Liposuction is a fat-removal process used in cosmetic surgery. Liposuction is adopted by people willing to remove fat from specific sections of their bodies. In the United States, liposuction surgery is the most commonly performed cosmetic surgery. 

Liposuction: Risk and Side Effects That You Need To Know

November 19, 2022 by Dr. Sandeep Bhasin

Liposuction is a fat-removal process used in cosmetic surgery. Liposuction is adopted by people willing to remove fat from specific sections of their bodies. In the United States, liposuction surgery is the most commonly performed cosmetic surgery. 

Removal of fatty tissues by liposuction is tagged safe, though not all liposuction procedures are equal. There are several risks, complications, and side effects involved in liposuction and its recovery.

The kind and extent of such side effects and risks depend on various factors. In that case, you can control the risks and side effects with a minimum possibility of adverse effects. Thus, if you are planning on having liposuction surgery done, ensure to consult with a learned professional and get a piece of in-depth knowledge about it.

What are the risks of Liposuction?  

Fat removal by liposuction is the best cosmetic process doctors use to release unwanted body fat. As per the UK’s National Health Service, Liposuction involves sucking fat from small areas where reducing fat is difficult via dieting and exercising.

Liposuction is generally carried out on the body areas where excess fat deposits, like hips, tummy, thighs, and buttocks. Often people wonder if the process is secure enough. Many people who undergo liposuction experience liposuction risks and side effects. In the section ahead, we will discuss in detail what is life like after liposuction surgery that you need to know everything.

Risks During Liposuction Surgery

Liposuction surgery is a process of fat removal from body parts where excessive fat is deposited and is difficult to remove by natural methods. One can experience the below-listed risks during liposuction surgery.

  • Anesthesia complications
  • Shock
  • Nerve damage
  • Death
  • Injuries to body organs or puncture wounds
  • Equipment burns like ultrasound probes

To avoid damage during liposuction surgery, ensure to undergo this delicate treatment under the supervision of only an experienced expert in the field.

Risks After Undergoing Liposuction Procedure

Liposuction and recovery are both times of being highly cautious. There are multiple liposuction surgery complications immediately after a patient undergoes the treatment.
Listed below are the risks one might face after undergoing liposuction.

  • Blood clotting in the lungs
  • Fat clotting
  • Infections
  • Edema or swelling
  • Excessive fluid retention in the lungs
  • Hematoma/bleeding beneath the skin
  • Death
  • Kidney and heart problems
  • Skin necrosis/death of skin cells
  • Reaction to medications or anesthesia
  • Seroma/fluid leakage beneath the skin

With the risks of contracting severe issues after liposuction, you must take reasonable care after the Liposuction Surgery Safe Procedure. Follow the suggestions of the doctor to avoid lipo treatment side effects.

Risks During Liposuction Surgery Recovery Period

The negative side effects of liposuction last not only until the procedure undergoes but also affect the patients during their recovery period. Listed below are the liposuction side effects that one might experience during recovery.

  • Infections
  • Scars
  • Fluid imbalances
  • Changes in skin coloration
  • Having issues with healing
  • Dimpled, wavy, or bumpy skin
  • Issues with the contours or shape of the body
  • Changes in the skin’s feelings and sensations
  • Swelling and bruising can last up to six months
  • Pain, numbness, and soreness. Numbness can ideally diminish in about 6 to 8 weeks
  • Swelling in the ankles if the patient has undergone liposuction on the legs
  • Inflammation of the treated areas
  • Fluids ooze out of the treated areas
Risks During Liposuction Surgery Recovery Period
Risks During Liposuction Surgery Recovery Period

Short Summary

There are several liposuction surgery risks during the recovery period and while undergoing the process. You should be well informed before deciding to undergo liposuction. Undergoing liposuction under the guidance of an expert cosmetic surgeon can help with successful liposuction surgery.

Liposuction Surgery Side Effects 

Are you planning on getting liposuction surgery done? Are you wondering what are the side effects of having liposuction? 

Liposuction is a cosmetic surgery that comes with significant side effects. It is not a weight loss substitute; only some individuals are ideal candidates for the procedure.

The section ahead will help you understand the side effects of liposuction in detail such that you can make an informed decision.

