), visits to the office every week or two for a month and then every month or 2 for a few more visits, and management of discomfort with pain meds. 

Our liposuction page on our website has a lot of information about this. We are happy to schedule you for a remote video consultation if you are interested. Our practice number is 858-247-2933 (24SAYED) and email is [email protected]. Thanks!

-- Dr. Sayed

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