Is There Any Risk of Emboly in Ultrasonic or Laser Liposuction?

Doctor Answers 4

Embolism is extremely rare in ANY kind of liposuction, especially if performed by an ABPS-certified plastic surgeon!

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Fat entering the bloodstream in clinically-significant amounts is extremely rare, and is not related to the type of liposuction performed, but more to the amount of fat removed and the number of areas treated.

Any ABPS-certified plastic surgeon will be able to explain the pros and cons of any elective cosmetic surgery, including fat embolism--a real but rare risk, but there are many "cosmetic surgeons" who have little or no training in plastic surgery, or are "board-certified" by bogus boards, who will decry legitimate fully-trained plastic surgeons who perform liposuction under general anesthesia and tell you that liposuction under local anesthesia is "safer."

This of course completely detours the discussion away from the fact that most (not all) local anesthesia liposuctions are performed by doctors that are NOT fully-trained ABPS-certified plastic surgeons (which is why they use local anesthesia--they do not have the availability of general anesthesia, which is usually the province of "real" surgeons with complete surgical privileges.)

Truly, this is one of those things that is low on the worry list--picking the right surgeon should be much, much higher! Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 262 reviews

Fat Embolus or Venous Thromboemboli Uncommon

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Embolization of fat or clot is very uncommon after laser liposuction.  Usually these cases are very conservative and you are up and walking immediately. This reduces the risk considerably.  Unless you have a specific risk factor for embolization, the procedure is very safe. Best wishes.

Pulmonary embolus is a rare complication from laser liposuction

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This is a possible complication, but an embolus after this type of procedure is rare.  These procedures are shorter and done under local anesthetic, which greatly reduces the risk.  We have performed over a thousand areas of laser liposuction and have never had a clinically significant embolus or any other serious complication.



Shim Ching, MD
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Is There Any Risk of Emboly in Ultrasonic or Laser Liposuction?

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Thank you for your question. The risk of a fat emboli is present, but very low risk. Surgery, like driving a car is not risk free, but very low risk. I hope this helps.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 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.