Liposuction Dangers

I thank doctors on here for being very honest about the risk of surgery with a the wrong doctor. Can you please provide me with a list of dangers that one faces even if you find a great doctor?

Doctor Answers (15)

If you eliminate General Anesthesia, then you've eliminated any major risks in liposuction!


There is no reason to do any Liposuction procedure under general anesthesia now a days with the advent of tumescent local anesthesia since it is so much safer and the recovery is quicker and you can usually get a much better result with the patient being able to move and be positioned optimally  and stand up during the procedure to fine tune the end results. Make sure the facility is accredited and the doc has many yrs of experience with micro canulas and you feel comfortable with him/her.  Sincerely,

David Hansen,MD

Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Liposuction is a Safe Procedure


When performed properly, in a certified center, by a board certified plastic surgeon, liposuction alone has very few complications. Hematomas and seromas are extremely rare. The most common complications are slight asymmetries which can be revised at a later time. The most common complication by non-experienced liposuction physicians is removal of too much fat, which is difficult to correct.

Frank Agullo, MD
El Paso Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

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Risks of Liposuction


As a past president of the American Society of Liposuction Surgery and one of the authors of the ASLS Guidelines for liposuction, my observations over almost 30years of Liposuction is L-S is one of the safest cosmetic surgery procedures.

As with any procedure be sure that your doctor is qualified and experienced in Liposuction. Your liposuction must be performed in an accredited facility; such as AAAHC. ( I am on the Board of Directors and the Standards committee). Many states require state licensure of facilities that provide liposuction. In Pennsylvania, surgical facilities must be state licensed.

Liposuction is surgery! All surgery has risks of infection and blood loss. Infection is extremely rare in LS. With the use of Tumescent fluid and adherence to the ASLS guidelines, blood loss is minimal. There will be temporary bruising. Most unfavorable results are cosmetic in nature; these include asymmetry, skin irregularity, and skin laxity. 

You are correct to have concerns. Choose your surgeon and facility with care and you should have a great experience.

Richard L. Dolsky MD

Richard L. Dolsky, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Risks of liposuction


Although liposuction has a very good safety record, risks increase when the hours of the procedure increases and if the procedure is peformed under general anesthesia and even sedation, although, again, when considering the number of procedures performed per year, serious complications are very rare.  Another reason that the risks considerably increase is if multiple procedures are performed together, including liposuciton.  If limiting the number of ccs removed, not peforming other procedures and not using sedation, there are still risks including but not limited to: infection, seromas and hematomas (collections of serum and blood), depressions, uneveness, asymmetry, numbness, numbness, sensitivity, irregular heart beat, blood clots, fat emboli, allergic reactions, scarring at insertion sites, hyperpigmentation at insertion sites, and others.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

General Anesthesia and Liposuction Safety


I disagree with the comment that  tumescent anesthesia is a safer, better alternative to general anesthesia for liposuction.  Walking across the street is safer than driving across the city, but that doesn't make walking an alternative to driving across the city.  Similarly, tumescent technique works well for small procedures, and small procedures are generally safer than large procedures, but if you need a large procedure then general anesthesia is the safest and most practical option.

Michael Kreidstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Liposuction complications


LIposuction is a pretty safe procedure with short receovery time and very  little post-op discomfort.  AS for complications it really depends upon the type of liposuction performed. I have yet to see a burn, seroma, hematoma, or skin slough with traditional liposuction, I can not say the same for vaser or laser lipolysis techniques.  Sometimes I see asymmetries and some skin irregularities. Other complications can include contour deformities.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

The dangers of liposuction


Once you have found a surgeon board certified in plastic surgery, and chosen an accredited facility, the risks and dangers of liposuction become small. There can be dents or irregularities, poor skin contraction and the like, though surgical risks such as infection and bleeding are rare. Also, keep clear and realistic goals for any liposuction procedure to reduce the danger of disappointment.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Liposuction Dangers


Liposuction, when done properly, has very few dangers. The ones that do exist can be divided into two general groups, Contour Deformities and Metabolic Changes. Contour deformities are from not resecting enough fat or from removing too much. If an experienced surgeon has a problem, it is usually not removing enough. This is usually due to anatomical problems preventing complete removal. It is usually relatively easily correctable. Removing too much or creating irregular contours is usually from lack of experience. The Metabolic Changes occur from what is injected and from how much is removed. Almost all methods inject fluid containing a vasoconstrictor and, frequently, an anesthetic. Too much of any of these can cause significant problems, including death. Many of the “tumescent” methods being taught to non Plastic Surgeons use potentially toxic levels of these drugs. The anesthetic is needed only if the injected fluid is the only method of anesthesia. Since the drugs injected have potentially toxic side effects, they should be used, except in very small doses, only in a certified operative facility, something many non Plastic Surgeons do not do. When one removes fat, the body pours fluid into the area of the missing fat. If too much fat is removed and the fluid shifts are not carefully corrected, it is almost like losing too much blood from an accident. The fluid pours out of the blood stream and you go into shock. For that reason, I admit anyone on whom we have removed 5000 cc or more to the hospital, and consider it if we remove 3500 cc. One other related problem is infection with possible loss of skin and even death. This is also somewhat related to how and where the procedure is done. Anything else that can happen with any surgery, including leg vein clots that can go to the lungs, can occur. The best way to reduce these problems is to treat Liposuction like any other major surgery. Ask how whomever you consult with does this.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

All surgeries have risks but these are minimal with Liposuction done by well trained Plastic Surgeons


Obviously all surgery has risks including the risk of anesthesia. If you are to have any significant amount of liposuction it is probably best that you have your surgery done under general anesthesia. If the patient is keep warm, well hydrated and oxygenated then the risks of anesthesia are minimal. The worst problem would be clots in the veins in your legs which could lead to a blood clot going to your lungs. This is extremely infrequent if the above conditions are met. 

There is also the risk of local anesthetic being toxic to the brain. The newer techniques of liposuction include the use of supersaturated (one to one fluid in to liposuction out) infiltration of the areas to undergo liposuction with Ringer Lactate solution an xylocaine and epinephrine. If the surgeon is care full to limit the xylocaine to less than 35mg per kilogram of the patients weight there should not be a problem from this situation.

The problems that are directly related to the liposuction itself are contour irregularities and loose hanging skin. If the skin is loose before the liposuction you can count on the skin being as loose or looser after surgery. The only real way to significantly reduce the loose skin is to remove it surgically. As to contour irregularities that is were the finesse of the surgeon comes in. The use of smaller canulas, care to stay in the deeper planes and a careful technique should minimize these.

In all Liposuction is one of the most frequent cosmetic surgical procedures preformed in this country with very few problem or complication if performed by a well trained Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. For some individuals it is almost a God send in that it allows them to bring their body in to harmony, top to bottom.  It can also be performed in conjunction with other procedures such as breast surgery, tummy tuck, lateral thigh and buttock lift. 

Carl W. 'Rick' Lentz III, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.