The common advice for those who want to lose weight is “eat well and exercise!” For some people, this advice falls on deaf ears. Some do follow this advice, but find that they can’t shake the last 10 to 15 pounds. Others find that diet and exercise totally fails, while still others simply want a magic bullet to solve their weight problem. Hundreds of thousands of people each year opt for this magic bullet: cheap liposuction, a surgical procedure in which pounds of fat are removed from trouble spots, like the thighs, buttocks, and the abdomen. Though this procedure is the most popular cosmetic surgery performed in the United States, it has its dark side. The dangers of liposuction are real and should be known by any patient considering this surgery.
What are the dangers of liposuction?
Whether you believe it or not, there are some serious liposuction dangers that you should be aware of before getting this surgical procedure. There are two major classes of dangers: cosmetic and medical. Below the danger of liposuction procedures are discussed according to their type.
Cosmetic surgery dangers
Cosmetic dangers are any problems that affect how the body looks after the surgery. Like any medical procedure, liposuction can be performed incorrectly. If too much fat is removed, dimples or excess skin could be left over. If fat is removed unevenly, bumps or dips could mar the area. This unsightly outcome negates the very reason of pursuing this surgery in the first place. Another potential problem is the fact that some people have visible liposuction scars after surgery. If the scars are too big, or are not located in a hidden part of the body, they may also ruin what was otherwise a successful procedure. While none of this is life threatening, it is an inconvenience, and may require further surgery to fix the problem.
More serious medical complications can result from this surgery. Swelling is a potential problem, one that can last for weeks or months and require further medical attention. As with all surgeries, infections are an ever-present possibility, and may require antibiotics or other treatment. Blood clots and embolisms can also occur. Human error can also cause serious problems. Because the doctor is working underneath the skin, he or she might damage organs or other vital tissues.
Other less common dangers of liposuction
Though it is not common, some people have died during liposuction. The death rate is 3 per every 100,000 operations. The risk for serious complications or death increases as the magnitude of the job increases. Risk can be reduced if the patient is healthy and only a small amount of fat needs to be removed. If a patient is extremely overweight, and if large amounts of fat are removed under general anesthesia, the chances of death increase. Finally, one danger is a subtle one: liposuction reinforces the desirability of the “quick fix.” No surgery should substitute for a healthy lifestyle.