Is There a Chance of Fat Embolism or PE 10 Days After Smartlipo Performed on 3 Small Areas?

Is there a chance of fat embolism or PE 10 days after Smartlipo performed on 3 small areas? I have been active and walking 1-2 hours every day. Am I still at risk?

Doctor Answers 8

Smartlipo Complications.

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There is always a risk of DVT or PE after any surgical procedure.  However smartlipo under local anesthesia has much less risk as you are back on your feet immediately and resuming normal activities.  So you have minimal risk at this point.  Fat embolism is only a risk during the procedure or shortly after.

PE or Fat Embolism

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Blood clots to the lungs (PE) or in the legs (DVT) are very rare under local anesthesia and especially for small areas where you are moving after surgery.

DVT causing calf pain would be very rare.

PE would be even more rare.

Fat embolism would occur around the day of surgery.

Embolism after lipo

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chances of fat or pulmonary embolism 10 days post liposuction in a person that has been active since day one is almost nill
doesn't mean you should not seek medical attention if you are concerned

David J. Goodkind, MD
New Haven Plastic Surgeon

Are you having symptoms?

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If you are having any symptoms of shortness of breath, leg pain or leg swelling, you need to let your doctor know ASAP!

If a patient is asymptomatic at 10 days following the procedure, the risk of developing a fat embolism is just about zero. The chance of developing deep venous thrombosis (DVT) or a pulmonary embolism (PE) is very close to baseline. One out of every 1,000 people per year develop a DVT. Two thirds of those people have no symptoms. A much smaller number go on to having a PE.

Without risk factors or symptoms, you should not be at any significantly higher risk for either at this point.

Check with your surgeon.

Best of luck,

Mats Hagstrom, M.D.

Smartlipo and PE

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It you are otherwise healthy, the procedure was not under general anesthesia, do not smoke or have a coagulation disorder, and were ambulatory before and right afterwards then the risk is extremely small to the point of being rare to have a PE.

Very little chance

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if your procedure was done under local with or without some oral sedation, there is very little chance that you would get a PE. 
some people just get a PE for unclear reasons, so there is always a tiny risk but it would be unrelated to the Smarlipo.

david berman md
plastic surgeon
northern va

Fat embolism and PE after Smartlipo

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Since most smartlipo procedures are performed under local anesthesia, the risks of PE is very, very low. There is always risks of fat embolism with any liposuction procedures, with or without laser. If you are not having symptoms and you have been active, then you should be fine. If you are having symptoms then seeking medical attention as soon as possible. 

SmartLipo and PE

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Thanks for the question.  If you surgery was done under local anesthetic, there is very little chance of PE at any point after surgery.  The walking is an excellent way of decreasing your risks and of keeping the fat from returning, so keep it up!  Best wishes.

Brian Howard, MD (retired)
Alpharetta Plastic Surgeon

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.