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Fat-Reduction Surgery

Dangers of Cosmetic Lipoplasty Surgery

Liposuction and Clots

In liposuction, blood clots are the single worst culprit in fatal complications, accounting for a quarter of surgery-related deaths, according to a recent study.

Clots typically form while a procedure is under way and the anesthetized patient is immobilized. During the surgery, more formally known as tumescent lipoplasty, surgeons vacuum out unwanted fat with a wand-like instrument inserted through a small incision, after first infusing a solution below the skin to kill pain and reduce blood loss.

To reduce the risk, mechanical pump devices are often fitted around the patient’s feet or lower legs, squeezing in a rhythmic fashion that mimics the healthy effect of muscle contractions.

Risks of Liposuction – Studies

Recent studies of the risks of liposuction have produced inconsistent findings. A survey published two years ago, covering procedures done from 1994 to mid-1998, produced a surprisingly high estimate of one death per every 5,224 cases – a higher fatality rate than that of automobile accidents.

But more recently, a survey of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery found an estimated fatality rate of just one death in the 47,415 procedures done between September 1998 and June 2000.

SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle, 2002

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