Risks of Liposuction

Every surgical procedure involves a certain amount of risk. We want our patients to know and understand these risks before considering the procedure. Many patients never experience complications due from liposuction, but it is still important to discuss the possibilities.

Risks include:

  • Scarring
  • Swelling

  • Infection
  • Changes in Skin Sensation

  • Pain
  • Pubic Distortion

Scarring

All surgery leaves scars, some more visible than others. Although good wound healing after a surgical procedure is expected, abnormal scars may occur within the skin and deeper tissues. Scars may be unattractive and of different color than the surrounding skin. Scar appearance may also vary within the same scar, exhibit contour variations and “bunching” due to the amount of excess skin. Scars may be asymmetrical (appear different between right and left side of the body). There is a possibility of visible marks in the skin from sutures. In some cases scars may require scar revision or treatment.

Swelling

Swelling may occur after liposuction and may persist for weeks or months after liposuction. Swelling can cause discomfort and self- consciousness.

Infection

It is very unusual for infection to occur after surgery, but should one occur, treatments such as hospitalization, antibiotics, and additional surgery may be needed. It is important to keep the wound(s) clean but even if you do, it is possible infections may sometimes occur from the surgery. Sometimes, infections may be serious or life threatening such as in cases of necrotizing fasciitis (bacteria eat away at the tissue) or with toxic shock syndrome, a serious, sometimes fatal infection caused by a bacteria, that is associated with surgery. In extremely rare occurrences, life threatening infections have been recorded after liposuction surgery.

Changes in Skin Sensations

It is not unusual to loose skin sensation in areas that had surgery. The loss of sensation usually occurs over a period of time. Complete loss of skin sensation is a rare occurrence and may not totally resolve. You may experience “paresthesia” which is an altered sensation at the site of the liposuction. This may either be in the form of an increased sensitivity (pain) in the area, or the loss of any feeling (numbness) in the area. If these changes in sensation persist for a long period of time (weeks or months) you should inform Dr. Spindel. In some cases, these changes in sensation may be permanent.

Pain

All surgery involves some form of discomfort, which is to be expected. Pain various in intensity and duration may occur and persist after this procedure. Itching skin, soreness, and exaggerated responses to hot/cold temperatures may also occur after surgery. Chronic pain can occur from nerves becoming trapped in the remaining scar tissue.

Pubic Distortion

Some women develop distortion of their labia and pubic region. Should this occur, additional surgery may be required at the expense of the patient, as every outcome will vary based upon the amount of excess tissue.