This 51-year-old patient follows high-definition liposuction of the abdomen, flanks, and lower back with fat grafting to the buttocks to correct contour irregularities created by prior contouring producers. She had no side effects from these surgeries.
Liposuction procedure side effects are several and will typically resolve without much intervention. The most common side effect is hyperpigmentation which occurs following the activation of pigment-producing cells called melanocytes following this cosmetic procedure.
Some Liposuction Side Effects
Hyperpigmentation may occur from the activation of melanocytes due to
a) physical irritation of the cannulas
b) heat generated by the ultrasound
c) hyperinflammatory cells infiltrating after surgery
Patients especially prone to hyperpigmentation side effects following liposuction surgery include those of Asian ancestry; these patients may require prophylaxis against hyperpigmentation, such as topical hydroquinone 4 % topically before and following surgery.
In the operating room, we use steroids in our tumescent solution in an attempt to suppress the activation of melanocytes. Postoperative steroids taken by mouth may also help minimize pro-inflammatory cells from infiltrating areas liposuctioned.
For most patients, hyperpigmentation will eventually resolve over the first three to six months. Another liposuction side effect includes transient swelling. Swelling is best minimized by wearing customized compression garments that are layered with foam inlays.
Liposuction side effects like swelling will usually onset one week following surgery when patients become less compliant with wearing their garments. Swelling will resolve dramatically from one week to one month, and from one month to three months, swelling will gradually subside.
Another liposuction side effect includes residual contour irregularities. The advent of VASER liposuction has eliminated the liposuction side effects since the fat cells are melted into a liquid consistency. Since the fat is converted to a fluid, contour irregularities are infrequent as the retained fat cells tend to settle smoothly. Postoperative lymphatic messages are also critical to preventing contour irregularities. Lymphatic messages allow for avoiding the pooling of liquid fat cells along dependent areas.
Preventing lipo side effects should be the goal of everybody’s contouring center. When liposuction side effects are identified, they should be treated promptly to ensure full resolution following this surgical procedure.