Liposuction Risks and Outcomes

Woman feeling her face Liposuction Risks and Outcomes

Liposuction is a surgical solution for unwanted body fat that comes with its own risks and unique rewards. If you’re considering liposuction for fat removal, read on to learn whether it’s right for you.

What to Know About Liposuction

What Is Liposuction?

Liposuction is a surgical procedure that’s been practiced for decades. A suction device is inserted under the skin, and fat is removed via suction from these problem areas. Liposuction is not a weight loss technique. There are far better ways to lose weight including diet, exercise, and other more complex surgeries like gastric bypass. Liposuction is for people with stubborn body fat who are otherwise healthy and have a steady weight. Some people carry fat differently from others, and it’s a bit random whether you’ll have stubborn body fat and where it may be. Common places where you may find stubborn body fat include: the abdomen, sides, upper arms, buttocks, chin, thighs, chest, back, or calves. If you’re in shape but have a double chin that won’t quit, you will probably be a good candidate for liposuction.

Risks of Liposuction

So what are some of the risks associated with liposuction? Let’s start with the broadest possible issues. Liposuction helps remove the fat cells in problem areas, allowing for the skin to contour into its new shape. In order for skin to contour properly, it needs to have good elasticity. Not everyone’s skin is as elastic as it should be, so skin may appear loose and never fully contour following liposuction. Your dermatologist can do some baseline checks on your skin to determine its general elasticity. Liposuction can produce permanent contour changes unless your weight changes drastically upward. Fat cells won’t grow back after liposuction if your lifestyle, diet, and exercise don’t change. But if you do gain weight, that removed fat can come right back. Liposuction generally requires general anesthesia, which carries some risk with it. If you have pre-existing conditions that could cause complications with anesthesia, you should not get this elective surgery. Like we said earlier, skin should contour into its new shape with some time, but that doesn’t always happen. If your skin heals irregularly or the fat was removed unevenly, the contouring of your skin may not look good. These irregularities are often permanent, so it’s important to only seek liposuction from a qualified, experienced dermatologist.

There are other risks that could come with liposuction including infection, which is a risk with any surgery. Some people report numbness and loss of sensation in the treatment area. This is usually temporary, but in rare instances it can be permanent. Another rare but life-threatening concern is a fat embolism. If fat cells are dislodged during surgery but not removed, they could enter the bloodstream. If they get trapped in a blood vessel, they can travel to the heart or lungs and cause a fatal blockage. While this is incredibly rare, it is a possibility you should discuss with your doctor.

Liposuction Outcomes

Liposuction can be just what you need for taking on unwanted body fat. While there are risks with liposuction, don’t let that dissuade you from talking with your doctor. Any medical treatment involves inherent risks, and balancing them with the possible outcomes is a necessary step in considering treatment. Many people who have struggled with body image issues or eating disorders from their unwanted body fat can see life-changing relief from liposuction. It cannot be understated how helpful this procedure can be for some people’s self esteem and mental health. Results aren’t immediate from liposuction, as there will be localized swelling to the treatment area. Once this fades over the course of weeks and into months, you’ll notice visible fat reduction and eventually the results you were hoping for. If you maintain your healthy diet and lifestyle, you can expect this fat loss to be permanent.


Liposuction is not without its risks, but it’s not an unsafe procedure for most people looking to lose a little unwanted body fat. Want to learn if liposuction is right for you? Reach out to the qualified medical professionals at Pacific Dermatology Specialists.

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