IN THIS ARTICLE
The tumescent liposuction method, when performed as described, has not resulted in reported deaths, but the traditional liposuction method has a death rate of approximately one in 5000. Other complications may include pulmonary embolus (with the traditional method), allergy to one of the medications used, fluid collection after surgery called a seroma or a hematoma, a puncture of either the lung or the abdominal cavity, and an overdose of the medication used to numb the area (lidocaine). Less serious complications include worsening of cellulite in the area treated; dimpling or lumpiness in the area treated; infections; and reactions to the tape, bandages, or salves used in the recovery period.
If laser-assisted liposuction is performed, there is a slight risk of damage to the tissue, especially if the surgeon is unversed in the potential dangers of laser treatments. The laser can result in burns to the tissue, especially if it is introduced too closely to the skin. For this reason, it is imperative that the procedure be performed by an expert in lasers and liposuction. In general, the risks of the tumescent liposuction method are much less than the risks from the laser-assisted method. When performed by a skilled surgeon, however, the risks of the laser can be minimized.
Joel Schlessinger, MD
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External ultrasound-assistedliposuction (XUAL) is a new technique that requires traditionalaspirative liposuction after the application of high-frequencyultrasonic fields delivered through the skin into wetted tissue.