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Risks and complications of liposuction

There are no surgical or medical procedures that do not involve a certain amount of risk. To minimise potential risks and side effects associated with liposuction, it is imperative that you educate yourself on the different types of liposuction available and ensure you discuss your medical history, your expectations, and concerns with your Specialist.

There are certain health conditions that may prevent people from undergoing liposuction and it is important that you discuss your full medical history with your specialist before undergoing the procedure. People who have chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure or compromised immune systems, heart or lung disease and those who suffer from poor blood circulation should not undergo liposuction without discussing this with a specialist first. Some of these conditions may result in serious complications.

It is also important to know that liposuction is not a weight loss procedure and for optimal results, we always recommend leading a healthy balance through healthy eating and regular exercise.

One of the leading reasons for complications following a liposuction procedure is due to patients not wearing their compression garments or failing to wear them for sufficient period. These garments are specially designed and are comfortable enough to wear for several weeks following the procedure. They are designed to control swelling but adding compression on your tissues to help the body reabsorb fluids that accumulate in the tissue after any procedure. They also aid in improving contouring and can assist with scarring.

Liposuction has common side effects which typically subside within a few weeks to three months following the procedure. The most common side effects include swelling, bruising and discomfort.  It is also important to know treatment on areas that are larger will result in the recovery time being significantly longer than on smaller areas.

While complications during and following liposuction are rare, below is a guideline of complications that may occur:

  • Infection
  • Allergic reactions to medications, during and after the procedure
  • Adverse reactions to anesthesia
  • Severe drug reactions
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Blood clots
  • Excessive blood loss
  • Excessive fluid loss which can lead to shock
  • Scarring
  • Numbness of the skin
  • Pigmentation changes on the skin
  • Damage to the skin or nerves
  • Formation of lumps or uneven fat under the skin.

Patients who undergo liposuction should continually monitor their incisions to check for infection if any areas are inflamed and hot to the touch you should contact your specialist immediately. Swelling will dissipate over time and each month following the procedure you will notice the changes. If a patient experiences excessive swelling it may be a sign of other side effects and you should contact your specialist.

The best advice for avoiding any complications is to always communicate with your specialist and to attend your follow up appointments at all times. These appointments are provided to ensure that your specialists can monitor your results and discuss any concerns you may have. One of the biggest issues doctors deal with is when patients miss, cancel and do not attend their follow ups. Attending your check-ups is a safeguard for your health and will give the doctor the opportunity to check the wounds and assess any issues or concerns.

You can avoid and minimize the risks of complications by disclosing your full medical history to your doctor, ensure you discuss all of your medications including over the counter medications, and disclose any other relevant habits such as the drinking of alcohol or smoking. For more information on liposuction or other procedures, please call The Melrose Aesthetic Centre on Tel: 011 214 9940

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