Liposuction risks & complications
happen after any surgical procedure and can sometimes occur after
liposuction. Some surgeons prescribe an antibiotic to patients undergoing
liposuction but other physicians do not and provide it intravenously
during surgery instead. It is important to keep the wound(s) clean
but even if you do, infections may sometimes occur from the surgery.
Be sure to report any fevers or hot or reddened areas to your surgeon
as these are some warning signs of infection.
Rippling or wavy skin can sometimes occur after liposuction before
the skin retracts against its new contours. Wearing a compression
garment is said to help the skin form more smoothly and massage
is often recommended by surgeons to avoid this. Sometimes if too
much fat is removed and the skin has poor elasticity rippling can
It is possible to have one side of your body not look identical
to the other (for instance, your thighs) after liposuction since
it is not an exact science. Sometimes it is simply more swelling
on one side of your body due to having more fat removed and it may
resolve itself. However, a touch-up is sometimes needed to even
out your contours. Be sure to ask your surgeon about his or her
touch-up policies before you have your liposuction.
Compression and Changes in Sensation
This may either be in the form of an increased sensitivity in the
suctioned areas or numbness. If these changes in sensation persist
for a long period of time (weeks or months) you should inform your
physician. In some cases, these changes in sensation may be permanent
although it is rare. More common is to have scattered numbness immediately
after surgery that eventually goes away on its own.
Swelling is extremely common after liposuction and may take more
than 6 months to fully go away. This is where a compression garment
is usually used – to control swelling as well as to shape
your new contours.
Blood clots can form in the legs during immobilization and break
free and travel to the lungs. Symptoms include shortness of breath
or difficulty breathing. If you have any of these symptoms, it is
important for you to seek medical care immediately. You can minimize
the risk of blood clots by moving around as soon after the surgery
as possible and wearing compression stockings usually provided by
After liposuction, there may be a pooling of fluid in areas where
tissue has been removed. Often this is re-absorbed by your body
but sometimes it has to be drained surgically. Be sure to keep an
eye on unusual swelling.
Lidocaine, a drug that numbs the skin, is frequently used as a local
anesthetic during liposuction. Large volumes of liquid with lidocaine
may be injected during local anesthetic liposuction. This may result
in very high doses of lidocaine. The signs of this are lightheadedness,
restlessness, drowsiness, tinnitis (a ringing in the ears), slurred
speech, metallic taste in the mouth, numbness of the lips and tongue,
shivering, muscle twitching and convulsions. In general, any type
of anesthesia may cause complications and is always considered a
risk during any surgery.