The Liposuction Aftermath – What to Expect
Thoughts on the aftermath of liposuction should be considered long before the procedure is carried out. A person should think about all the possible risks and weigh this against perceived benefits. Going by what others say or what is portrayed on advertisements is not good judgment. It is essential that you speak with a specialist that can give you a clear understanding of both the benefits and risks that are involved with the procedure.
Generally speaking, liposuction techniques are nowadays much safer but that doesn’t mean that there are no post-liposuction related complications, morbidities and even fatalities. What are some of these outcomes?
In most cases; the procedure is incident-free during and even after the operation. A patient will heal normally and be back to their occupation in a matter of weeks. A certain percentage will however experience problems of varying degrees of severity. Consider a few of these:
Pain is one of the most immediate outcomes of this procedure. Once the local anaesthetic effect has worn off, the pain could potentially be significant. Pain killers are generally prescribed where non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are avoided since they increase chances of bleeding.
The procedure can lead to significant bleeding during the operation and even after. Compression garments can help to minimise this. Some doctors may also consider using a drug that will help to reduce this bleeding. An example is the use of tranexamic acid that helps to plug bleeding open vessels.
Apart from bleeding, the puncture site may continue oozing serum mixed with blood for some time. This can be disconcerting every time the compression garments are removed.
An accumulation of this serum can occur and remain trapped in the space, created by removal of fat and form a swelling called a seroma.
- Body fluid and electrolytes imbalance.
The sucking of large amounts of fats disrupts the body’s hemodynamic status including a distorted balance of the main body salts like sodium and potassium. If this is not remedied immediately, it can lead to abnormal heart functions and even arrest with a potentially serious outcome.
- Local anesthetic toxicity.
The use of large amounts of a local anesthetic can lead to some of it getting into the general circulation. This can happen despite the use of epinephrine that greatly reduces chances of this happening. This affects functions of the heart and can lead to cardiac arrest and death.
- Nerve damage
The procedure can lead to inadvertently hitting a nerve, which can result in impaired sensation and other nervous functions. This can be transient or can be permanent.
- Damage to blood vessels
As with nerve damage, this can occur and lead to some part of the operation area becoming necrotized. This can affect a small or a big area.
This may take a while where large volumes of a local anesthetic have been used. The space occupied by this solution prevents the body’s healing mechanism to start the healing process as soon as it is expected.
- Internal organ damage
The probe can go beyond the abdominal wall and perforated intestines or some other organs. This usually leads to an immediate emergency laparotomy.
Other immediate aftermaths of liposuction include dizziness and faintness.
Infections can lead to necrosis of the operation site or a generalized infection. Shock can occur which in some cases has proved fatal. Treatment with antibiotics and other medical interventions in a hospital set-up is necessary for effective management.
- Fat embolism and deep vein thrombosis
These are real possibilities that can be immediate or delayed in their appearance. A fat embolism occurs when a fat globule finds its way into a blood vessel and ends-up getting trapped somewhere affecting a vital organ like the lungs or the heart. A clot in a major vein in the feet is serious but more manageable and has a better prognosis.
Late liposuction occurrences
• Severe scarring especially following a necrotizing infection.
• Deformity where a big portion of tissue had to be de-sloughed due to necrosis.
• Disabilities following complications like deep vein thrombosis and nerve damage.
The risk of liposuction can include the ultimate cost on one’s life. Death estimates related to liposuction and its complications vary. Some say the incidence is as low as 3:100000 while others suggest a high of between 20-100 deaths in 100000. What is not in dispute is the fact that there is a significant risk of the procedure leading to a fatality.
Considering this possible outcome of liposuction will help you weigh the risks of the procedure and decide whether to go for it or not. Additionally, consider researching information on a post-liposuction lifestyle to further maintain your health.
PS: For other liposuction recovery tips click here