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The Possible Dangers of Liposuction – Thing You Should Know

Updated on August 22, 2011

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Liposuction is a good way to reshape your body quickly, however, liposuction may cause some serious complications too, and that’s why you should fully understand the dangers of liposuction before taking it.

There is an increasing rate of obesity among people whose diet habits are changing due to improved living standards. And obesity has caused a series of harmful consequences to our health, such as diabetes and heart diseases. A large number of studies have shown that excessive accumulation of fat in the abdomen would seriously interfere with fat metabolism and insulin regulation of blood sugar, thereby causing many metabolic diseases such as type Ⅱ diabetes, hyperlipidemia, hypertension and heart disease. 

In order to lose weight, people come up with many different methods, from changing diet to doing exercise, but so far there is no be all and end all solution for everyone. For those people who repeatedly failed to lose weight, the easiest way to lose weight is liposuction, which seems to have more pronounced effect. Take abdomen fat removal for example, through the principle of vacuum suction, liposuction is done by opening 1 to 2 holes in the obese patients, then inserting a cannula (a hollow tube) deep into the subcutaneous fat layer to suck out excess abdominal fat. Liposuction has immediate effect in reducing body fat, but for the harm caused as obesity, liposuction has become somewhat powerless. 

Study found that while liposuction can remove a lot of subcutaneous fat, about 20% of the total fat content, actually the surgery does not appear to have any health benefits. Patients with liposuction haven’t shown obvious changes in their insulin sensitivity, blood lipids concentration and blood pressure. Although liposuction can trim off a lot of body fat, it cannot reduce the risk of diabetes, hypertension and coronary heart diseases. The reason for this is may be that although liposuction has removed the subcutaneous fat, the cell size of the residual fat has not changed, besides, the surgery does not affect fat accumulation on internal organs such as liver and heart.

Liposuction is a good way to lose weight quickly, however, liposuction is a surgery, there are certain risks associated with the process. The main complications or risks of liposuction are listed below:


Liposuction surgery may cause pigmentation in the patients. The main reason is skin ischemia caused by damages during the surgery and a thin suction layer. Pigmentation, in particular, occurs in the legs and abdomen. In general, the pigment will fade in about half a year after the surgery, however, there are a small number of stubborn cases, under which the patients will recover or get better only by chemical and physical treatments. A handful of people experience postoperative pigment fading, a situation more difficult to deal with.

Refractory uneven skin

The uneven skin area caused by liposuction is due to a large amount of suction or uneven suction layers under the skin. Small areas of uneven skin can be remedied through autologous fat transplantation, however, for large areas, only by second liposuction can the problem be solved permanently.


Asymmetry often occurs in legs or arms liposuctions. Asymmetry is mainly caused by the different size of cannulas used on both sides, which can only be corrected through second liposuction. Complications of asymmetry involve chronic hardening or thickening of tissue, and chronic pain.

Chronic hardening or thickening of tissue

This is due to physiological dysfunction and edema secondary to early inflammations, easy to occur within one year after liposuction, it can also be caused by the damage to skin circulation. Symptoms include lacking of skin luster and elasticity. Ultrasound massage and exercise can help to recover.

Chronic pain

This is mainly due to rude or unreasonable surgical procedures and the hyperplasia of subcutaneous scars. Main symptoms include tingling, particularly at nighttime. Chronic pain can be cured by excision of subcutaneous scars from a doctor.

Seroma and hematoma

Mainly due to lack of pressure after surgery or drainage is not smooth. Seroma and hematoma can be alleviated through second drainage or compression bandaging.

Muscle damages

Damages to the muscle layer due to liposuction, especially the legs, can cause fracture of muscle fibers, bleeding, elevated compartment pressure, neurovascular compression. This can affect the nerves and muscle functions, and cause serious pain. Muscle damages are mainly caused by lack of experience or brutal actions in the surgery. Once occurred, patients should immediately seek medical treatment.

Liposuction may cause many complications, most of which are due to wrong treatments. In order to obtain satisfactory liposuction results. You should choose a good hospital and a good cosmetic surgeon to minimize the risk of complications.


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      You've really helped me undarstend the issues. Thanks.

    • profile image

      4 years ago

      Hi Bonnie,

      I'm very sorry to hear about your continued pain after liposuction.

      I hope this isn't the case for you, but liposuction can puncture viscera. (Example, Denise Hendry). In extreme cases, liposuction can remove muscle. (Example, Tom from Australia, "liposuction ruined my life" blog). Liposuction can also damage nerves, and it destroys the fishnet structure under the skin where the fat lives.

      Maybe try an Orthopedist? Maybe ask If an MRI might show damage? I hope you keep trying until you find an ethical, curious doctor willing to do a real hands-on exam, and to work with you in getting the answers you need. Don't give up or let them minimize your complaints.

      I don't know what state you're in, (or what the statute of limitations on medical malpractice damages are in your area), but have you considered that many doctors try to stall a patient who complains of ongoing pain and problems in oder to protect their own liability? I don't know if this is the case with your situation, however it is more common than one might realize.

      Did your surgeon use a power tool or an ultrsonic form of liposuction, by the way?

      Well, I hope you find some answers, and I hope you'll keep us posted. Bear in mind that sometimes we have to get ourselves educated in order to bring the doctors up to speed. I'm not sure how many other specialties are that well versed about liposuction, but in my opinion, it's time for them to learn because too many people are being harmed. .... Best

    • profile image

      bonnie geller 

      4 years ago

      I had liposuction done on my outer thigh(it was done so the fat removed could be used for a fat transfer to under my eyes) and it has not only left a scar and indentation, I also have pain in my outer thigh and buttocks area. I didn't even understand why he took the fat from my thigh area as that is one of the thinner parts of my body. I have plenty of fat that he could've taken from my belly, but he chose not to. As soon as I start walking, it feels as though the muscle is tightening and cramping, and if I keep walking , the pain only gets worse, unless I stop and rest. I have mentioned this to the surgeon at every visit for the past two years, and all he has said to me was that I must just take a long time to heal, and he has also said he doesn't know what to tell me. He never once told me to see any other doctor for this problem, or had any suggestions as to what I should or can do for it. I took it upon myself to see a neurologist, but he said there doesn't seem to be nerve damage. What can I do to find out what sort of damage this doctor has done to me? There is definitely something very wrong with that area of my outer thigh and buttocks, as it hurts as soon as I even do any light activity. You say in your article to immediately seek medical attention, which I didn't because I took the doctor for his word, that I must take long to heal. So, I was patient and waited. My question is what kind of doctor should I see to find out what this surgeon has done to me? People have said see a doctor immediately, but no one has ever told me what sort of doctor I should see! And also, if there is damage, can it be repaired? As I fear he has done some sort of damage to the muscles in my outer thigh and buttocks area.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      There are a lot of negative things that might happen if you subject yourself to any king of procedure.



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