Long Term Side Effects of Liposuction

Liposuction is used to contour the body by removing excess fats when diet and exercise cannot remove stubborn fat deposits. People undergo this surgery for various reasons, ranging from health issues to a lack of self-confidence. However, like any other surgery, liposuction has several risks and side effects that should be considered before getting it. This article mentions some of this operation's common and rare complications and provides valuable tips on reducing them.

Liposuction Meaning

Liposuction is a kind of body plastic surgery through which special chemicals and suctioning devices remove unwanted fat pockets from different body parts, such as the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, neck, chin, and arms. This surgery, also known as lipoplasty, lipectomy, and lipo, is not a weight-loss procedure but can reduce the volume of local fats to a great extent and reshape the body in the desired way.

Weight loss plastic surgery
Read more: Liposuction Surgery Types: What is the Safest Lipo Method?

Common Side Effects of Liposuction

Common Side Effects of Liposuction

Today, liposuction is practised in different methods, each with a specific procedure and recovery period. However, this surgery has some side effects shared among all methods. In the following, some of the most common side effects of lipectomy are mentioned briefly:


Since a small suctioning device is inserted into the body in liposuction surgery to extract fat cells, some of the blood vessels in the treatment area may rupture and create bruising. The bruising may either occur deep in the muscles and tissues due to the heat of ultrasound devices or beneath the skin surface because of injections. Either way, it will subside 7 to 10 days after the surgery.


Swelling is the body's natural reaction to any surgery and trauma; therefore, you will experience mild to severe swelling after the liposuction, no matter what methods of lipo you choose. The swelling increases continuously in the first week following the procedure, but as the body heals, it will subside. In less invasive methods, such as tumescent lipo and ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAP), the swelling will reduce three to four weeks after the surgery. Still, the swelling may persist in more invasive methods for three to six months.

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If you want more information about reducing swelling after lipo surgery, don't miss the Raadina Health liposuction aftercare article.


If you undergo invasive lipoplasty involving general anesthesia, you will be drowsy for two days after the operation. It is important to drink as much fluid as you can and get enough rest until the anesthetics leave your body.


In all liposuction methods, the surgeon injects anesthetics such as ephedrine and lidocaine to numb the treated area before making incisions. So, numbness is liposuction's first and inevitable side effect, which may last a long. Also, numbness can occur due to excessive swelling in the operated area. Fortunately, this kind of numbness will fade away when the swelling subsides. It is also noteworthy that the patient may experience reduced sensitivity in the treated area forever in some rare cases.

Pain and Discomfort

Almost all patients experience pain and discomfort after lipoplasty. Still, the degree of it depends on the number of treated areas, the amount of fat extracted, and the material and methods used during the surgery. The discomfort peaks on the second and third day after the surgery and gradually subsides. You can control the pain by taking the prescribed painkillers or OTC medications approved by your doctor.


All liposuction methods involve cuts in the target area, so scarring is an unavoidable complication of this surgery. An experienced and adept lipo surgeon makes incisions on less visible body parts and prescribes topical creams after the procedure to minimize them.

wearing compression garments can minimize swelling and reduce the risk of infection and scarring.
Read more: How Long Does It Take for Liposuction Scars to Heal?

Fluid discharge

For 48 hours after the lipoplasty, light liquid may come out of your incisions which is completely normal. It is the fluid under your skin and tissues that is discharging through the cuts and stitches.

Liposuction lumps & bumps

During the liposuction surgery, the surgeon inserts a thin cannula tube to suck out the melted fat deposits. When the cannula is pulled out of the body, it may form tunnel-shaped traces under the skin that are filled with fluid. These traces look like lumps and bumps on the skin and may affect the body's contour. Fortunately, these irregularities will go away several months after the operation. 

Liposuction is a procedure in which excess fat is removed from the body to make it look slimmer and firmer.
Read more: Lumps & Bumps After Liposuction: How to Smooth Out Stomach?


