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Is There a Chance of Fat Embolism or PE 10 Days After Smartlipo Performed on 3 Small Areas?

Is there a chance of fat embolism or PE 10 days after Smartlipo performed on 3 small areas? I have been active and walking 1-2 hours every day. Am I still at risk?

Doctor Answers 6

Embolism after lipo

chances of fat or pulmonary embolism 10 days post liposuction in a person that has been active since day one is almost nill
doesn't mean you should not seek medical attention if you are concerned


New Haven Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

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Are you having symptoms?

If you are having any symptoms of shortness of breath, leg pain or leg swelling, you need to let your doctor know ASAP!

If a patient is asymptomatic at 10 days following the procedure, the risk of developing a fat embolism is just about zero. The chance of developing deep venous thrombosis (DVT) or a pulmonary embolism (PE) is very close to baseline. One out of every 1,000 people per year develop a DVT. Two thirds of those people have no symptoms. A much smaller number go on to having a PE.

Without risk factors or symptoms, you should not be at any significantly higher risk for either at this point.

Check with your surgeon.

Best of luck,

Mats Hagstrom, M.D.

Mats Hagstrom, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Smartlipo and PE

It you are otherwise healthy, the procedure was not under general anesthesia, do not smoke or have a coagulation disorder, and were ambulatory before and right afterwards then the risk is extremely small to the point of being rare to have a PE.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Very little chance

if your procedure was done under local with or without some oral sedation, there is very little chance that you would get a PE. 
some people just get a PE for unclear reasons, so there is always a tiny risk but it would be unrelated to the Smarlipo.

david berman md
plastic surgeon
northern va

David E. Berman, MD
Sterling Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Fat embolism and PE after Smartlipo

Since most smartlipo procedures are performed under local anesthesia, the risks of PE is very, very low. There is always risks of fat embolism with any liposuction procedures, with or without laser. If you are not having symptoms and you have been active, then you should be fine. If you are having symptoms then seeking medical attention as soon as possible. 

Stewart Wang, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

SmartLipo and PE

Thanks for the question.  If you surgery was done under local anesthetic, there is very little chance of PE at any point after surgery.  The walking is an excellent way of decreasing your risks and of keeping the fat from returning, so keep it up!  Best wishes.

Brian Howard, MD
Alpharetta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 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.