VASER Liposuction Risks
Surgery will involve administration of general anaesthetic agents
The administration of general anaesthetic agents by, or under the direction and supervision of the surgeon(s) and the accompanying qualified anaesthetist.
Liposuction involve certain risks and possibilities of complications
The procedure will result in scar formation, as with all surgery. With liposuction there will be tiny scars of 3-6mm in the area of the body that is being treated. Scarring is generally pink, but fades to become white, soft and supple in the weeks or months after the operation. Most patients find that the wound heals quickly and that the appearance is ultimately acceptable to them. However, abnormal scarring occasionally occurs within the skin and deeper tissues and these may be unattractive and of different colour to the surrounding skin. Scars may also exhibit contour variations and “bunching” due to excess skin, or may be asymmetrical (with a different appearance between the right and left side of the body). In some cases scars may require surgical revision or treatment. In rare cases keloid scars form, which are thickened by an inflammatory process in the scar tissue. This occurs due to an irregularity of the patient’s healing process.
Antibiotics are administered during the operation and if required will be prescribed to take afterwards. This minimises the risk of infection. Nevertheless infections can occur and, should this be the case, they are treated either by oral antibiotics or, in severe cases, by admission to hospital for intravenous antibiotics and further drainage procedures.
General complications applicable to all types of operations include, but are not limited to:
- Heart problems (although very uncommon with modern anaesthetic techniques).
- Lung problems; small areas of the lungs may collapse, increasing the risk of chest infection. Such problems may require antibiotics and physiotherapy to correct. Other potential lung complications are quite rare.
- Clots in the legs with pain and swelling. Rarely, part of such a clot may break off and travel to the lungs, causing fatal complications.
- Allergic reactions to medications.
- Potential for injury to deeper structures including nerves, blood vessels, and muscles.
- Itching, tenderness, or exaggerated responses to hot or cold temperatures. Usually this resolves during healing but, in rare cases, may be chronic.
Postoperative pain will occur in varying degrees, from quite severe, to moderate and mild on the first day. The pain gradually improves over the next few days and is assisted by using the prescribed pain medication. Increasing, unresponsive pain, should be brought to the attention of the surgeon as this may be an indication that complications are developing.
Intermittent mild discomfort or intermittent sharp pains after the first few weeks after surgery is also common, as the swelling resolves and the nerves recover.
Chronic pain, ranging from mild aching pain to sharp nerve pain can persist for more than a year.
Bruising and swelling is normal after the operation, but this varies from mild to severe with each patient.
To reduce risks the patient should stop treatment with such drugs as Aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs or other blood-thinning agents, including high dose vitamin E tablets or capsules, 10-14 days prior to surgery. We will provide you with a comprehensive list of substances to avoid in your pre-operative instruction sheet. However if you are taking any medications and you are unsure if they affect bleeding, please ask us at least two weeks before your operation.
Specific complications relating to Liposuction may include:
- Excessive swelling or bruising that takes time to heal. In particular, persistent swelling in the legs can occur.
- In the unlikely event of excessive bleeding after the operation, emergency treatment may be required to drain accumulated blood; a blood transfusion may even be necessary.
- Infections may occur. Life-threatening infections, such as toxic shock syndrome, have been known to occur after liposuction.
- Skin contour irregularities, depressions, or ‘grooves’ may occur.This may include visible and palpable wrinkling or pitting of skin, which requires additional treatment.
- Fat necrosis- fatty tissue found deep in the skin might die and produce areas of extra-firmness within the skin. Additional surgery may be necessary to remove it.
- Seroma fluid collection may result after the operation. This would require aspiration or other additional treatments.
- Changes in skin sensation can also be noted. This usually resolves over a period of time but in rare cases may become chronic.
- Depending on where the Liposuction is being performed, possible damage may occur to deeper structures such as nerves, blood vessels and, if around the abdomen,the bowel or other internal organs.
- If performed around the chest then pneumothorax is possible, as well as damage to the internal structures.
- Pubic area distortion – in rare cases, women can develop distortion of their labia and pubic area. Should this occur, additional treatment including surgery may be necessary.