Liposuction is a relatively safe procedure, and updates in medical technology have limited the number of complications and risks. However, no procedure is perfect and there still exists the possibility of minor or even severe complications.
Minor complications are more common and most can usually be fixed. Some of these are attributed to a patient's unrealistic expectations. Liposuction is not recommended for weight loss and will not produce any major weight loss results. Patients need to be aware of this and have a healthy outlook on the outcome of their procedure.
Skin irregularities can occur when too much fat is taken from one area. This may leave unsightly dimpling or depressions in the skin. It is important to remember that women naturally have fat stores and any area of the body that has too much removed will look abnormal. It is better to have too little fat removed, because the surgeon can always go back and remove a little bit more.
Hematomas and seromas can occur when red blood cells and the serum they contain leak from injured blood vessels and form pools under the skin. Adequate drainage of incisions can help to prevent these from happening.
Some people experience hyperpigmentation in the areas of their incisions. Patients who naturally have more pigment to their skin may find that it lasts for up to several years. These patients should be informed of this risk before planning their liposuction. Fairer-skinned individuals may also experience this, but it will usually only last 4 to 6 months in those with less pigment.
Swelling of the legs and ankles can occur after major liposuction procedures. Bruising of the genitals is common in males and females after abdominal liposuction as a result of gravity taking over and pulling fluids downward. The use of proper compression garments can minimize these effects. Blood tinged drainage is a common occurrence and is nothing to be worried about. Adequate drainage speeds recovery.
Rapid heart rate is common during or after surgery and it is attributed to the use of epinephrine in the local anesthetic solution. Patients are encouraged to stay away from products that contain epinephrine-like drugs, including cold medications, before their liposuction procedure.
Rare yet severe complications can include blood clots, injury to abdominal organs, excessive blood loss, allergic reactions to drugs, cardiac arrhythmias, and brain damage due to lack of oxygen during general anesthesia.
Mild side effects can include a burning sensation at the site of the surgery for up to one month.
But its not only that! Side effects can include:
- Bruising (which can cause pain) and swelling immediately after the operation is complete.
- Probably you will have some scars though many people heal very quickly
- You mobility will be reduced for a while
- Skin laxity - the amount of laxity depends on many factors (like the quality of your skin, the amount of fat removed etc)
You shouldn't expect zero side effects even though liposuction is a minor treatment (and of course there are always the non surgical liposuction options where the side effects are even milder).
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