Why Is This Case an 'Accidental Death' when Using Liposuction?

intra abdominal hemorrhaging due to perforated aorta; how does this end up happening? i read about this happening to a woman going in for a BBL by a board certififed plastic surgeon. And how often does this happen? why is this also "tagged" as an accidental death? Thanks for al your answers

Doctor Answers 5

Death after Liposuction Surgery?

Thank you for the question.

I have not read about this tragic case;  I cannot answer your question  with any specific knowledge. However, I'm sure the  injury was "accidental"  explaining its description as an “accidental death” (as opposed to an intentional homicide).  Obviously this type of occurrence is extremely unusual but does remind patients and surgeons both that surgery does carry significant risks and potentially  lethal complications.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Death after liposuction

Firstly, deaths after liposuction are very rare. In the case of a ruptured aorta, it appears that for some reason the cannula pierced the muscles of the abdomen to cause the injury. It is termed accidental as it was not an intended action that does not make it not a terrible incident. There are precautions we normally take in order to avoid such things from happening, but I am not aware of the specifics in this case as I do not know the Dr or patient.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Liposuction accidental death

When patients research procedures thoroughly as you have, they will find out that surgery is certainly not perfect and complications can happen even in well trained hands (as was the case there in San Antonio).  That particular case troubled everyone in this community and our hearts went out sincerely to everyone involved.  What a tragedy!  But, the death was certainly not intentional and, therefore, labeled an accident.  Most board certified plastic surgeons are fortunate to go through life without something like this happening, but we are all very aware of the care we must use in handling liposuction cannulas and keeping our patients as safe in our procedures as possible.  I assure you, this particular event is exceptionally rare.  If you or a family member entertain the idea of having a cosmetic procedure performed, please have a thorough conversation with a plastic surgeon who can give you the complete scope of risks.  Hopefully, this conversation will end up being more reassuring than anything.  Believe me, our prime concern is keeping patients safe and well served by our procedures.  Thank you for your thoughtful questions!

Jennifer Lauren Crawford, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Death from liposuction

Liposuction is serious surgery and indeed there is a risk of death by a surgical 'accident' though if you choose a practice well, the risk of a mishap should be extremely small. Liposuction seems to be an area where doctors with little training can get an entry into cosmetic surgery. Check credentials very well, and make certain the 'board certification' is a valid one.

Best of luck, peterejohnsonmd.com

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Why Is This Case an 'Accidental Death' when Using Liposuction?

Dr Pousti is correct, the occurrence was accidental not intentional. So if this is a reason not to have liposuction than so be it. But why not see in person a boarded PS to discuss this issue with you? 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 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.