Is liposuction safe?

Is the procedure of liposuction safe? Is there long term consequences?

Doctor Answers 8

Vaser 4D HI DEFINITION and Liposuction: Safety

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Liposuction is safe when performed by a board-certified dermatologist with training and expertise in body contouring. However, it is a surgical procedure and therefore does have some risks, particularly when general anesthesia is needed. Liposuction can permanently remove stubborn fat and contour your body. Please see an expert. Best, Dr. Emer

Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 207 reviews

Liposuction Maintenance and Safety

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Thank you very much for your question. When performed by a board certified plastic surgeon, liposuction is a safe and effective procedure. The technique can eliminate stubborn, isolated fatty deposits, and restore physical contours. The results from liposuction are permanent, as the fat cells that are removed do not return. However, surrounding fat cells can still grow, should you put on weight. To maintain your results, a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise routine must be followed. Schedule a liposuction consultation with an experienced cosmetic surgeon to discuss your personal situation.

Paul Vitenas, Jr., MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 117 reviews

Liposuction - is it safe?

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Thank you for asking about your liposuction.
  • Yes, liposuction done by a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon is a very safe procedure -
  • It has been done in the USA for almost fifty years with an excellent safety profile - in the right hands.
  • Liposuction done by non-plastic surgeons tend to have poorer results and those done by doctors who aren't trained surgeons - or large volume liposuction done in non-accredited facilities - are much more risky.
  • There are risks, as there are for all surgery 
  • The long term consequences depend on your result -
  • If you are not pleased with your result, you may need additional liposuction or other treatments.
  • If you are considering liposuction - consult a plastic surgeon near you whose practice is limited to cosmetic surgery.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS


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Liposuction is a commonly performed, low risk procedure.  To keep the risk minimized however it should be performed in an appropriate surgical setting by a skilled plastic surgeon.  There is a limit to how much suctioning should be done in a single procedure, so that too must be respected.  I encourage you to visit with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area to learn more.

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Safe Liposuction is function of technique, technician, patient and setting

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Liposuction is one of the most common, as well one of the most commonly misunderstood cosmetic procedures performed by plastic surgeons. Liposuction, or suction assisted lipectomy (SAL) as it is also known, allows a surgeon to contour a patient’s shape and address those areas resistant to diet and exercise. It is not a weight loss procedure and is best performed on patients who are at or near their target weight. Common target areas include: ·      Abdomen/Flanks (“love handles”) ·      Hips/Thighs/Legs ·      Upper arms ·      Back ·      Buttocks Traditional liposuction or SAL (Suction Assisted Lipoplasty) is typically performed under sedation/general anesthesia. The procedure involves the use of a hollow metal tube called a cannula, which is inserted via series of small incisions. These cannulas are first used deliver a combination of local anesthetic and vasoconstrictor (to minimize bleeding). Once anesthetized, the cannula is used to disrupt the fat cells for subsequent aspiration. This technique can be augmented through the use of ultrasound or power (vibration) facilitating fat aspiration. These are employed at the surgeon’s discretion.Ultimately, SAL is a safe technique for body contouring when employed by an experienced and skilled surgeon in the appropriate patient and in the appropriate setting. The risk of serious complication is low.As always, discuss your concerns with a board certified plastic surgeon.

Donovan Rosas, MD
Kissimmee Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Is Liposuction Safe?

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Thank you for your question.
In an appropriately screened patient, performed by a qualified and experienced doctor, and performed in an accredited setting, liposuction is a safe procedure and should yield beautiful results without long-term consequences.  If any of those characteristics are not present, beware.  I hope that's helpful.

Dr. Dan Krochmal
MAE Plastic Surgery
Northbrook, IL

Daniel Krochmal, MD
Chicago General Surgeon

Liposuction and its safety profile

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In the hands of a board-certified plastic surgeon who performs liposuction on a regular basis, it has an impressive safety profile.  Nevertheless, no surgery is risk-free, thus a good doctor is able to identify, control, and eliminate risk factors to make it a safe endeavor. 

Take note that liposuction can now be performed under local anesthesia (as opposed to general anesthesia) with the introduction of tumescent technique, which is currently the gold standard.  However, a surgery purely under local anesthesia may not be ideal if it involves a large surface area or large volume of fat. 

I hope that helps and good luck.

Tarick K. Smiley, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 117 reviews


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as long as you are in good health, liposuction can and IS a very safe procedure. It is typically performed in an operating room under General anesthesia(which is actually the biggest risk, but is very safe), be sure you are having your procedure performed by a properly trained plastic surgeon as their are many Doctors not formerly or properly trained whom also perform the procedure, then it may not be so safe.

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.