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Bad Effects of Liposuction

author image Katina Coleman
Katina Coleman is a research psychologist who has been writing since 2004. She has published and reviewed articles in various academic journals and consults on research projects related to health and education. Her research interests center on patient-doctor communication and cancer health disparities. Coleman holds a Ph.D. in psychology from Wayne State University.
Bad Effects of Liposuction
A woman is squeezing her thigh. Photo Credit: sylv1rob1/iStock/Getty Images

Liposuction removes excess fat from the body surgically. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, liposuction can be performed on the following areas of the body: buttocks, breasts, neck, back, stomach, face, calves, upper arms, knees, thighs, back and love handles. To maintain fat loss from surgery, the patient must maintain a healthy diet along with an exercise regime. The procedure poses serious potential side effects.

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Surgical Risks

Liposuction presents the same negative side effects generally associated with any surgical procedure. Side effects include swelling and bruises below the treated areas. reports that these effects can last two to three months. Further, liposuction also puts the patient at risk for infection and blood clots.

Skin Numbness

Skin numbness occurs when the patient loses sensitivity in the area of the skin treated by the liposuction. The numbness typically dissipates after two to four months, according to However, says some people experience permanent skin numbness.

Loose Skin

After liposuction surgery, a patient may be left with loose skin in the treated areas. Skin typically regains firmness after four to six months without any treatment interventions, according to However, some patients’ skin does not recover its firmness, and surgery is required to remove the excess skin.

Fat Embolism Syndrome

Fat embolism syndrome is a serious but rare side effect associated with liposuction. In 2008, in the Journal of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Hui-Dong Wang, M.D., and associates reported that the risk of fat embolism syndrome increased as the level of fat removed by the liposuction procedure increased. Fat embolism syndrome can lead to permanent disability or death. The condition occurs when portions of the loosened fat tissue become lodged in a blood vessel. If untreated, the fat travels to the lungs and brain, causing damage to the brain, cardiovascular systems and lungs. Symptoms of fat embolism include difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.

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