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Is lipoplasty a life-threatening procedure?

Lipoplasty, more commonly known as liposuction, can be a life-threatening procedure, but it usually is not. There is a risk of serious complications that may become life-threatening, such as an adverse reaction to anesthesia, bleeding, shock, organ puncture, and serious infection. If you are concerned about potentially life-threatening complications, talk to your doctor about your risk for them. Your risk will be related to a number of factors, including your health history and how expansive an area the surgery covers.

Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgery
In general, liposuction is a very safe procedure when performed by a qualified physician. Board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeons have the experience, training, and judgment to perform lipoplasty procedures throughout the body. Complications from liposuctioning are usually minimal which may include surface irregularities or contour deformities. This can occur if too much fat is removed from the specific localized area or suctioning is performed too close to the skin. Other serious complications from liposuction may include pulmonary embolus, deep venous thrombosis, perforation of the intraabdominal cavity, including bowel or other visceral organs, bleeding or infections, including cellulitis to the skin. Patients who are healthy, who are at their ideal body weight normally do quite well with tumescent liposuction technique when performed by board-certified plastic surgeons. In general, the patients are happy with the results and the fat is permanently removed.

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What Should I Know If I'm Considering Liposuction?
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.