Liposuction is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries and continues to grow in popularity as more people seek out ways to improve their body shape and contour. While liposuction can provide excellent results when done correctly, there are potential risks and dangers associated with this procedure that should be considered before undergoing it.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there were approximately 456,000 liposuction procedures performed in the United States in 2022.
In today’s article, we discuss the dangers of undergoing liposuction and tips to deal with it
1. Bruising after liposuction
Bruising is a common symptom that occurs after a liposuction procedure. It can be painful at first, but after two weeks or so, the sensation gradually fades.
- Bruising can occur when fat cells and fat deposits are removed during liposuction.
- The removal of fat cells and fat deposits can cause the skin to become bruised and tender.
- Bruising can also be caused by the suctioning process used during liposuction, which can damage the surrounding tissue.
- Swelling and bruising may last for several weeks after the procedure, depending on how much fat was removed.
- In some cases, bruising may take up to a month or more to fully heal.
- There are cases where extreme bruising occurs among patients under the prescription of medications like aspirin. Adhere to medicines that aren’t prescribed by your doctor.
2. Anesthesia Risks
During your liposuction procedure, anesthesia is administered to carry out the surgery. However, the application of general anesthesia can cause the following risks:
- Sore Throat –When you are unconscious, a long tube will be pushed down your throat to breathe. After surgery, once the pipe is extracted, you can experience a sore throat.
- Muscle Aches –As you regain consciousness, your muscles will feel heavy and painful due to the medications used to relax them.
- Nausea –Vomiting is a common side effect that is associated with post-surgery.
- Hypothermia –Under the influence of anesthesia, your body experiences different temperature changes as you lie unconscious during liposuction causing chills and shivering. Severe effects can lead to malignant hypothermia, which can be fatal.
- Other Common Side Effects: Common side effects of anesthesia include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and confusion.
- Allergic Reaction: An allergic reaction to the anesthesia can occur, leading to difficulty breathing, hives, and swelling.
3. Infection after liposuction
Every patient undergoing a liposuction operation is at risk of contracting an infection. Your surgeon should carry out precautions during and after the procedure to mitigate the risk. However, with a qualified doctor, you can prevent further complications from arising.
- Risk of infection is a potential complication of any cosmetic procedure, including liposuction.
- Infections can occur when bacteria enter the body through incisions made during the procedure.
- Patients who have weakened immune systems or are taking certain medications may be at an increased risk of infection after liposuction.
- Signs and symptoms of infection include redness, swelling, pain, fever, chills, and pus drainage from the incision site.
- Side Effects: staphylococcal abscess, necrotizing fasciitis, and toxic shock syndrome
Tips to treat infection
- Keep the incision site clean and dry.
- Apply an antibiotic ointment to the area as directed by your doctor.
- Take antibiotics as prescribed by your doctor to help prevent infection.
- Monitor the incision site for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, pain, fever, chills, or pus drainage.
- Elevate the affected area to reduce swelling and discomfort.
- Avoid strenuous activity or exercise until you have fully healed from liposuction surgery.
- Follow up with your doctor for regular checkups to ensure that any infections are treated promptly and effectively.
4. Swelling after liposuction
Although liposuction surgery is generally considered a safe procedure, there are some risks and dangers associated with it. Poor skin elasticity can lead to excessive swelling and uneven results. In addition, if liposuction is not performed properly, it can cause serious damage to the surrounding tissue. It is important to consult with a qualified surgeon before undergoing any type of liposuction surgery in order to ensure that the procedure is done safely and correctly.
After a few months or so, patients will witness their new-found body results when the swelling subsides.
Tips to treat Swelling
- Apply cold compresses to the affected area for 10-15 minutes at a time, several times a day.
- Elevate the area above your heart to reduce swelling.
- Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen to reduce inflammation and pain.
- Wear compression garments or bandages to help reduce swelling and support the treated area.
- Avoid strenuous activities that can cause further swelling and discomfort.
- Drink plenty of fluids to help flush out toxins from your body.
- Eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins to promote healing and fat reduction.
- Get plenty of rest so your body can focus on healing itself.
5. Poor Healing
Delayed wound healing is a risk after lipo, which can lead to infections. To minimize this risk and ensure a successful recovery, patients should abstain from eating the wrong foods, drinking alcohol, smoking, or engaging in physical activities too soon.
It is important for potential liposuction candidates to understand the risks and dangers associated with the procedure. It is essential that they consult with a qualified surgeon before undergoing any type of liposuction surgery in order to ensure that the procedure is done safely and correctly.
The poor performance of the surgery can result in slow-healing wounds. For any medical assistance to poor healing, seek consultation services from qualified practitioners at The Naderi Center.
6. Irritable Skin Sensation or Numbness
As a patient’s skin recovers, they are bound to experience severe itching and skin irritation. Scratching will only increase the chance of swelling and bleeding.
Furthermore, administering local anesthesia dulls the nerves causing one to experience numbness or even paralysis and severe heart arrhythmia if overdosed. While the effects are discomforting, it will usually take two to three weeks for your skin to heal.
7. Fluid Build-Up
Seroma, also known as the fluid build-up, is often associated with surgical procedures, including liposuction. Spots, where the tissue was extracted, tend to fill with fluids known as serum. This swelling can accumulate for weeks on end after the procedure.
