Understanding the Risks of Liposuction

Liposuction is one of the more popular plastic surgeries given the heft of most Americans. As with any surgery, there are risks you should understand

Understanding the Risks of Liposuction

When you decide on having liposuction, or any plastic surgery, there are many factors that should go into your decision to proceed. What procedure to have done, where to have the surgery performed, which doctor to choose for your surgery and the result you can reasonably expect should come into play. As with any surgery, you should also consider the risks, in this case the risks of liposuction.

You need to remember that liposuction is a surgical procedure, requiring general anesthesia, invasive entrance to and manipulation of your body. The technique of liposuction requires fluid, which often includes an anesthetic called lidocaine, to be pumped under the skin of the area to be liposuctioned. Epinephrine is also added to this fluid to slow bleeding, and then the area is cut into and a hollow instrument called a cannula is stuck into the area in question. This cannula is attached to a strong vacuum that sucks the fatty material out of the area that needs the removal procedure completed.

This process can carry risks. A very high percentage of surgeries have no complications whatsoever, but occasionally there can be problems. Statistics show that deadly complications occur .0002 of the time for all surgeries. For instance, there were five deaths from liposuction procedures in New York City between the years of 1993-1998. The patients were reported to have died from such problems as fluid overload (from the fluid used to numb and prepare the area), low blood pressure from the lidocaine added to the fluid and blood clots. Other deaths over the years have been caused by interactions between the lidocaine anesthetic and other medications the patients were taking. Obviously, it is crucial that you tell your plastic surgeon what medications, if any, you are taking.

Obviously, death is a rare occurrence with liposuction, so lets discuss side effects. Side effects such as bruising, swelling, misshapen areas can happen after having liposuction. There is also the possibility of not getting the outcome you expected and needing further surgery to correct the issues. Temporary numbness in the surgical area and scarring are also common risks of liposuction.

Before you choose to have liposuction, make sure you have considered the potential risks of liposuction carefully. Discuss the risks associated with liposuction with your plastic surgeon and make an informed decision.

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