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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Surgeries and Procedures > Liposuction: Home Care and Complications


Alternate Names : Suction Lipectomy, Lipoplasty

Liposuction | Preparation & Expectations | Home Care and Complications

What happens later at home?

The person is asked to walk shortly after surgery to decrease the risk of blood clots in the legs, known as deep venous thrombosis, and to speed healing. Most people are able to go back to work a few days after liposuction, depending on how extensive it was. Any stitches are removed in 7 to 10 days. In most cases, moderate exercise can resume within a few days after surgery, but strenuous activity may need to be avoided for up to a month after the procedure. The doctor can advise on any limits needed. It may take 3 to 6 weeks for bruising and swelling to subside.

What are the potential complications after the procedure?

Liposuction is usually a very safe procedure when done by a skilled, experienced, and specially licensed surgeon. Any surgery carries a risk, though. Risks increase as more fat is removed, the area of fat is larger, or if the procedure takes a long time. Risks include:

  • infection
  • blood clots or fat clots, which can travel to the lungs. Known as a pulmonary embolus, a clot in the lungs can cause death
  • puncture wounds of organs from the movement of the tube
  • seroma, which is a pooling of serum in the area where the fat was removed
  • damage to the skin and nerves from the movement of the tube under the skin
  • swelling of the surgical area, which can sometimes last for several weeks or months
  • burns from the ultrasound probe, if UAL is used
  • shock from loss of fluid that was not replaced
  • allergic reaction to the medicines used for anesthesia or to break up the fat
  • death, although this is not common
  • Any increase in pain, bleeding, fever, weakness, or other symptoms should be reported to the doctor as soon as they are noticed.

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    Liposuction: Preparation & Expectations


    Author: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Reviewer: Kathleen A. MacNaughton, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 10/15/02

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