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Is Liposuction Safe?


Is Liposuction Safe?

Liposuction is a popular type of plastic surgery that allows people to target stubborn areas of fat and remove them permanently through a suctioning technique.

While there are several things to know about what liposuction is before going forward with it, the first question many people ask during their consultation is, is liposuction safe?

Any surgery carries some risk, and that includes liposuction. However, techniques for body contouring surgery have become much safer over the years as research and technology have advanced. 

Liposuction is safe and can be a successful, transformational procedure if performed correctly by a board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in sculpting the body’s natural contours. If you choose a highly trained surgeon with expertise in liposuction and follow all post-op instructions carefully, you can expect to achieve your dream body frame with liposuction safely.

What Are The Risks of Liposuction?

As mentioned above, liposuction is safe, but it has some risks. When patients decide to have liposuction to sculpt their bodies, we discuss all risks in depth at the consultation before moving forward with consent. Dr. David Liland in Dallas makes it his priority to answer any questions that come to patients’ minds before surgery to ensure they are making an informed decision.

We may recommend secondary skin tightening procedures if excess skin becomes an issue after liposuction following a certain amount of fat removal.

According to WebMD and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, possible risks associated with liposuction include:

  • Bruising and swelling (usually fades within the first few days)
  • Numbness or persistent changes in skin sensation
  • Infection
  • Fluid buildup (seromas)
  • Contour irregularities such as bumps or wrinkles
  • Fat embolism
  • Internal puncture
  • Kidney and heart problems
  • Lidocaine toxicity
  • Anesthesia risks
  • Irregular pigmentation
  • Need for revision surgery
  • Poor wound healing
  • Intensification of cellulite
  • Broken cannula 
  • Cardiac and pulmonary complications
  • Thermal burn or heat injury from ultrasound-assisted liposuction technique

How To Avoid Complications After Liposuction

You can reduce your chances of experiencing complications after liposuction by consulting a board-certified plastic surgeon trained in liposuction. In doing so, your doctor will act quickly and appropriately in the rare case of a complication.

A highly trained surgeon will never remove more than the safest fat amount possible. As great as it would be if liposuction were a miracle solution to remove all fat, this simply would not be safe in reality. Liposuction is safe for specific pockets of fat, not every fat cell in your body, and experienced surgeons know how to choose the correct fat cells to remove. Try not to choose a surgeon just because they have the cheapest price on lipo. While it is not covered by insurance as it is an elective cosmetic procedure, there are many financing options available at most surgery centers.

Follow all instructions given to you by your doctor and surgical team before and after surgery to avoid any complications. Please use any compression garments given to you as directed to reduce swelling and to get the best results, moving around a little bit every day to reduce your risk of blood clots and more.

Your surgeon plays a part in safely helping you get the best results possible, but so do you. Here are the actions to take and to avoid leading up to your surgery and throughout your liposuction recovery time to maximize your results.


  • Research your doctor and their office in-depth before going into surgery. Read reviews from past patients, look at before and after photos, and ask them about their training and experience with liposuction.
  • Avoid strenuous movement.
  • Plan to have someone take you home and stay with you for the first 24 hours after surgery.
  • Wear compression garments recommended by your surgeon.
  • Make time for post-op check-ups. These help your doctor ensure you’re healing properly.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Move around your home. Light exercise can speed up the body’s healing process!
  • Follow a balanced diet.
  • Get plenty of rest.


  • Have it done by someone other than a board-certified plastic surgeon trained in body contouring?
  • Go to the gym within the first 4-6 weeks after surgery. Give your body time to heal!
  • Take ibuprofen or any anti-inflammatory medications for 2 weeks before and after surgery.
  • Smoke or drink within 2 weeks before surgery or while recovering.

How Has Liposuction Improved Over Time?

Liposuction is effective in dramatically improving and enhancing your body contours and is, to this day, the most popular body contouring procedure. As with any cosmetic procedure, liposuction techniques and technology have advanced, leading to better results and safety.

New devices have entered the market that help surgeons more efficiently remove fat cells and more precisely sculpt the body. These devices use energies such as oscillation of the cannula tip, laser, or ultrasound to break up and destroy fat cells. As advancement continues, surgeons can focus more on which cells they remove to sculpt body contours more meticulously.

Over the years, cannulas, the tubes used during liposuction, have become smaller, allowing doctors to address areas of fat more dynamically while reducing the risk of complications or unsatisfactory results. 

Who Is Not A Candidate For Liposuction?

As with any surgery, good health is the most vital requirement for having liposuction. We don’t recommend liposuction for people with underlying medical issues such as lung disease or heart disease. As healthy lungs are a necessity with any surgery, we don’t recommend liposuction for smokers as they are more likely to experience complications.

So, how much weight can you lose with liposuction? Liposuction is not a weight loss solution but a body contouring procedure that sculpts and tightens stubborn pockets of fat in areas such as the stomach, arms, chin, and neck. Patients above a certain BMI may not qualify for liposuction. Dr. Liland may not recommend liposuction to patients who exceed BMI limitations to avoid complications with surgery and achieve the best results possible.

Maintaining a stable weight within the recommended range is vital for anyone considering liposuction. People who yo-yo diet and regularly experience weight fluctuations are not good candidates for liposuction. If you want to maximize and maintain your results, you should stay at a stable weight.

There is no upper age limit on liposuction. As long as you are in good overall health, you can safely achieve your dream body at any age. If you are within 20-30 pounds of your ideal weight, in good general health, and have good skin laxity, your age shouldn’t stop you from getting liposuction.

It is essential to recognize that skin loses some firmness with age, so liposuctioning fat from someone with weaker skin can cause excess, crepey skin that doesn’t bounce back as effectively as it would on a younger patient. For this reason, surgeons often combine liposuction with skin-tightening treatments on more mature patients.

After your liposuction procedure, you can expect to maintain your results forever as long as you maintain a balanced diet and follow an exercise routine that works for you to avoid weight fluctuations. Fat cells in the treated areas will not return, but be aware that if you gain weight, those extra calories will be stored in fat cells in other areas of the body not targeted with liposuction.

If you’re in Dallas and interested in liposuction, request a consultation with Dr. David Liland, a board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in body contouring.