Is It Normal to Have Severe Broken Blood Vessels After Lipo?

Just had liposuction under a local. Pain during saline/lidocaine prep by RN was horrific. Demerol and valium never took, entire proceedure with Dr. like going through a meat grinder. Upr/lower abs, waist and hips done. Covered with black, purple and red broken blood vessels/capilaries. Under local I was aware of every rip and tear they did. Mid section skin is yellow. This is day 4, my pain has been minimal but having bowel and stomach issues if I eat now. How much of this is normal?

Doctor Answers 5

Bruising after Liposuction, Liposuction under Local

   Bruising and swelling after liposuction can be significant and varies from patient to patient and surgery to surgery based upon areas suctioned and amount suctioned.  I never perform the liposuction under local anesthesia, because I typically suction 5 liters.  This is painful at some point with almost anyone. 

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Bruising after Liposuction

It sounds like you weren't adequately managed for pain and sedation during the procedure, and I'm sorry to hear that. There is no reason that liposuction cannot be done under local anesthesia with maximized comfort. The broken capillaries and yellow spots you're seeing are blood vessels that were traumatized by the cannula, a very normal occurance. They will resolve on their own within a few weeks, and you can expedite this process by avoiding NSAIDs and alcohol. Arnica Montana supplements are also proven to be helpful in resolving bruising. The bowel issues you're experiencing are likely due to the pain medications, which can irritate the digestive system and cause both constipation and diarrhea. Drink plenty of water and stick to a diet that doesn't bother your stomach, such as bananas applesauce, rice, toast, honey, tea, etc. Best of luck! 

Cameron Rokhsar, MD, FAAD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

General Anestheia is best for liposuction.

     Liposuction under local anesthesia  is just plain cruel and unreasonable. Everything hurts from the injection to the last stitch.  I might add that many plastic surgeons feel the instillation of  local fluid is part of the surgery and should therefore be done by the MD and not the nurse. ( It could be called practicing surgery without a license otherwise).  Often the doctors that push local anesthesia are doctors with no hospital privileges to do surgery and therefore doctors who anesthesiologists REFUSE to work with.   Also it is possible to do procedures under local in operating facilities that are not certified (cheaper and more competitive  and lures patients)  Local anesthesia is cheaper  (no MD anesthesiologist and no certified OR)  and some doctors lure in patients with CHEAP.   The state of California required operating room certification for general anesthesia but no requirements for local (amazing).   While tiny liposuction  procedures (less than 30 minutes long) may be okay for local anesthesia, it is completely unreasonable to do most  liposuction procedures under local.   Do not be sold another bill of baloney about twilight sleep.   Twilight sleep is simply sedation and often provides virtually no comfort to anxious patients which includes most.   General anesthesia works 100% of the time.   General anesthesia is not dangerous when properly done.  In 2012 general anesthesia is extremely safe.   Many patients in fact die during over sedated twilight sleep.   Under local and sedation the patient is jumping around and the doctor is jumping around and more and more sedation is given and finally the patient has a respiratory arrest and then a cardiac arrest and then death.  Some doctors claim to fame is that they do the liposuction procedures under local using only oral sedation and with no intravenous line. This is  an especially bad technique.  If there is no intravenous line there is no opportunity for resuscitation  if problems and death is even more likely the outcome. This technique is often practiced by the doctors with the weakest credentials and often with no surgical training (FACS) and no surgical boards.  

     Never have surgery  (liposuction is major surgery)without an MD anesthesiologist in attendance.  Never have surgery unless your doctor is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS).   Is you doctor certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?   Does your doctor have admitting and surgical privileges at a major JCHS hospital.  If these criteria are not met, see a doctor that does meet these criteria.

     There can be an increase display of blood vessels in the skin in operated areas. in liposuction.  Usually most of these will subside with time but not always.  Patients must be warned of this potential.        My Best,   Dr C

George Commons, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Liposuction Under Local Anesthesia Went Out With The Iron Maiden

Thank you for your question and comments.  I have always felt that anesthesiologists had a purpose in life and your story exemplifies that purpose. 

Liposuction under general anesthesia using a Board Certified anesthesiologist, tumescent fluid with epinephrine 1cc per liter bag of saline, and a Board Certified plastic surgeon experienced in traditional liposuction leads to minimal bruising, no interoperative pain, and a relatively quick recovery, especially if DMSO is used to get rid of the bruises and post op ultrasound (the kind physical therapists use for sore muscles) is used to get rid of the swelling.  

I am sorry you went through such a horrific experience but surgery should be done by surgeons and anesthesia should be given by anesthesiologists.   

Liposuction under local

This is exactly why I do it under sedation with a board certified anesthesiologist.  I want my patients to be comfortable so that I can focus on giving them the best result possible and my anesthesiologist can make them comfortable.  Sorry for your experience.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 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.