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Liposuction Risks and Benefits

/ Dr. Aric Aghayan
Risks of liposuction

If you eat a healthy diet and exercise, chances are you are close to your ideal body weight. But sometimes, it can be challenging to lose fat in certain parts of the body, no matter how well we take care of ourselves.

For example, many men and women who work out still struggle with extra fat in the abdomen. That’s why liposuction is one of the country’s most popular plastic surgery procedures.

Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure that removes fat from stubborn areas. The procedure is usually performed by removing fat with a thin cannula. Your surgeon will likely use tumescent liposuction for your procedure, but there are other options, too.

While liposuction is popular, it is often misunderstood. First, it’s essential to know that liposuction isn’t a weight-loss procedure. Instead, you should be near your ideal body weight before having the procedure.

Liposuction simply fine-tunes your shape and eliminates fat that won’t disappear with a healthy diet and exercise.

If you are thinking about liposuction surgery on your abdomen, flanks, thighs, or another body part, below is vital information about risks and benefits.

Liposuction Benefits

Thousands of patients choose liposuction every year for these benefits:

It’s Safe

The biggest reason liposuction surgery is popular is it’s safe and effective. During liposuction, the surgeon makes tiny incisions in the treatment area. Next, a cannula is inserted to suck out some of the excess fat.

The surgeon usually injects lidocaine and epinephrine to reduce swelling, pain and bleeding. The removed fat has no blood in it, so your body will recover faster.

This procedure is usually done outpatient, and you should be back to your regular activities after a week or two.

Removes Fat Permanently

When the surgeon removes your fat with liposuction surgery, it’s gone forever. However, there will still be a small amount of fat left in the treatment area, and it can swell if you gain weight.

So it’s essential to maintain a healthy diet and exercise after you have liposuction.

Boosts Self-Confidence

If you have fat on your body that frustrates you, it can damage your self-confidence. After liposuction, your body will look the way you want it, and your self-esteem will rise.

Liposuction will also make clothes fit better. Being able to wear what you want and look great also can enhance your self-confidence.

Removes Stubborn Fat

Of course, a huge benefit of this procedure is it removes fat that you cannot seem to eliminate with diet and exercise.

If you take care of yourself, it can be frustrating to still have that last four or five pounds uneven fat removal of the belly. Liposuction can take it away. Most patients report being delighted with getting rid of that last few pounds of annoying fat!

Liposuction Risks

Health benefits of liposuction

Liposuction is usually safe when a board-certified plastic surgeon performs it. But there are risks to consider:

Poor skin elasticity

When the surgeon removes fat with the cannula, your skin needs to shrink to adhere to your slimmer contours.

But if you lack good skin elasticity, you could have loose skin. If this problem occurs in the abdomen, you may need a tummy tuck to correct the issue.

Also, your surgeon will give you a compression garment to wear after your procedure. Be sure you wear it according to his recommendations. This will help make the skin adhere to your new shape.

Fluid Accumulation

Fluid can build up after your procedure in the treated area, making the affected area swell. The compression garment your surgeon gives you should usually address the issue, but a more severe case may require drains to be inserted.

Fat Embolism

The surgeon may make a mistake where fat cells get into the bloodstream during the liposuction procedure. While fat embolism don’t usually cause significant complications, fat embolism can be fatal in rare instances.

Lidocaine Toxicity

The surgeon will inject lidocaine into the treatment area during tumescent liposuction, which reduces pain and bleeding. While it’s safe for most people, some may react to it.

You could experience dizziness or nausea, and in rare cases, death can occur.

Rippling Or Uneven Result

Your board-certified plastic surgeon is experienced with liposuction, and most patients have excellent results. However, rippling or uneven effects can occur, which may require a revision procedure.

You can avoid many postoperative complications if you remember the following:

  • Do not have liposuction if you have diabetes, an autoimmune disorder, or heart problems.
  • You should be near your ideal body weight when you have this procedure. Most doctors say you should be within 10-15 pounds of your ideal body weight.
  • You should not smoke for several weeks before and after liposuction. Doing so will impede the healing process and can cause complications.
  • Follow all of your surgeon’s instructions, including not taking certain medications and changing diet as needed before and after surgery.


Is traditional liposuction a good choice for you? Liposuction procedures can remove stubborn body fat deposits that you have struggled with for yours. Whether you choose tumescent liposuction, laser assisted liposuction, power assisted liposuction or another type, this procedure could be the key to sculpting your body and boosting your self-confidence.

You also may want to think about other procedures along with liposuction. That way, you can get all of your liposuction recovery done simultaneously. Popular options include a Brazilian butt lift and a thigh lift.

Questions and Answers

Is liposuction a high risk surgery?

  • Potential liposuction risks encompass:
  • Cannula breakage.
  • Alterations in skin sensation that may endure.
  • Harm to deeper structures such as nerves, blood vessels, muscles, lungs, and abdominal organs.
  • Development of deep vein thrombosis, along with cardiac and pulmonary complications.

How common is liposuction complications?

The prevalent complication in liposuction procedures is contour deformity, with up to 9% of patients possibly experiencing issues like soft-tissue depressions, elevations, skin panniculus, folds, or wrinkles.

What is the survival rate of lipo?

As per a recent publication in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery — Global Open, the official open access journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the mortality rate for tummy tuck surgery is estimated at around one in 13,000, while the mortality rate for liposuction is roughly 1.3 in 50,000.

Is liposuction safe for the body?

Similar to any surgical procedure, liposuction carries inherent risks. These risks encompass bleeding and adverse reactions to anesthesia. Additionally, liposuction-specific risks include contour irregularities.

Is ultrasound assisted liposuction safe?

Ultrasound assisted liposuction procedure is regarded as a secure and efficient method for the removal of unwanted fat.

How can I improve my poor skin elasticity after liposuction?

  • Engage in Regular Exercise. Following liposuction, maintaining a consistent exercise routine is essential to sculpt and tone your physique.
  • Enjoy Relaxing Massages. Massages can provide soothing relief for both your muscles and skin.
  • Incorporate Weight Lifting. Include weight lifting in your fitness regimen.
  • Explore Water Therapy. Water therapy can be beneficial.
  • Contemplate Additional Procedures. Consider other surgical options if needed.

How dangerous is liposuction?

While liposuction is generally regarded as a safe procedure, it does come with potential risks and dangers. Inadequate skin elasticity may result in excessive swelling and uneven outcomes. Furthermore, improper liposuction techniques can lead to significant damage to surrounding tissues.

Request A Liposuction Consultation

Thinking about liposuction procedure in Portland? Dr. Aric Aghayan board certified plastic surgeon is proud to serve Portland area patients at his practice, Après Plastic Surgery.

He’ll answer any liposuction questions, goals, and more to determine if you’re an ideal candidate for liposuction.


Liposuction Overview. (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/180450

Liposuction Safety. (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/liposuction/safety

About Liposuction. (n.d.). Accessed at https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/11009-liposuction

Embrace Your Evolution

Enjoy the pinnacle of cosmetic surgery expertise with board-certified Portland Plastic Surgeon Dr. Aric Aghayan at Après Plastic Surgery. With a legacy of over 1600 successful body contouring procedures, Dr. Aghayan stands as the foremost specialist in advanced body contouring technology and treatment options. Take the next big step on your beauty journey by scheduling a comprehensive plastic surgery consultation with Dr. Aghayan today.

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