All surgery, including cosmetic surgery, carries risks. Although the vast majority of Liposuction patients do not suffer complications, you should not undergo Liposuction surgery without understanding the risks involved. There are two types of risk; those that apply to any kind of operation such as bleeding, anaesthetic risk and wound infection; and those that apply only to Liposuction surgery. Once you have read this information, you should discuss any concerns with Dr Konrat. The following explains some but not all of the risks specifically associated with Liposuction surgery.
- Bruising, discolouration, tenderness, swelling and induration (hardness), of varying degrees occur after nearly all procedures. These side effects will resolve within 1 – 6 weeks.
- Surface irregularities and asymmetry may occur, and may require surgical revision. Over or under treatment of an area may occur.
- Areas of numbness may occur where a cutaneous nerve has been damaged. This condition usually resolves but may occasionally by permanent.
- Ridging, crinkling, unevenness of the skin may occur, but will generally be prevented by good postoperative care, such as wearing of a compression garment, and manual lymphatic drainage.
- A seroma, or collection of fluid may develop, requiring drainage.
- Infection may occur at the site of a skin incision.
- Surface irregularities, waviness, asymmetry, small incision scars, pigmentation or discolouration, areas of numbness may occasionally be permanent.
- Skin slough may occur, with resultant scar formation.
- Infection may occur, leading to a condition known as necrotising fasciitis. This is an extremely rare complication but is serious and can lead to death if not treated promptly and adequately
- Rapid resolution of temporary changes is expected; however final contouring may not be complete for six months and occasionally longer.
- It is important to be aware the Liposuction is not a substitute for weight loss. What it does – and to great effect – is reshape previously bulging areas of the body, creating trimmer, smoother contours.
General risks of surgery
Because surgery is such a vital part of modern medicine, there is a tendency to forget that there are risks associated with every type of surgery. While these risks are small, every person undergoing surgery should be aware of the risks.
All internal and external wounds need time to heal after surgery. Sutures and other material are used to hold wounds closed while they heal.
Risks of anaesthesia
Liposculpture is performed under I.V. (Intravenous) Sedation or Twilight anaesthetic, which carries a very low level of risk.
- Shock requiring admission to hospital, DVT and Pulmonary Embolus and infection fat embolus.
- Unforeseen complications may lead to hospitalisation and time off work, surgical revision and additional unexpected cost to the patient.
Mental health disorders and elective surgery
- It is important that all patients seeking to undergo elective surgery have realistic expectations that focus on improvement rather than perfection.
- Complications or less than satisfactory results are sometimes unavoidable, may require additional surgery and can be stressful.
- Please discuss openly with Dr Konrat in your consultation prior to surgery, any history of emotional depression or mental health disorders. If you are unsure whether a matter is relevant, please mention it anyway. Although many individuals may benefit psychologically from the results of elective cosmetic surgery, the effects on mental health can never be predicted and could possibly have a negative influence on emotional stability.
- Patients have a risk of forming a blood clot in the leg (deep vein thrombosis) that breaks off and gets stuck in the lung circulation (pulmonary embolism). This is minimised by the wearing of surgical ‘stockings’ during the surgery, and by getting the patient out of bed as soon as possible.
- You will also be encouraged to breathe deeply when you wake up from the anaesthetic as this expands your lungs and helps ensure your blood oxygen levels are good.
- Despite taking precautions, infections can occur during and just after surgery. These may be general, such as pneumonia, or specific to liposculpture surgery. Because of their generally good health, liposculpture patients usually have a lower risk of developing general infections such as pneumonia.