What are the risks and complications of Vaser liposuction?
Many of the risks and complications associated with Vaser liposuction are rare. However, it is important to have an understanding of these potential risks, so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not you want to proceed with the treatment. The risks of this procedure include, but are not limited to:
Vaser liposuction procedures will require the use of either a local or a general anaesthetic. In most cases, surgeons tend to use a local anaesthetic with sedation. Your anaesthetist will talk to you about the potential side effects of this before you have your Vaser liposuction procedure.
Overall, the use of anaesthesia is very safe and local anaesthesia has less risks than general. However it is important to be aware of common side effects that you may temporarily experience afterwards. These can include:
- Shivering and feeling cold
- Nausea and vomiting
- Confusion or memory loss
- Difficulty passing urine
- Bruising and soreness where the drip was inserted
- Sore throat
- Damage to the mouth or teeth
More serious side effects of general anaesthesia are very rare, but they can include:
- A serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)
- Breathing and heart problems
- Waking up during the procedure
- Death or brain damage
There are a number of allergic reactions that may occur during a Vaser liposuction procedure. These allergic reactions may be mild, such as a skin rash in reaction to latex gloves. However, severe reactions can occur such as having difficulty breathing when the anaesthetic is administered. This severe allergic reaction to anaesthesia can result in a serious but treatable condition known as anaphylaxis.
Infections are a risk that comes with any type of procedure. Your surgeon will do everything possible to minimise this risk, but you can also take actions to help reduce your risk. For example, you should stop smoking and using nicotine products for at least 6 weeks to 3 months prior to your Vaser liposuction procedure, and you should follow all of your surgeon’s specific aftercare instructions.
Key signs of an infection can include:
- A fever or temperature of 38° C or more
- Redness at the incisions that spreads after the first 48 hours
- Fluid coming from the incision that is yellow, pus-like or foul-smelling
- Increased pain or discomfort that your pain medication does not relieve
Mild infections should settle down with antibiotics. However, there is a small chance that an infection could affect the final results of your Vaser liposuction procedure. If the infection is very severe, you may require another procedure. It is therefore important to inform your surgeon if you notice any signs of infection.
Burns and skin damage
It is possible for Vaser liposuction procedures to cause burns to the skin. These may be partial or full thickness burns and may require some medical treatment.
In addition, the Vaser liposuction treatment tends not to tighten loose skin in the area and so you may also require another procedure to correct this. Finally, there can also be discolouration of the skin from the procedure which may mean that it takes longer for you to be happy with the final results.
Bleeding and bruising
It is normal to experience some minor bleeding and bruising after having Vaser liposuction. If however, you start to notice any excessive bleeding, you should seek medical attention immediately.
If you do experience a larger amount of bleeding, a blood clot called a “haematoma” may also form in your treatment area. If the haematoma is small, it will usually disappear on its own over time. If it is larger however, it may have to be removed by your surgeon using a small needle, or with another operation.
Swelling is another very common risk to think about when considering a Vaser liposuction procedure. The reason compression garments are so important after the procedure is to reduce swelling and improve the final results. It is normal to experience some swelling after having Vaser liposuction but it tends to disappear in the first 2 weeks after treatment and should not ultimately affect the results. If however, you notice that the swelling is starting to get worse, it is important to alert your surgeon as soon as possible.
Scarring after a Vaser liposuction procedure is not normally noticeable as the only breaks in the skin are where the cannulas are inserted to drain the fat. These are tiny hollow tubes and therefore do not usually scar. If they do, the scars tend to be only a few millimetres in size. The degree of scarring however, will be based on how well your skin heals.
As Vaser liposuction requires some small holes to be made in the skin, the nerves in the treatment area are at risk of being damaged. Minor nerve damage can cause numbness or other sensory changes to develop such as a tingling sensation. Usually, this is temporary and will disappear over the first few weeks after the procedure. In some rare cases, however, these changes may become permanent.
In order to function properly, your body needs the amount of fluid going in and the amount going out to be balanced. During a Vaser liposuction procedure, a lot of liquid is removed when the fat is drained. Your surgeon may also give you some fluids but there is a risk of either retaining or losing too much. An imbalance in bodily fluid can lead to problems with the kidneys and lungs. You may find that your fluid balance is monitored in order to avoid these complications.
There is always a risk that you are unhappy or dissatisfied with the final aesthetic result of your Vaser liposuction procedure. This is why it is really important to choose your surgeon carefully and make sure that he or she fully understands your expectations. Communicating this as honestly as possible to your surgeon will allow them to tell you if what you want to achieve is feasible.
Please be aware, that dissatisfaction with your final aesthetic result is often not considered to be a complication by many surgeons. This may mean that if you want to have a further procedure to improve this result, you may have to pay for it.