As the fat tissues are manipulated during liposuction, a clear fluid containing plasma may accumulate beneath the skin. The body will absorb Seromas a few weeks after the procedure, but the surgeon removes the seroma with a syringe or drain in some severe cases.

Liposuction Side Effects: Is Liposuction Safe?

Less Common Side Effects of Liposuction

In some rare occasions, liposuction may cause the following side effects:

Persistent numbness

In the less-invasive liposuction, the operated area may be numb for several weeks or months due to the injection of anesthetics, but the permanent risk is very low. However, persistent numbness in the treated area is possible in invasive lipo methods due to the loss of small nerves. 

Formation of blood clots

Developing minor blood clots and DVT (deep venous thrombosis) after a lipectomy is rare but possible. The formation of blood clots is a life-threatening condition and must be treated immediately. 

Fat embolism

When the fat walls have been melted, they are transformed into fat cells that can travel all over the body through vessels. These cells can easily interfere with blood circulation or reach the lungs and cause difficulty in breathing, brain damage, loss of cognitive ability, or even death. 

Saggy skin

After liposuction, the skin gets loose to some normal extent. But in some cases, where a large volume of fat is removed from one specific area at once, the skin will get saggy and may not shrink back. Age, skin type, and surgery method can affect the skin after liposuction. Fortunately, there are treatments (such as surgery) and prevention methods (massages before the operation) to avoid this complication.

Saggy skin:Side Effects of Liposuction

Skin depression 

In liposuction, if a large volume of fat is extracted from one part of the body, it will cause skin dents that look unnatural and unappealing. Such a kind of skin imperfection will resolve on its own, but in some cases, the dents get permanent, and the patient needs to undergo a minor liposuction called a touch-up.

Skin necrosis

In invasive liposuction techniques where lots of fat cells are removed from one area, the tissue of the operated part may die off and cause skin necrosis. Necrosis happens mostly to chronic smokers and may cause infection, blood clots, inflammation, and damage to blood vessels.

Liposuction Long-Term Side Effects 

Some side effects of liposuction are considered long-term as they may last for more than six months and are hard to treat. Some of these complications include chronic infection, damage to the internal organs and tissues, formation of blood clots in the lungs, which may cause brain damage due to the reduction in oxygen level, changes in the skin colour, persistent numbness, which may last for more than a year, uneven skin, and damage to nerves and blood vessels.

Treating long-term side effects of liposuction requires patience and a doctor’s experience; therefore, you should discuss all aspects of this surgery with your doctor before the surgery and provide them with a detailed medical history. In your file, mention the medications you are taking now, previous surgeries, allergies, and your family history of chronic diseases.

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How to Reduce Liposuction Side Effects?

Many of the mentioned side effects of liposuction will disappear a few weeks after the operation. This includes pain, discomfort, swelling, bruising, drowsiness, and numbness. Also, you can reduce these complications by wearing a compression garment, having a balanced diet, taking the prescribed medications as ordered, following the postoperative instructions step by step, avoiding tobacco and alcohol, taking a light walk every day, and, most importantly, choosing a skilled surgeon.

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Read more: What Are the Best Foods to Eat After Liposuction?

How to Reduce Liposuction Side Effects?

It is also noteworthy that many of the severe side effects of liposuction can be avoided by having realistic expectations from the surgery (not expecting a great shift in one sitting) and following the doctor’s orders. 


Liposuction is a plastic surgery in which unwanted fat pockets are removed from different body parts. Like any other procedure, this surgery has short-term and long-term side effects, most of which are not serious and will go away up to six weeks after the surgery.

Iran is your destination if you want to eliminate your local stubborn fat deposits and experience as little complication as possible.

Liposuction in Iran

Contact Raadina Co. for more information about the price of liposuction in Iran, the best hospitals for lipo surgery in Iran, and the best plastic surgeons in the country. 

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