Liposuction comes with an array of risks that any prospective patient should be aware of. These risks range from mild side effects to more serious surgical complications. There are also risks associated with the administration of anesthesia for which the severity will depend on dosage. Some liposuction procedures are more risky than other depending on the patient’s goals and expectations.
The side effects of liposuction are usually mild and temporary. The most common are bruising and swelling or even slight irritation around the treated area. Although they eventually will go away with time, it can make the recovery process uncomfortable for some patients. Compression garments are often recommended to help recovery and healing. There are also pain medications that can be prescribed for patients who find the discomfort unbearable.
The surgical risks of liposuction will depend on the technique employed since some procedures are smaller in scale than others. Traditionally, liposuction patients would lose a lot of blood and a blood transfusion was commonly required. Bleeding and other complications like internal organ damage have been reduced with newer techniques like laser or ultrasound assisted liposuction which provides a more accurate way to target fat. There is still the risk of blood vessels being clogged by loose particles of fat which can be lethal if it isn’t detected early on.
Common anesthesia risks stem from improper administration and makes up a big part of liposuction risks when a patient is undergoing a major procedure. Small procedures that only require local anesthesia are much safer. But when general anesthesia is required to fully sedate a patient, complications like cardiac arrhythmia and brain damage caused by lack of oxygen can occur. This is why an anesthesiologist is necessary to reduce the risk of improper dosage. The safest thing a patient can do is to make sure that the plastic surgeon they go to is properly trained and the facility has all the right equipment and support staff.