What Are the Risks of Lipo Surgery?

I wana get liposuction on my stomach, back and arms. I wanted to know what are my possible risk, and if there's a risk of dying.

Doctor Answers 15

What are the Real Risks of Liposuction?

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Liposuction risks have been greatly reduced by having undergone the procedure under local anesthesia instead of general anesthesia.  The advent of tumescent technique local with the micro canulas have revolutionized the procedure and resulted in amazing results and almost no blood loss at all but there are some risks still present. Dimpling and burning holes in the skin with permanent discolorations are more common with the laser liposuctions and should be avoided since it was more gimmicky and not worth the increased risks and problems and that is why  it is cheaper now. Shock and death from pulmonary emboli was seen more commonly with gen. anesth but still can occur.  Infections are possible but if done by a qualified surgeon such as a derm surgeon in an accredited facility you greatly reduce those risks.  Contour irregularities can occur but since we are able to stand patients up and put them in all sorts of positions during the procedure since they are totally awake, this allows for much more fine tuning and assure the patient of the smoothest results possible.  Numbness or unusual sensations occur for the 1st 3 months but may be permanent but is rare.  Overall it is a great procedure with amazing results.  Enjoy the new you!  Sincerely,

David Hansen,MD

Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Liposuction Risks

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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 surgeonHoffman Estates BarringtonOakbrook Chicago

Dhaval M. Patel, MD
Hoffman Estates Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Risks of liposuction

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There is always a risk of dying even with crossing the street. However that risk is extremely low and unlikley in an otherwise healthy individual. Our conset form discussing the risks is well over 3 pages long. Suffice it to say the most common risks are overcorrection, undercorrection, dimpling, or irregularity. Other complications may occur and should be discussed with your physician.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Liposuction safety

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A big question, to which I can't give a blanket answer. With ANY invasive surgical procedure, there is risk. For the most part, recovery from liposuction is easily manageable, however, there are a few side effects to be aware of. You may have swelling and bruising, irregularities in contour, hypersensitivity of the areas, numbness, keloid scars, and hyperpigmentation. The best way to protect yourself is to consult a board-certified plastic surgeon who is professionally bound to engage only in techniques that have been deemed safe--after rigorous testing. The good news is that this procedure can be performed under local anesthesia and twilight sedation instead of general anesthesia.

Michelle Copeland, MD, DMD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Liposuction is very well tolerated

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Liposuction rarely requires general anesthesia, and therefore that risk would not be a concern.  Other risks of minor contour irregularities, or fluid collection are usually mild and temporary. Bleeding and  infection are theoretically possible, but again very rare.

When performed by an experienced surgeon,  the risk of death is probably much less from the procedure itself,  than from your drive to the facility.   

Christopher J. Peers, MD
South Bend Facial Plastic Surgeon

Liposuction risks

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generally speaking, for a healthy person the risk of dying is extremely unlikely.  This obviously depends on your overall health.  your doctor will take that into consideration.  The typical risks of liposuction are hematoma, seroma, and contour deformities/asymmetry.

David A. Lickstein, MD
Palm Beach Gardens Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Liposuction risks

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The more common risks are contour irregularities, fluid collections, fat necrosis, need for further surgery, and excessive bruising.  Death is extremely rare.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Risks of complication from liposcution are not great but, of course, do exist

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As you can image with any surgical procedure, particularly if it involves a general anesthetic, there are risks. But in a young healthy person, these risks are very low. The significant complication with liposuction have occurred in those cases where an excessive amount was performed as an outpatient without proper monitoring or were combined with multiple other procedures. But for someone having a moderate amount of liposuction, the more serious risks of pulmonary embolism or even death are very, very rare. These are the kinds of concerns that your plastic surgeon should go over with you at great length as he assesses you as a candidate for liposuction. Also it is very important to have your procedure done in an accredited facility with skilled anesthesia. Good Luck and you should do fine.

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

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This is a great question as we are frequently distracted by the brand names of the liposuction equipment manufactures. The lack of clarity regarding self designated credentials makes choosing a qualified surgeon confusing. It is the training, qualifications, and judgment of the surgeon which makes liposuction safe.  Minor complications, including under treatment, asymmetries, irregularities, etc, are generally cosmetic in nature and improved with touch-up surgery. Major complications increase with inexperienced or poorly trained practitioners performing the procedure in a poorly equipped setting. Liposuction of several areas or larger volume cases are best treated in an accredited surgery center with a Board Certified Anesthesiologist for your comfort and safety. The most important aspect of liposuction is the is the training and qualifications of the surgeon. I would recommend a consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. I hope this helps. Andrew Lyos, MD, FACS.

Andrew T. Lyos, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Tumescent liposuction is a safe procedure

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Tumescent liposuction performed on an ideal candidate by an experienced physician has an excellent safety track record. Fatalities are very rare and seem to correlate with long hours of a procedure, associated with general anesthesia rather than tumescent anesthesia or mild sedation, and when done with multiple other procedures increasing the hours of the surgery time.

All procedures, including, liposuction have risks. The surgeon with whom you consult should discuss side effects and risks of complications. The overwhelming majority of patients undergoing liposuction are happy with their results and this has been studied by surveys given to post operative patients by both the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery and the American Society of Plastic Surgery.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 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.