What are the Risks involved in Liposuction?

Like any other surgical procedure, liposuction also carries common risks associated with surgery such as bleeding and complications due to use of anesthesia. However, every surgical procedure carries its own unique type of risks or side effects. For liposuction also there are some risks that are unique to the liposuction procedure, they are

  • Irregularity in body contour: due to uneven fatty tissue removal during liposuction or poor skin elasticity and tone or inappropriate healing, body contour may appear bumpy and wavy. And in some cases these changes may be permanent. Skin may also be damaged by the tube that is used just beneath the skin for liposuction and give appearance that a permanent spot is there.
  • Fat embolism may occur in liposuction. Small pieces of fat may loosened and enter blood stream and become trapped in lungs or brain. Fat embolism is a medical emergency and must be treated promptly. All facilities for treatment of fat embolism should be there, where liposuction procedure is done for similar emergency situation, although very rare.
  • Infection after the procedure is very are but a possibility after liposuction. In rare occasions, the infection may be severe and even life-threatening.
  • Numbness in the treated area may occur, which is usually temporary and go away after few days/weeks.
  • Fluid may accumulate in the treated area under the skin. The fluid may have to be drained in some individuals.
  • Fluids are injected and suctioned out, that may lead to fluid imbalance and may lead to serious kidney and heart problems.
  • The cannula used for liposuction may in rare occasions cause puncture of an internal organ if it is inserted too deep. Puncture of internal organ require emergency surgical repair.

The greater the area of treatment, the higher is the potential risk involved in liposuction. To reduce risk of liposuction for large areas ask your doctor if it can be done in several times, every time treating a smaller area.

What are the various types of liposuction procedure?

Tumescent liposuction:

This is the most common type of liposuction procedure used. In this procedure a sterile solution (generally saline solution) is injected. The sterile solution also contain anesthetic (such as lidocaine to relieve pain) and vasoconstrictor (that cause blood vessel to constrict) such as epinephrine. After injecting the solution, surgeon make a small opening in skin and insert a cannula to suction out the fat from treatment area.

Ultrasound assisted liposuction:

Sometimes while doing tumescent liposuction, ultrasound assistance is used. An ultrasound probe is inserted to the area of treatment and ultrasound waves passed. This help in breaking fat cells and liquefy the fatty tissue and makes it easier to remove the fatty tissue.

Powered liposuction:

In this procedure the cannula used is moved rapidly back and forth, which result in breaking fats cells easily and remove them. Precision removal of fat is possible using this technique. This type of liposuction cause less pain and swelling and may be preferred by some patients and surgeons.

 

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