Is Liposuction Safe? 9 Risks You Should Know

For someone worried about their weight or unhappy with their current silhouette1, the first question that may pop into their head is can I go for liposuction and ‘Is liposuction safe?’

Should you be asking this question even though it is a common procedure carried out globally?

The answer to that is that you most definitely should! Every procedure, no matter how small, requires in-depth research.

Is Liposuction Safe?
Photo by Deon Black on Unsplash Copyright 2020

You should not base your decision on just one study; it is important to research beforehand and consult a doctor to know the risks involved. Of course, in most cases, liposuction does not carry many risks, but in a few cases, if not treated properly, the risks can be deadly.

We hope our article on ‘Is liposuction safe’ answers all your doubts. In case you have more questions, you can always leave us a comment or get in touch with a professional.

1. Liposuction in a Nutshell: What is it?

Liposuction is a common procedure that helps eliminate unwanted fat in certain body parts.

1.1. Which Body Parts Do People Get the Most Liposuction Surgery Done on?

Woman measuring thighs with measuring tape
Photo by Huha Inc. on Unsplash Copyright 2020

The most common parts where people get liposuction 2done are in the underarm region, lower belly, waist, and thighs, and the results are unbelievable. You can get it done in areas that have excess fat deposits.

1.2. Why Do People Get Liposuction Done?

There is no specific answer to this question. For many, it may be personal such as having a certain figure or postpartum care, and for others, it may be because of health issues.

Although many believe that people get liposuction done to meet certain body standards, many also get it done to remain healthy and avoid issues like joint pain.

A liposuction is a form of surgery that is incredibly popular among young and middle-aged adults because it eliminates fat in unwanted areas faster than in exercise. Not only does liposuction cause minimal scarring, but it also has a fast recovery rate when proper post-care is involved.

2. Is Liposuction Safe?

Risk written on die
Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay Copyright 2017

According to medical professionals, liposuction is a relatively safe procedure. However, there may be a few risks. Some risks are minor, and some may be major.

2.1.  The Risks Involved Are

2.1.1. Bruising:

Bruising is quite normal after getting this surgical procedure done. No matter what surgery you undergo, bruising is natural. It is your body’s way of responding to the incision or damage made to the capillaries 3in your body. It is natural for you to experience bruising, and you can control the bruising in the area in question with great care.
Usually, the bruising goes away in a couple of days, depending on where you got the incision made and how well you treat it. Doctors advise using an ice pack or compression units to control the bruising, or they may even prescribe medication if required.

2.1.2. Sensitivity in Certain Areas:

It is common to feel numb and tingling in and around the area where you got treated because the muscles have been stretched, and it takes time for the sensory nerves to heal.

The sensitivity and numbness subside within a few days post-operation, given that the patient follows all the post-care instructions given by their doctor. In case the sensitivity persists, you should follow up with your doctor.

2.1.3. Swelling:

Inflammation and build-up of lymphatic fluids4 lead to swelling in the area of operation. Remember that it is normal for the treated area to swell up, and it should last no more than 1-2 weeks and up to 6 weeks in extreme cases.

You will be given compression units or garments to treat the swelling, and in case your swelling does not subside, get in touch with your doctor immediately.

2.1.4. Slow Healing:

The healing process post-operation may sometimes be slow because some patients do not get enough rest. Similarly, recovery may be slow if you do not follow all the post-operation instructions.
Remember to eat well, stay hydrated, avoid strenuous work, and rest as much as possible.

2.1.5. Revision Surgery:

Revision surgery procedure may also be referred to as lip correction, or liposuction shifting, which corrects irregularities caused by your first liposuction treatment. The most common areas that require a correction treatment are the thighs and the abdomen.

2.1.6. Infection:

Some infections post-liposuction can cause serious health risks. A complication risk of 5% is experienced post-liposuction, but the majority of infections caused are usually minor.

On the other hand, necrotizing infections can lead to serious complications that spread to the dermis and muscle in the area you were operated on. This would require immediate attention and treatment from your doctor.

2.1.7. Fluid Accumulation:

Post-operation, many patients experience heavy swelling. It can be pretty painful, and when the patients experience swelling in the area they were operated on, a build-up of lymphatic fluids usually follows it.

You can opt for a manual lymphatic drainage massage that helps you unclog or drain the fluid build-up. This helps speed up your recovery time and fibrosis.

2.1.8. Cardiac Complications:

Cardiac arrest is no joke. Although rare, some patients develop a heart condition post-surgery due to the anaesthetics given during the procedure.

In most cases, the lidocaine present in the anesthetics can lead to toxicity which may affect your heart and your nervous system, ultimately resulting in death.

