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Will Lipo Cause RSD to Move Into my Legs?

I Have R.s.d. in my Right Arm. if I Have Lipo in my Legs Can the R.s.d Spread to my Legs?

Doctor Answers (2)

Liposuction on legs with history of RSD in arm

+1

The cause of RSD is not well understood but certainly is well-known to have been associated with areas of trauma. It does not make sense that your central nervous system would process the sensory nerves of the peripheral nervous system in your legs from the "trauma" of liposuction the same way it caused RSD in the arm. However, there is no guarantee it wouldn't happen since RSD is so rare and you already have had it, possibly your chance is higher than someone who has never had it. In addition, leg liposuction often takes much longer to heal and see reduced swelling because of the fluid retention and circulation of the lower extremities fighting gravity. Sorry this doesn't give you the answer you wish, but proceed cautiously.


Manhattan Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

RSD after lipo is very unlikely, but no one can guarantee it can't occur!

+1

Reflex sympathetic dystrophy is a painful, sometimes chronic, sometime progressive, neurologic condition that can affect skin, muscles, joints, and bones. To give you an idea of it's frequency of occurrence, about 1-2% of bone fracture patients develop RSD, and other causes can be partial paralysis after stroke or injury, trauma, surgery, repetitive motion disorder (like carpal tunnel syndrome), radiation treatments, etc.

Although liposuction falls under the "surgery" list of potential causes, you probably know the cause of your own right arm RSD, and I suspect it wasn't liposuction. That's not to say it isn't possible, but I CAN tell you that I have been doing and teaching liposuction for over two decades, and have never seen one case of RSD associated with even extensive liposuction.

If you have a neurologic condition that has predisposed you to develop RSD, you may have a slightly higher risk of developing this elsewhere in your body, but not just after elective liposuction. Speak with your own family physician, internist, or neurology specialist and address your concerns. As with anything, you have to get as much information as you can, weigh the pros and cons, and make a decision. No one can tell you for sure, but the risk of this is likely quite low. But let someone who knows all the details of your medical history and your present physical examination help you make the call. Good luck!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

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