When undergoing any surgical procedure, it is important to consider the risks and get the facts on rare and severe problems that may arise as a result of the surgery. Several liposuction problems, although rare, can be life threatening if they happen to you. These include the risks of anesthesia, both local and general, blood clots, injury to abdominal organs, excessive IV fluids, excessive blood loss, hypothermia, infections, as well as other complications.
Anesthesia Liposuction Problems
While liposuction problems from anesthesia are rare, both local and systemic anesthesia, which includes general anesthesia and heavy IV sedation can be dangerous if used by a physician who is not familiar with tumescent anesthesia, or not adequately trained in the use of IV sedation or general anesthetic.
Local anesthesia can be dangerous if the surgeon exceeds the well-recognized maximum dosage of the local anesthetic lidocane. Although toxicity from this drug is rare, it is most likely to occur if the patient is also taking any other medication that interacts with lidocane. It is therefore important that you always talk to your doctor about any medications you are taking before undergoing any surgery. It should be noted that lidocane is by far the safest of all local anesthetic drugs.
Systemic anesthesia can be more dangerous, especially because it exposes the patient to drugs that suppress breathing or interfere with protective airway reflexes. To use anesthesia safely it is vital that a trained anesthesiologist administer the medication. Other complications related to anesthesia can include unexpected drug reactions, incorrect dosages, and injury from malfunctioning equipment.
Liposuction Problems with Blood Clots
Blood clots of the legs are another concern when there is prolonged surgery and excessive surgical trauma. The blood clot can be fatal if it travels from the legs to the lungs. This problem is more common with general anesthesia than with local.
Other liposuction problems to be aware of include the possible injury to abdominal organs following penetration of the abdominal cavity by the cannula. This can be a life threatening injury if it is not promptly diagnosed and taken care of.
When a patient is under general anesthesia, surgeons tend to use larger cannulas and will work with more speed. Therefore intra-abdominal injury is much more common in these cases. Because the patient is under general anesthesia, this type of injury is often not diagnosed until after infection and bleeding has progressed for many hours. While under local anesthesia, the injury would be so painful that it would be noticed immediately.
One risk associated with the use of IV fluids is over administration. This can cause a total body overload and lead to pulmonary edema, which occurs when too much fluid collects. This condition can occur after a patient has been given excessive amounts of intravenous fluids following an overly aggressive liposuction.
Liposuction Blood Loss Problems
Excessive blood loss is also associated with liposuction, although it is much more common in the older techniques. The newer tumescent technique results in a much smaller blood loss.
This procedure is different from regular liposuction because areas of fat are injected with a large amount of anesthetic liquid before surgery is performed. The liquid causes the areas of fat to become tumesced or swollen and firm which allows the cannula to travel smoothly beneath the skin as it is removing the fat.
The blood loss and risk of hematomas is much less likely with the tumescent technique, although problems can arise if the patient is taking medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen, which can hinder the normal blood clotting process.
Hypothermia is a dangerous fall in the body’s core temperature and can cause cardiac problems and even fatality in extreme cases This can result from using systemic anesthesia and can also occur if the surgeon uses a chilled solution of tumescent local anesthesia, instead of warming it to body temperature as recommended.
Infections related to liposuction are rare but can occur following surgery carried out under both local and general anesthesia. Usually this comes about when instruments used in the procedure are inadequately sterilized.
Other potentially dangerous liposuction problems include allergic reactions to drugs, aspiration pneumonia, cardiac arrest, and cardiac arrhythmia’s, permanent nerve damage, seizures, and brain damage due to a lack of oxygen under general anesthesia, although these are extremely rare.