While liposuction has certain side effects, those side effects by definition are minor in nature and pose no medical risk to the patient, even if they are annoying! Side effects always appear after a Liposuction. Complications on the other hand are real medical risks that will or won’t happen! Whether you’re going to get liposuction or any other surgical operation, you are putting yourself at risk for complications. These complications should be discussed with you during your consultation; they are more likely if you have a particularly invasive operation over a large area, or if a large amount of fat is removed. There is nothing that can guarantee you won’t get a complication, however, even with a very small operation. Lets have a look at the most important ones:
Allergic Reactions to a medication
One possible complication is that you will have an allergic reaction to a medication or material utilized in conjunction with the operation. If you have any known allergies, let your surgeon know in advance so you can avoid this possibility because an allergic reaction can bring severe damage and put the life of patient in huge risk (dangerously low blood pressure, cardiac arrest, shortness of breath, severe skin irritation and much more).
Sometimes the cannula (the tube which is inserted through the skin into the layer of fat during liposuction) can cause damage either to the skin or to the tissue which is underneath because of the back and forth movement of the tube in order to break fat tissue (this is what was happening in dry liposuction). If the tissue under the skin is damaged, the skin may take on a spotted appearance in that area. Skin necrosis is another possibility, which may be minor or major, and usually requires extended care in order to treat. Damage to organs or nerves may also result since the surgeon cannot actually see where the cannula is and is relying on an internal sense of distance. This danger may be reduced if you choose a procedure that doesn’t require the surgeon to move the cannula back and forth inside the body to break up fat. On the other hand in some techniques where fat disolving is possible by other means, such as with ultrasonic liposuction (more details), heat from the device may cause burns to skin, nerves or other tissue.
Irregular Skin Appearance
Sometimes after an operation, if a patient’s skin isn’t that elastic, a bumpy appearance may result, and a touch-up operation may be needed. The older the patient, the more likely this is to occur since older patients have less elastic skin. Uneven fat removal can also result in a bumpy appearance.
Several other complications are also possible.
- Fat embolisation and thromboembolism (blood clot) are both risks; the risk of blood clot can be reduced by following your surgeon’s instructions for recovery.
- Lidocaine toxicity is a very serious possible complication which may arise when a surgeon uses either tumescent or super-wet techniques for liposuction. This is a form of poisoning that can result in cardiac or respiratory arrest and unconsciousness.
- Another risk is that of fluid imbalance, which may damage the heart, lungs, or kidneys. While leaving wounds open (without sutures) can cause scarring, it does make it easier for fluids to drain out of the body, which reduces the odds of this complication occurring.
- Infection (due to open wounds) is another common complication of surgery. Infections may range from minor to major, and may resolve quickly or become a lengthy, drawn-out problem.
Here is a video of Dr Adrian Richards speaking about the possible complications of a Lipo and how can you face them!
The majority of liposuctions are reported to unfold without complications; while the subject is not a pleasant one, it is an important one. Your surgeon should review these possible complications with you thoroughly during your consultation and apprise you of all risks. You should also be given a list of instructions to take home with you when you are recovering from the operation (for recovery tips click this). This should include a list of symptoms to be alert for and instructions as to which ones would require immediate medical attention.