  • Body Deformity – One of the significant side effects of liposuction surgery is having a deformed body as a result of the procedure. Unusual healing, uneven removal of fat tissues, or poor skin elasticity can be the causes of wavy or bumpy skin. Furthermore, severe damage can be caused under the skin via the cannula or tube used during the liposuction procedure. Using such liposuction tubes can leave the patient with permanently spotted skin. Studies by the Mayo Clinic suggest that these results can be indefinite.
  • Fluid accumulation – Another significant side effect of liposuction is the accumulation of fluids beneath the skin surface. Seromas or pockets of unwanted fluids can often collect under the skin. However, needles can easily suction out these fluids.
  • Skin infections – Infections are a common side effect of multiple medical and cosmetic procedures. There are chances of contracting infections while undergoing liposuction surgery. There are chances of contracting severe skin infections for a liposuction procedure patient, which can also be life-threatening.
  • Puncturing of internal organs – Liposuction surgery is a procedure where tubes or cannulas are used to extract body fat. The fat suction tubes are inserted inside the body to perform the fat suction process. While penetrating the cannula inside, there are chances of it deeply penetrating any body organs. This might cause internal injuries and can call for an emergency surgical repair process.
  • Fat obstructing arteries – Lose fat pieces often break away from their cluster and get trapped inside blood vessels. These collected fat granules can frequently travel to the brain or accumulate in the lungs. This is known as a fat embolism and is considered a medical emergency.
  • Heart, kidney, and lung problems – Liposuction surgery leads to disrupted fluid levels in the body. Such drastic changes in fluid levels during the procedure can cause severe issues like heart, lung, and kidney diseases.
  • Lidocaine toxicity – Liposuction surgery involves injecting painkillers or anesthesia to manage pain. Lidocaine is one such painkiller injected into the body as other fluids to manage pain. Lidocaine is generally a safe painkiller, but rarely, lidocaine toxicity can cause problems in patients. It can cause severe central nervous system and heart problems.
  • Numbness – Permanent or temporary numbness in the treated areas is another side effect to look out for. In addition, a temporary nerve irritation risk is also possible.
  • With such many side effects involved, you should consult a renowned expert to understand the risks in detail. Check for all the side effects and decide based on how willing you are to live with changes, whether good or bad. 
Liposuction Surgery Side Effects
Liposuction Surgery Side Effects

Short Summary

Liposuction surgery is a critical cosmetic procedure that indulges major side effects even while the procedure is ongoing. Make sure to know in detail about the process before opting to undergo the same. Also, it would help if you choose an expert and experienced cosmetic surgeon to perform liposuction.

What are the long-term side effects of liposuction?

We often wonder what are the complications of liposuction in the long term. Well, the long-term side effects of liposuction can vary from patient to patient. The liposuction procedure removes the unwanted fat cells permanently from the target areas of the body.

Thus, the new fat cells will be deposited in different body parts if you gain back the weight. This might give you a distorted look. The new fat can also appear deeper beneath the skin, which can be dangerous if it grows around the heart or liver. 

Some liposuction surgery undergoes also experience permanent nerve damage and changing sensations. Others might develop indentations in the suctioned body areas or have a wavy or bumpy skin surface. Lastly, some patients might develop depression in the long run. 

Short Summary

The liposuction procedure is an elective cosmetic surgery that involves significant side effects and risks. Some fat removal surgery side effects last longer, and one must be prepared to like them. Before opting for liposuction, meet with a certified plastic surgeon and discuss the potential risks and complications.

How Long Is Liposuction Surgery Recovery?

People often ask how long lipo side effects last and how long the recovery period is. Liposuction surgery patients might need to remain in the hospital under intensive care, depending on the surgery they undergo. You should expect swelling, bruising, and soreness for the following few weeks of the procedure. 

The surgeon might need you to put on a compression garment for a couple of months after undergoing the liposuction surgery to limit swelling. There also can be some antibiotic prescriptions to prevent any infection breakout. Though every patient is different, most patients can return to work within merely a few days of surgery. In addition, they can resume their everyday lives within about two weeks of undergoing the procedure. However, every patient is a distinct case. 

Once you undergo liposuction surgery, there will be ample questions about recovery you must ask about your surgery. Some such questions include the following:

  1. Will I be wearing bandages?
  2. What are the medicines I should be taking?
  3. When can I hit the gym again?
  4. How soon can I resume my physical activities?
  5. How frequently should I come for follow-up visits?
  6. What side effect signs should I look out for?
  7. When can I resume work?
  8. Are there any food restrictions?
  9. Can I booze and fag?
  10. What To Expect During Liposuction Surgery Recovery?

As a certified plastic surgeon, liposuction recovery can be conveniently broken down into two categories: immediate and long-term recovery. 

Immediate recovery is when you can return to work immediately after undergoing treatment. The immediate recovery depends on the areas undergoing liposuction and the technique used. It can take up five to seven days to get back to work and about four to six weeks to start indulging in physical activities such as hitting the gym. 

On the other hand, a long-term recovery takes up to three months or more to get back to everyday life. This duration is required for the swelling to decrease ultimately.

Liposuction Recovery Stages

The liposuction surgery recovery stages can be classified into the following subsections.

  • Immediately following the surgery – The surgeon will use a compression garment
    through-t to pressurize the areas that undergo liposuction. When the surgery is performed, the patient is put on anesthesia, and they feel no pain. Therefore, initially, the process is not uncomfortable.
  • A few hours after the liposuction surgery – Once the effect of anesthesia wears off in a few hours, a moderate feeling of discomfort seeps in. What part of the body undergoes liposuction determines the level of soreness a patient will have. It would be best to stay at the medical care clinic or hospital for the night so the professionals can closely monitor your post-surgery period. The doctors need to monitor dehydration or any fluid changes. 
  • At three to five days after surgery – After three to five days of undergoing liposuction, you will require revisiting the doctor. The doctor will remove your compression garment and check the cannula incisions. 
  • The first week after the surgery and beyond – After the first week of liposuction, the doctors ask the patients to gently massage and try to move the collected fluid to smoothen the surface. After this, over the upcoming few weeks, there can be a significant decrease in swelling of the treated areas. 

