ZocdocAnswersAre there health risks involved with liposuction?

Question

Are there health risks involved with liposuction?

Got some stubborn fat I can't get rid of in my legs and tummy. Is it okay to just let it be if it doesn't bother me? Should I have it removed, like with liposuction? Is this dangerous?

Answer

You asked a few questions, each of which I will try to address. First of all, it is absolutely ok for you to just leave the fat that is present on your "tummy" and legs if it isn't bothering you. I obviously cannot examine you, but if you eat healthy, exercise regularly, and are not obese, then the choice of what is, and is not, a desirable cosmetic appearance needs to be a decision that you make. There are many different ways to remove excess adipose tissue (fat) surgically. It can be resected (cut-out), however a significant downside to this is that any time an incision is made in the skin, it will heal with a scar. Plastic surgeons are trained and skilled at minimizing scarring, or hiding scars, but everything heals with a scar. The other major way to remove excess adipose which you already mentioned is through liposuction. With liposuction a small puncture is made in the skin, and an instrument with a suction port on the side can be passed all around to agitate and suction the fat out. Every procedure has risks and benefits associated with it. In this case, any time that the skin is violated (whether through an incision or puncture), bacteria can potentially be introduced to an area that is otherwise sterile (like fat) and cause an infection. This risk should be low, but can be very serious. If you are considering liposuction as a real possibility, I would recommend making an appointment with a plastic surgeon to discuss risks, benefits, and any concerns that you may have. I wish you all the best.

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