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Ron Shelton M.D.

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What are the complications and risks associated with Liposuction?

Liposuction is associated with the same risks and complications that go along with any major surgical procedure. The common risk with all surgical procedures is infection, which can cause complications after the surgery. However, if the surgeon takes proper care and precautions while performing the surgery, this risk can be minimized.

It is crucial that a liposuction procedure be performed only by a qualified and experienced surgeon. In the event of any complications during the surgery, an experienced surgeon knows exactly how to bring the situation under control. Secondly, the procedure must be performed at an accredited facility where quality assurance programs are in effect to monitor safety programs and continue to improve the quality of care.

With these conditions in place and a skilled surgeon to perform liposuction, the chances of risk are significantly reduced. In most cases, serious complications of liposuction arise out of difficulties with general anesthesia, long hours of surgery, multiple procedures done at the same time. Therefore, the best approach is to avoid general anesthesia and proceed conservatively with local anesthesia or IV sedation for liposuction.

Some surgeons may attempt to remove a lot of fat in a single day. This can be dangerous for the patient’s health. An experienced surgeon will strictly follow a conservative approach and will limit the amount of fat removal to very safe quantities in a single day. The standard of care in the United States currently is removing less than 5 liters.

Post-surgical care is equally important to achieve the best results from liposuction. The surgeon or their staff should advise the patient of proper instructions for care during the healing period after the surgery. The patient should follow the surgeon’s instructions and advice carefully. This can help produce minimal scarring and safe and complete healing.

Liposuction patients should also understand that the results of any such procedure are not permanent. If the patient stops all physical exercise or dieting after the procedure, the pre-surgical condition may come back sooner than expected. Therefore, it is important to maintain a healthy and consistent lifestyle, regular physical exercise and a balanced diet following the surgery. With personal commitment to good health and fitness, the results of liposuction can be sustained for a greater duration.