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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Liposuction presents the same negative side effects generally associated with any surgical procedure. Side effects include swelling and bruises below the treated areas. Drugs.com 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 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 Drugs.com. However, MayoClinic.com says some people experience permanent skin numbness.
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 Drugs.com. 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.