Should I Be Worried About the Risks of Inner, Outer Thigh Liposuction and Above the Knee?

I'm 5'5" and 125 pounds. From what my doc told me, I won't be having a lot taken out, he said it's more of a sculpting procedure. My nerves are getting the best of me. I keep reading about blood clots, fat embolisms, and other anesthesia complications resulting in death. I've been under general anesthesia before with no problems, but the other risks scare me. Should I be worried?

Doctor Answers 8

Liposuction of the legs

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In general, liposuction is very safe.  Yes, clots in the legs can happen but are rare and more likely with long procedures, abdominoplasty, and with certain medical conditions.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 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 surgeon Hoffman 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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   The risks of liposuction you mentioned are less than 1 in a 1000, and the risk of anesthetic complication is about 1:100,000.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Liposuction Risks

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Liposuction is a very common procedure used to contour the body and has low risks when performed by board certified plastic surgeons.  Nevertheless, all surgical procedures have risks which should be part of the consent process prior the procedure.

Craig Mezrow, MS, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon


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You should not worry about an elective surgery such as liposuction.

Just make sure that the plastic surgeon and the anesthesiologist are both certified with years of experience. Follow all instructions as directed. 


Luis Suarez, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 61 reviews


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Liposuction is a very low risk procedure with minimal discomfort and very little downtime. It is very well tolerated 

Norman Bakshandeh, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon

Low volume liposuction is low risk

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Liposuction is in general a very low-risk procedure provided that it is done by an experienced surgeon in an accredited facility. Anesthesia can be done with tumescent (with or without intravenous sedation,) or general anesthesia, but for low-volume fat removal there is no real difference in terms of safety. Complications such as the ones you mention are more associated with high-volume fat removal.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Risks and Liposuction

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The risks your describe are extremely unusual- your risks of dying from a car crash this year are much higher than your risks of dying from a well-conceived liposuction procedure.  You should also consider the risks of not doing your procedure. What opportunities will you lose by not having your procedure?  Consider both sides of the equation if you want to make a smart decision about your surgery.

And good luck!

Michael Kreidstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 33 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.