When performed by an experienced, skilled plastic surgeon such as Stuart Baker, M.D., liposuction is one of the safest yet most transformative cosmetic procedures available. Modern liposuction techniques allow for the selective targeting of fat cells while surrounding healthy cells are left undisturbed, resulting in smoother, sleeker contours and more attractive transitions between regions of the body. In the hands of Dr. Baker, liposuction is a true art.
However, although liposuction is one of the safest surgical procedures in medicine, it is not without risks. No surgical procedure is entirely risk free. Still, for the greater part, the risks associated with liposuction are rare, particularly serious ones. Minor side effects can occur, but they usually subside fairly quickly and without any long-term consequences. During initial consultations with Dr. Baker at his office in Decatur, liposuction side effects are explained to patients in detail before they undergo the procedure. This enables them to make educated, confident decisions regarding their care.
Common Liposuction Side Effects
Some of the side effects associated with liposuction are unavoidable, while others may or may not occur. The more common and inevitable side effects of liposuction include:
- Bruising at the incision site: Some bruising will almost certainly occur after liposuction. This bruising can be painful at first, but can be controlled with over-the-counter pain medication, although Dr. Baker may prescribe medication for use during the initial healing period. In most cases, bruising subsides within two weeks of surgery, but more severe cases may take a month or more to resolve.
- Swelling at the treatment site: Like bruising, swelling is common after liposuction and should be expected. Most swelling should subside after a couple of weeks, but some may persist for several months.
- Fluid leakage at the incision site: Fluids will drain from the incision site during the healing period; this is necessary to proper healing. However, this drainage may continue in some patients until swelling has completely subsided.
- Numbness: The treatment area will most likely be numb for a few days after the procedure.
- Allergic reactions: Patients often do not realize that they are allergic to medications or anesthesia until they have reactions. It is important that you disclose any allergies that you do have to Dr. Baker during your initial liposuction consultation.
- Scarring: As a minimally invasive procedure, liposuction does not produce much in the way of visible scarring; however, some minor scarring is probable. How visible these scars are depends on the patient’s skin type and how smoothly his or her recovery proceeds.
Less common liposuction side effects include:
- Infection: Skin infections after liposuction are extremely rare. Nevertheless, infection is a risk of any surgical procedure, no matter how minimally invasive.
- Blood clots: Again, this side effect is extremely rare, but some liposuction patients develop a blood clot in a vein, which leads to venal swelling.
- Skin discoloration: In cases of severe bruising, some discoloration of the skin may be permanent.
- Burning: Some patients experience friction burns from liposuction, but this rarely occurs when the procedure is performed by an experienced surgeon.
For further information about liposuction side effects, we encourage you to contact Dr. Stuart Baker at the Center for Cosmetic Medicine today.