Remember that recovery time varies from patient to patient and is also determined by the type of liposuction performed. 

Recovery Tips

Following some liposuction recovery tips can help you heal better and quicker. They can also make you feel more comfortable during the recovery period. Let us look into some excellent liposuction recovery tips in the points below.

  • Use Compression – First and foremost, you must wear a compression garment to promote healing and comfort. Doctors suggest that using a compression garment in the initial 72 hours of the liposuction surgery is critical in speeding up the recovery process.
  • It helps to reduce pain, swelling, and bruising. It also accelerates the drainage of excessive anesthetic fluids. Different surgeons prescribe different durations for wearing compression garments. But typically, it is four to six weeks that the skin easily adheres to the new contour and eliminates bruising.
  • After a few hours of liposuction surgery, you will feel soreness. This is an ideal time to get your blood flowing. Therefore a light exercise in the form of a mild walk should help you to recover.
  • Once you take your bandages off, you can ice the liposuction areas; Icing will ease the discomfort and offer relief.
  • Use pain relief and anti-inflammatory medications as prescribed by the doctor
  • Lymphatic massages should help you decrease the swelling significantly. Try it after a week after your liposuction surgery.

Short Summary

The recovery period for any medical procedure is sensitive. The health condition depends significantly on how well one receives. Therefore, it is essential for you to thoroughly take care of yourself during the recovery phase after having liposuction surgery done.

Results of Liposuction

Once the liposuction procedure is done, there are some immediate side effects like swelling, bruising, etc. Mainly swelling subsides within the first few weeks. By the end of these few weeks, the area under treatment should begin appearing less bulky. As time passes and by the end of several months, the treated individual should have a leaner appearance, especially the treated areas.

Losing the skin’s firmness is a natural process that comes with age. But liposuction surgery results in typically long-lasting effects as long as you maintain your body weight. If you happen to gain the weight back, your body fat distribution might alter. For instance, you can gain back fat around your abdomen even if you were initially treated well. Therefore, you need to maintain your body weight after undergoing liposuction surgery.

Read Too:- How Liposuction Helps in Reducing the Size of Your Body Parts?

Are the Results Permanent?

The fat cells during liposuction surgery are permanently removed. But one can gain back the weight with the generation of newer fat cells. These fresh fat cells typically store in different body parts, giving your body a new and different shape. 

If you now wish to regain weight after the liposuction surgery, you must follow a diet that involves ample fruits, whole grains, lean protein, low-fat fare, etc. In addition, you should also concentrate on regularly exercising. If exercising does not interest you, ensure to indulge in walking daily. 


Liposuction is a cosmetic surgery that removes unwanted fat cells in an individual’s body. It is a major cosmetic surgery with various side effects, complications, and risks. But, there are precautions and steps one must take to ensure a smooth procedure and quick recovery. Some of such steps involve using a compression bandage and avoiding strenuous activities. Lastly, keep in touch with an expert and experienced doctor to guide you throughout the recovery process. To know more about liposuction surgery in Delhi NCR, book your appointment at Care Well Medical Centre now. with a specialist, you can immediately address your concerns and avoid significant mishaps. 


  • Liposuction. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Accessed Jan. 3, 2019. (Link)
  • Kenkel JM, Lipschitz AH, Luby M, Kallmeyer I, Sorokin E, Appelt E, et al. Hemodynamic physiology and thermoregulation in liposuction. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2004;114:503–13. (Link)
  • Flynn TC, Coleman WP, 2nd, Field LM, Klein JA, Hanke CW. History of liposuction. Dermatol Surg. 2000;26:515–20. (Link)
  • Fournier PF, Otteni FM. Lipodissection in body sculpturing: The dry procedure. Plast Reconstr Surg. 1983;72:598–609. (Link)


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Dr. Sandeep Bhasin

Dr. Sandeep Bhasin is a highly skilled cosmetic surgeon and the owner of Care Well Medical Centre in Delhi. With extensive expertise in cosmetic and plastic surgery, he is dedicated to providing exceptional care and transformative results to his patients. Dr. Sandeep Bhasin obtained his MBBS and MS in General Surgery from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and served as a consultant at Bhaktshreshtha Kamalakarpant Laxman Walawalkar Hospital, Diagnostic & Research Centre. Specializing in various procedures such as face-lifts, rhinoplasty, liposuction, breast augmentation, hair transplant and many others, Dr. Sandeep Bhasin is committed to enhancing his patients' natural beauty and self-confidence.

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