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A female asked:

What are the health risks of liposuction to the thigh area? what are the health risks of liposuction to the body in general?

6 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jeffrey Kyllo
Plastic Surgery 40 years experience
Liposuction : Liposuction is very safe if certain guidelines and principles are followed. As with any surgery, there are potential complications that can be minimized but never completely eliminated. Risks specific to liposuction are incomplete, uneven, or over removal of fat, infection, skin discoloration, skin burns if ultrasonic or laser liposuction is used, and sometimes bad scars. Other risks include bleeding, anesthetic complications, and blood clots in the legs. I would recommend that you seek out a board certified plastic surgeon in your area. Good luck!
Dr. Robert Deal
Plastic Surgery 21 years experience
In : In general, liposuction to the body is a relatively safe procedure with an overall low complication rate when being performed by properly trained surgeons. Though any surgery has risk, liposuction specifically includes hematoma's, seroma's, chronic patchy numbness, infection, skin necrosis (superficial liposuction), hyperpigmentation of the skin, fat embolism, and Lidocaine toxicity. However, the single most common complication (and this is specifically true with thigh liposuction) is contour irregularities. This could be due to over or under resection, or generalized irregular removal of the fat. Once again this is particularly true with the thighs because the fat pockets are marked with the patient standing but once the patient is in the prone (lying-down) position the fat will shift because of gravity. A well-trained and experienced surgeon knows how to recognize this and also other important keys, such as avoiding over suctioning over bony protrusions (i.e. The greater trochanter of the femur in this case). Also your surgeon should be well versed in correcting these deformities with a combination of fat transfer and liposhifting, for example.
Dr. Mia Skourtis
Surgery - Plastics 23 years experience
Liposuction : Liposuction of the thighs is a generally safe procedure when performed by a board certified plastic surgeon with experience in liposuction. A specific concern about liposuction to the upper inner thigh area is that liposuction in this area may have a slightly increased risk of contour irregularities as compared to liposuction in other areas of the body. This is the result of the pattern and type of fat deposition in that area. Other possible complications are the typical complications of liposuction, including seroma (tissue fluid collection), blood clots, rare risk of fat emboli (fat particles circulating to the heart or brain), changes in skin pigmentation, poor scarring, and asymmetry. To reduce your risk of complications, always follow the specific instructions of your surgeon regarding the wearing of your compression garment (usually for 3-8 weeks to reduce swelling and contour irregularities), activity level after surgery, and any medications to take or avoid. All the best, dr. Skourtis.
Dr. David Levens
Plastic Surgery 39 years experience
Liposuction : Liposuction is a very routine, safe and effective procedure when performed properly on the right patient. The risks are minimal with liposuction but similar to those associated with any surgical procedure and include scarring, bleeding, infection and numbness. More commonly there can be cosmetic concerns with the result such as with skin and/or contour irregularities. You should consult with a plastic surgeon in your area to have a thorough evaluation to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure and have all your questions answered before proceeding.
Dr. Richard Baxter
Specializes in Plastic Surgery
Liposuction : Liposuction is a body contouring procedure to remove localized areas of fat that are disproportionate and resistant to change with diet and exercise. Important factors to have it done safely include: 1. Remember that it is a surgical procedure, so it should be done by a qualified surgeon in an accredited surgical facility; 2. There is a limit to how much fat can be safely removed; 3. Don't be misled by marketing claims from "brand-name" liposuction technologies, because it is the surgeon and not the laser, vaser, or any other magic wand that is most important.
Dr. Bryan McIntosh
Plastic Surgery 19 years experience
In : In theory, it is possible that a seroma could develop due to liposuction at any part of the body. A seroma is a collection of fluid that normally is present in the body, just not in a specific fluid pocket. This is rare with liposuction. Changes in sensation to the skin may occur with liposuction, but this is rare as well. Otherwise, dr. Kyllo covered most of the real risks.

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Last updated Oct 4, 2016

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