Complications of Liposuction
Liposuction also known as suction lipectomy or liposculting is a surgical remodelling procedure of a particular or multiple body parts by removing the fat present between the skin and underlying tissue (muscles). The procedure is conducted depending on the patient’s condition and comfort under local or general anaesthesia and the area to be addressed.
Every surgical procedure has its own pros and cons. To make the experience pleasurable and purposeful, the plastic surgeon and the patient (client in this case) have to understand what the complications are, the cause of their occurrence and what to do in case something goes wrong.
After all, cosmetic surgery aims at giving the patient a sense of happiness, more than correcting an illness
The problems that arise due to liposuction are
- Those that all the patients face – Sequel
- Rarer problems – Complications
- Failure of the procedure
The most common symptom, caused due to disturbances in the nerves supplying sensation to the skin. The condition gradually improves and is usually resolved completely in 2 to 3 months
Liposuction is done using a metal cannula, which moves under the skin repeatedly causing the area to bruise. This improves over a period of 2 to 3 weeks
Swelling is an integrated part of the healing process. It starts a few days after the procedure and reaches a peak 2-3 weeks after the surgery. The area might become as hard as a brick and the skin pink, warm and puckered. The swelling slowly reduces and is completely gone by the end of 2 or 3 months with proper and regular use of compression garments. The severity of the swelling depends on the area operated and the amount of fat aspirated.
Medications, massages and steam bath help in early resolution of the swelling. But letting it take its own time will help in better healing and regaining the skin’s elasticity.
- Altered Sensations
Itching, burning, twitching; which are a part of healing process usually occurs over a period of 2 or 3 months. Itching is caused due to the initial dryness of the skin as the sweat glands are deactivated. Applying moisturisers can bring the condition under control.
- Superficial epidermal blistering and peeling
These are extensions of skin injury like bruising. Skin peeling leaves behind pale areas or small wounds which heal in a couple of weeks. These may or may not leave scars.
- Hyper pigmentation
Patchy pigmentation ranging from vague to clearly delineated patches can occur in areas of bruising. Thighs, flanks, lower most edges of the tummy are the most common areas. These usually fade away over a period of 6 months to 1 year. Regular use of hydroquinone based products and chemical peeling helps in reducing the condition
- Contour abnormalities
They occur when a large amount of fat is aspirated and is rare. These can be corrected by EXILIS, lipolytic injections and at times by touch up liposuction.
Two halves of a human are never identical. Though utmost care is taken to maintain a semblance of symmetry, complaints of asymmetry often come up after a liposuction. Mostly it is due to previously unnoticed asymmetry and not a new one. These can be easily corrected by EXILIS, lipolytic injections, massages and at rare times a touch up liposuction.
- Skin Necrosis
This rarely occurs when liposuction is done aggressively or on an unhealthy patient. Small areas heal by themselves and seldom leave noticeable scars but large areas might require skin grafting.
Other Surgical Complications
As with any surgical procedure hematomas, seromas and even death is known to occur after a liposuction. But these are rare and usually unheard of.
An Unhappy Patient (Failure Of Procedure)
An unhappy patient claiming that there are “no results” are more often than not a result of either the surgeon not understanding what the patient desires or not having made the patient understand what liposuction will or will not do to him or her.