Is Liposuction Safe? What Are the Most Common Risks Associated with Lipo?

Is Liposuction Safe? What Are the Most Common Risks Associated with Lipo?

Doctor Answers 5

Liposuction Risks

Thank you for your question. Fortunately, significant complications from liposuction surgery are infrequent. Liposuction surgery is one of the two most common procedures performed by plastic surgeons. Most often this surgery is performed without experiencing any major problem. The subject of risks and potential complications of surgery is best discussed on a personal basis with you when you visit us during your consultation and your preoperative appointment. The risks in most surgeries are similar. Some of the potential complications that may be discussed with you include hematoma (an accumulation of blood under the skin that may require removal), infection, changes in sensation, scarring, allergic reactions, damage to underlying structures, need for revisions, unsatisfactory results possibly necessitating additional procedures and medical risks. Other risks more specific to liposuction may include indentations and irregularities. You can help minimize certain risks by following the advice and instructions we provide, both before and after your liposuction surgery. Best of luck!Dhaval M. Patel Double board certified Plastic surgeon Hoffman Estates BarringtonOakbrook Chicago 

Hoffman Estates Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Liposuction-Most Common Risks

Liposuction is a safe procedure when performed by an experienced Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.

The most common complications are:

  • Contour Deformities-depressions or wavy lines in the skin caused by removal of fat too close to the skin
  • Seroma-a collection of fluid under the skin
  • Loose Skin-this occurs when Liposuction is done on patients who have too much fat and are not candidates  for Liposuction until they loose weight

Liposuction safe?

Liposuction is safe as long is it is performed by a well qualified surgeon.  The main complications are irregularities, contour deformities, fluid collections, to name a few.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Lipo is safe when done by a qualified surgeon

Keeping in mind that liposuction of any type is surgery, a qualified surgeon will emphasize safe practices. Historically the biggest risk was removing too much fat at one time, so there is a safe limit that has been established. With laser lipo (for example "smart lipo") there is a risk of burns and scars from the laser. There are 3 anesthesia options, all of which are safe if done properly and the patient is healthy. The most common is probably intravenous sedation plus tumescent. Regardless of the choice of anesthesia type or "brand" of lipo, it should be done in an accredited surgical facility even if it is tumescent only.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

When you eliminate "General Anesthesia", you've eliminated the biggest risk in Liposuction!

Liposuction is a fairly safe procedure with minimal risks when done under local tumescent anesthesia in a healthy and appropriate patient.  The biggest risk with almost any cosmetic procedure is general anesthesia. There are more minor risks involving allergies, contour irregularities, infections, etc... but when done in an appropriate setting and with appropriately experienced docs, you should have a good experience with good results.  Sincerely,

David Hansen,MD 

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 42 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.