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The most common side effects of liposuction are generally temporary, cosmetic, and not particularly serious or health-threatening. After experiencing a liposuction procedure, patients can expect some instances of swelling and bruising in the area of surgery. Patients should also note that effects to some aesthetic features of the body, such as scarring and dimpling under the skin, are possible. While it is certainly possible that more serious complications can arise after undergoing this procedure, the side effects of liposuction are not usually grave or long-lasting.
Swelling is one of the most common side effects of liposuction. Even though swelling is an expected development and part of the body’s recovery and healing process, it should be monitored closely by a health professional. Swelling that is extremely severe or appears to be developing very rapidly might be indicative of another, more serious side effect, such as infection. For the most part, however, swelling is considered routine and should reduce naturally over the course of the healing process.
Bruising is another of the potential side effects of liposuction, and similar to swelling, usually goes away on its own. While bruises at the site of the surgery may be unsightly, they are an anticipated response to the stress liposuction puts on the body, and are generally not cause for concern. It is possible that bruised or swollen areas will be tender to the touch, so it is best to treat those areas gently until they have had time to heal and the swelling and bruising recede.
Depending on the nature of specific procedures, topical scarring of the skin might be another side effect of liposuction. It is common for patients to discover a small scar at the sight of the insertion of surgical tools, but such scars are typically quite small and faint. Some particularly sensitive or delicate patches of skin might be more susceptible to scarring, but most can be treated with either prescribed or over-the-counter creams or salves. Treatments such as these can reduce the visibility of scars leftover from liposuction.
Dimpling does not always occur, but can sometimes be one of the side effects of liposuction. This condition can be identified by a lumpy feeling under the skin at the site of fat removal, and is most often caused by an uneven removal of fat during the procedure. It is also possible that, when a large amount of fat is removed from an area, dimpling occurs as the body adjusts to its new shape and the remaining fat settles and redistributes. In most cases, dimpling is not excessively noticeable, and it usually evens out several months after the procedure.