I am considering abdominal and bilateral flank tumescent liposuction but I am worried about major complications. I have a quality board certified plastic surgeon and I am a 43 yo male, 200#, in fairly good health (a little asthma). What are the odds of major issues like DVT, PE, Fat Embolis, etc. This will be under General Anesthesia (Propofol). Are there concerns with my asthma and general anesthesia?
Tumescent Liposuction Major Risks Considerations?
Doctor Answers (8)
Tumescent Liposuction Major Risks Considerations?
Thank you for your question. In every surgery, there are risks and complications. I would recommend being treated under the supervision of a Board Certified Dermatologist or Plastic Surgeon for safest and best treatment option. I hope this helps.
Your risks are higher for serious complications if liposuction is performed under general anesthesia.
General anesthesia relieves all pain during the procedure, but has a greater risk of post operative complications.
LIposuction and sedation vs general anesthesia
Liposuction can be done under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with or without sedation.
- Patient has less anxiety about being "aware" of surgery
- Surgeon need focus less on quality of local anesthesia
- Surgeon can move at a faster rate
- Patient cannot assist with turning into the ideal position for treatment
- Higher risk of DVT, PE and other complications associated with general anesthesia
- Patient need recover from general anesthesia and its implications
Local anesthesia/ tumescent liposuction
- Safer with a lower complication rate, particularly the significant complications
- Much lower risk of DVT and PE (VERY low)
- Requires more precise local anesthesia
- Much easier recovery
- Patient can help with ideal body positioning
I am not a surgical risk taker and NEVER do liposuction under general anesthesia. I feel I can get better results with less risk and an easier recovery with local (tumescent) anesthesia and light sedation.
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My biggest concern would be with your asthma. I would want to know what medication you take and how often. Do you use an inhaler often? When was the last time you had to go to the emergency room for an attack? If you were on little if any medication, haven't used an rescue inhaler in months and hadn't been in the ER in years, then office anesthesia would probably be safe. I would also have you get a clearance for surgery from your medical doctor along with any thing that he would recommend. Your other concerns are very rare occurrences. A proper office operating room would have intermittent compression sleeves to prevent DVT and PE. I have never seen a real fat embolus and doubt if they really occur from liposuction surgery. Hope this helps!
Tumescent liposuction can be done without general anesthesia or propofol
There's a lot of confusion about the term tumescent liposuction. I hope the following helps clarify.
In the 1980's a dermatologist named Jeff Klein developed a tumescent anesthesia solution formula that allowed liposuction to be done with only local anesthesia in awake patients. At that time liposuction was done with a hodgepodge of dry and wet techniques, but wasn't being done with local anesthesia. Patients were given general anesthesia.
Now, almost 30 years later, all liposuction is done with fluid, which creates tumescence (simply meaning swollen with fluid). But the term tumescent liposuction, as it was originally intended by Dr. Klein, means awake patients having liposuction with local anesthesia. This method eliminates the risks you mentioned you're concerned about, because those risks are risks associated with general anesthesia, and not liposuction per se. If you want to do the most you can to eliminate risk, then seek liposuction done with true tumescent local anesthesia liposuction.
The risk for major complications with liposuction is very low
Liposuction is a very safe procedrue when done correctly. In a young, healthy person, the risk of major life-threatening complications is extremely low. Some may even say that your chance of getting into a car accident on the way to surgery is more likely than having a major complication. Ask your surgeon for the actual percentages, and as my colleague said, the risk will certainly increase with increased fat removal.
If you want safety, then you need to consider tumescent liposuction by a dermatologist
Your question about safety and all the risks that it entails doesn't show the main risk - generaly anesthesia. Tumescent is safe for one reason - it doesn't have the risky general anesthesia as part of it.
If you consider something as simple as dental work, there are rarely, if ever any complications of it that you hear about. But when you go to any general anesthesia procedure where people are being put under, there are rare and serious complications and even deaths. Luckily, when tumescent liposuction is performed with local anesthesia as the dermatologist who invented it, Dr. Jeff Klein, developed it, it is completely safe.
Can things still happen? Yes, of course. If you are not a good candidate, you shouldn't have it done for you. But as the link below states, the main risks are with general. Most plastic surgeons only do liposuction with general and most dermatologists only do it with local and that is why the risks are much less when going to a dermatologist for tumescent liposuction than a 'board certified plastic surgeon'. Good luck!
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.