Liposuction is often considered a very safe procedure. But being a surgical procedure, there are some risks that cannot be avoided. Common side effects can offer discomfort during the healing period but these are usually mild and will go away with time. Surgical risks still exists and any surgery requires anesthesia which comes with its own risks.
The side effects of liposuction include bruising and swelling which are common and generally expected. A compression garment can help minimize the severity of swelling and speed up the healing process. If the patient experiences more pain and discomfort than usual there are prescription pain and antibiotic medication that can be taken.
The most common surgical liposuction risks include excessive blood loss, infections and internal organ damage. These risks have been minimized with some newer techniques such as laser liposuction which increased the precision to target fat while causing minimal damage to the other tissue in the area.
Thromboembolism is another risk of liposuction particularly for patients of leg liposuction. It is a clotting of arteries or other channels caused by dislodged fatty particles that escape into the blood vessels. It can sometimes travel to the lung and cause difficulty breathing.
The administration of anesthesia poses its own risks especially in higher doses. Some small procedures only require local anesthesia which eliminates much of the serious anesthesia related risks. But in general anesthesia there is always the potential for something to go wrong. Cardiac arrhythmia can occur if the heart rate is elevated too high or brain damage can occur if there is a lack of oxygen to the brain because the respiratory system shuts down.
While there is no way to completely eliminate all risks, the best we can do is choosing the right liposuction surgeon. This means finding a board certified plastic surgeon with plenty of liposuction experience. It helps if that surgeon has a reputation of producing excellent results and comes with a recommendation.