2.1.9. Blood Clots:

Some patients may experience blood clots post-surgery, leading to more complications. Doctors, therefore, recommend moving around as much as possible and avoiding blood thinners during the first-week post-surgery. You can consult your doctor and go for checkups regularly to avoid any complications.

3. How to Treat Liposuction Scarring?

Liposuction scarring can be treated with the help of silicone gels and sheets. There are popular over-the-counter options and affordable ones as well. Ask your doctor for a prescription for a great silicone gel or a silicone sheet.

Chemical peels and microdermabrasion are also quite common to reduce scarring. With these procedures, layers of your skin are removed; in this case, your scar tissue will be peeled or removed in layers.

You can also opt for laser treatment to get rid of scarring. Speak to your dermatologist 5for the best solution based on your skin type and scarring intensity.

3.1. Does Liposuction Guarantee Lifetime Results?

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Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash Copyright 2016

This is a tricky question because although liposuction does remove fat cells, fat deposits can return in the area of surgery.

There are certain rules the patient has to follow to maintain his or her ideal weight. The results will remain if you maintain your weight by eating right, exercising, and resting properly.
However, if you ignore everything your doctor has asked you to do, the fat deposits may return.

It is important to stay active; whether you walk for an hour a day or exercise for 30 to 40 minutes daily, you will also be happy with your results in the long run.

4. Who Can Get Liposuction Surgery?

4.1. Is There a Weight Limit or Age Limit to Getting Liposuction Surgery?

The ideal candidate for liposuction is someone who is a young to a middle-aged adult who has fat within thirty per cent of his or her body weight with elastic and tight skin.

Although anyone healthy can get liposuction, certain criteria must be considered and met.

4.2. Is Liposuction Safe for Everyone?

Someone with a faint heart or a heart condition would not be the ideal candidate. In many cases, smokers are also not seen as ideal candidates as complications may arise during the procedure.

In most cases, plastic surgeons6 will not operate on someone with a body mass index of over 30 since operating on heavily obese people can be life-threatening.

You may be asked to reduce a few pounds or kilograms of weight before you can proceed with liposuction.

It is best to clear all the information with your doctor beforehand to avoid delays or complications. The experts can help you with questions like whether liposuction is safe, what is the ideal weight to get the treatment, and what the recovery time is.

5. In The End

There you have it – our article on liposuction safe. We hope you enjoyed the article and can now make a more informed decision on whether it is safe for you. Consult your doctor for professional advice, and check out some of our other articles on liposuction if you like.

If you liked our article, share it with your friends and family in case they are looking to get this surgical procedure done.

Read more from us here.

6. FAQs

Q1. Is Liposuction Good for the Body?

Liposuction is mainly used to improve appearance rather than physical health benefits. Most people will achieve the same or better results by adopting a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet, regular exercise and a healthy sleep schedule.

Q2. Is Liposuction Painful?

Everyone has a different tolerance for pain, but liposuction is usually well tolerated. Patients may experience some discomfort during their initial recovery from surgery, especially when moving from a resting position.

Q3. What Happens Years After Lipo?

The fat cells that are removed during liposuction are permanently removed. However, this does not mean that you cannot gain weight after liposuction. Body fat can be redistributed after liposuction, especially if you don’t take preventive measures with diet and exercise habits.

  1. Shahapure, Ketan Rajshekhar, and Charles Nicholas. “Cluster quality analysis using silhouette score.” 2020 IEEE 7th international conference on data science and advanced analytics (DSAA). IEEE, 2020. ↩︎
  2. Wu, Shannon, Demetrius M. Coombs, and Raffi Gurunian. “Liposuction: Concepts, safety, and techniques in body-contouring surgery.” Cleveland Clinic journal of medicine 87.6 (2020): 367-375. ↩︎
  3. Fleischer, Sharon, Daniel Naveed Tavakol, and Gordana Vunjak‐Novakovic. “From arteries to capillaries: Approaches to engineering human vasculature.” Advanced functional materials 30.37 (2020): 1910811. ↩︎
  4. Hablitz, Lauren M., et al. “Circadian control of brain glymphatic and lymphatic fluid flow.” Nature communications 11.1 (2020): 4411. ↩︎
  5. Zakhem, George A., et al. “Characterizing the role of dermatologists in developing artificial intelligence for assessment of skin cancer.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 85.6 (2021): 1544-1556. ↩︎
  6. Ozturk, Cemile Nurdan, et al. “Plastic surgery and the COVID-19 pandemic: a review of clinical guidelines.” Annals of plastic surgery (2020). ↩︎

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