Failure to discharge the serum will lead to infections such as fever, rapid heart rate, chills, severe swellings, and discomfort. It is imperative to have your doctor check up on this to mitigate any complications.
It is important to monitor fluid levels and blood flow during and after the liposuction procedure. Fluid overload can occur if too much fluid is injected into the body, leading to an increased risk of infection. To avoid this, patients should be sure to follow their doctor’s instructions for post-operative care and keep a close eye on their fluid levels. Additionally, it is important to ensure proper blood flow throughout the body in order to promote healing and reduce swelling.
8. Contours and Asymmetries to Body Shape
A negative implication linked to liposuction is the appearance of displeasing bumpy skin. Depending on the patient’s BMI, age, and skin elasticity, the way the skin contours can be uneven and irregular.
Liposuction involves the rapid extraction of fat. However, for obese patients, since their skin sags and weakens with extreme stretch marks, this can cause organs to shift out of place and lead to great discomfort and pain.
To eradicate loose skin, one needs to undergo plastic surgery to alleviate this problem. This can end up exposing them to further risks of infections, swelling, and the formation of new wounds/scars.
9. Fat Embolism after liposuction
Fat embolism is a syndrome correlated to liposuction. When fat tissue in the body experiences extensive damage, it breaks apart and then finds its way into the bloodstream ending up in the brain, lungs, and heart, thus clogging blood vessels.
While the mortality rate of fat embolism is 5 to 15%, it is a severe medical emergency requiring immediate treatment.
Tips to treat Fat embolism
- Seek immediate medical attention if you experience shortness of breath, chest pain, or rapid heart rate after liposuction.
- Monitor your vital signs closely and report any changes to your doctor.
- Follow the postoperative instructions given by your doctor to reduce the risk of fat embolism.
- Avoid strenuous activities for at least two weeks after liposuction.
- Wear compression garments as recommended by your doctor to reduce swelling and improve circulation.
- Take medications prescribed by your doctor to prevent blood clots from forming in the lungs or other organs.
- Ask your doctor about using specialized liposuction techniques such as tumescent liposuction or ultrasound-assisted liposuction that can help reduce the risk of fat embolism.
10. Thermal Burns from Ultrasound and Laser Lipo
Experiencing a burn-related injury is an extreme complication resulting from ultrasound and laser liposuction. These burns are life-scarring and can end up damaging your organs.
Aggressive surgeons tend to increase the risk of injuries during fat extraction, so it is imperative to seek a gentle doctor. Our trained doctors at The Naderi Center can offer suitable tender treatment while guaranteeing your safety.
11. Damage to Abdominal Organs, Muscles, and Nerves
The nerves that reside between the internal oblique, organs, and abdominal muscles are prone to puncture damage during the fat removal process, such as the liver, and kidneys.
This can result in internal bleeding or Deep Vein thrombosis (DVT), a catastrophic condition where blood clots form in the veins, organs, brain, and leg, leading to consequential effects if not treated soon.
It is important to note that traditional liposuction carries its own risks, such as the potential for nerve damage and organ puncture. To reduce these risks, it is recommended to wear a compression garment after the procedure. This garment helps to reduce swelling and discomfort, while also providing support for the newly contoured areas of the body. Additionally, wearing a compression garment can help to reduce the risk of infection and other complications associated with traditional liposuction.
12. Nerve injury
During liposuction, nerves near the areas used for fat removal may become damaged, causing temporary or permanent numbness, tingling, burning sensation or other sensory issues.
The effects of liposuction on fatty tissue can be far-reaching and long-lasting. In addition to the risks mentioned above, there is also the potential for long-term changes in the body’s fat distribution. This can lead to an uneven appearance in areas where fat has been removed, as well as a decrease in overall fat stores. Additionally, some patients may experience permanent scarring or nerve damage from the procedure. It is important to discuss all of these potential risks with your doctor before undergoing liposuction.
13. Scarring after liposuction
Scarring is normal following surgery but may be more pronounced with liposuction due to the large incisions made into many areas of the body during surgery. There is also a risk of permanent disfigurement if scar tissue forms around nerve endings in sensitive areas such as facial tissue.
Tips to treat scarring
- Use a silicone-based scar cream or gel to reduce the appearance of scars.
- Massage the area with a moisturizer or oil to help break down scar tissue.
- Avoid direct sunlight on the area, as this can cause further discoloration and darkening of the scar.
- Wear loose clothing over the area to reduce friction and irritation.
- Keep the area clean and dry to prevent infection.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions for post-operative care, including taking any prescribed medications and attending follow-up appointments.
14. Unsatisfactory results
Even when performed correctly by an experienced physician, some patients remain unsatisfied with their results from liposuction because they were expecting too much from the procedure or due to poor techniques employed by the doctor performing their liposuction procedure — such as uneven distribution of fat or excess skin remaining after fat removal — leaving them unhappy with their appearance afterward
When it comes to handling your cosmetic needs with care, a reliable surgeon is well appreciated. Whether you need rhinoplasty, liposuction or a facelift, contact Dr. Shervin Naderi for professional assistance and treatment.