Is Liposuction Safe? Check!

The question “Is liposuction safe?” is one that frequently arises when considering this popular cosmetic surgery. Liposuction is a popular cosmetic surgery that removes fat deposits from specific areas of the body, including the thighs, hips, buttocks, abdomen, arms, and neck.

As with any surgical procedure, the question often arises – Is liposuction safe? Liposuction has risks, like all operations, but when performed by a qualified, experienced plastic surgeon, it is considered a generally safe procedure. 

What kinds of side effects or complications can occur with liposuction and how can they be minimized? Getting the facts can help you understand what to expect and how to reduce risks if you are considering this procedure and wondering “Is liposuction safe?”.

What to Expect From Liposuction?

Expect From Liposuction

Liposuction is an invasive procedure, so you can expect some pain, swelling, bleeding, and temporary discoloration of the skin afterward. There will also be some loss of sensation in the area where the fat was removed. This usually resolves within a few weeks but may last longer. 

You’ll wear compression garments on the treated areas for several weeks to help reduce swelling and improve skin retraction. Bruising often occurs with liposuction but generally fades within a couple of weeks. Avoid blood thinning medications for a period before and after surgery to minimize bleeding risks

Working Of Liposuction

Liposuction works by inserting a cannula, which is a thin tube, through tiny incisions in the skin. The surgeon moves the cannula back and forth to break up and suction out fat deposits.

Lidocaine, a local anesthetic, is used to numb the area during the procedure. You may also be given general anesthesia or IV sedation based on the extent of treatment. 

Liposuction may be performed on the thighs, hips, stomach, back, arms, neck, or other sites with unwanted fat. The best candidates have good skin elasticity and firmness. Multiple body areas can be treated in one session, lasting from one to six hours depending on the number of treatment sites.

Liposuction Cost

The cost of liposuction varies considerably depending on the number of areas being treated, anesthesia fees, facility fees, and the surgeon’s fee.

According to statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the average cost of liposuction nationwide was $3,519 per treatment area in 2020-2021. However, prices can range from about $1,500 to $15,000 or more. 

Your geographical location also impacts costs. Before deciding on a plastic surgeon, be sure to get an accurate price quote for the specific treatments you want so there are no surprises.

Some of the fees may be covered by health insurance if liposuction is being performed to correct certain medical conditions.

Liposuction Side Effects & Risks

As with any surgery, liposuction has inherent risks that must be weighed when considering the question “Is liposuction safe?”. These include:

  • Infection: Usually treated with antibiotics. Proper sterilization techniques during surgery reduce this risk.
  • Excessive bleeding or hematoma: May require drainage and fluid removal. Avoid blood thinners before surgery.
  • Skin discoloration or asymmetry: Typically resolves as the swelling goes down.
  • Skin loss or necrosis: Uncommon but can cause scarring. More of a risk with aggressive fat removal.
  • Fat embolism: Rarely, loose fat breaks away, enters the bloodstream, and travels to the lungs or brain. Can be fatal.
  • Anesthesia risks: Allergies, breathing issues, or drug reactions. Evaluate health history closely.

The most common side effects like swelling, bruising tenderness,. and numbness typically clears up within about 6 weeks. Following your surgeon’s post-op directions can help speed recovery.

How to Minimise Side Effects of Liposuction Procedure?

Choosing an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon is the best way to avoid serious risks and complications from liposuction when considering “Is liposuction safe?”. Verify qualifications, compare their before and after liposuction photos, and read independent reviews from past patients.

Follow all pre-op directives such as avoiding blood thinners for 2 weeks beforehand and arranging for transportation and some assistance during the first couple days of recovery. 

Compression garments, rest, and lymphatic massage can help reduce swelling, discomfort, and skin irregularities post-surgery. Stay well hydrated, eat a balanced diet, and avoid vigorous activity for 4 to 6 weeks as your body heals.

Contact your surgeon right away about any excessive bleeding, fluid buildup, redness, pain, or other issues for prompt treatment. While there are no guarantees, taking the right precautions can help minimize the common side effects that sometimes occur after liposuction.

Is Liposuction Safe?

For most healthy individuals seeking body contouring, the answer to “Is liposuction safe?” is that it is considered reasonably safe when performed by an expert provider.

However, as an invasive surgical procedure, risks like bleeding, infection, and even fat embolism rarely occur. There may also be dissatisfaction with aesthetic outcomes if expectations weren’t properly set or the surgeon was overly aggressive with fat removal.

So while deemed generally safe, it’s important to thoroughly research your plastic surgeon, follow all pre and post-operative directives, and realize that complications can happen even with the best doctors.

Being an informed patient goes a long way toward ensuring optimal safety and satisfaction if you choose to have liposuction.


Deciding whether liposuction is a safe option for you means weighing the benefits versus the risks. In the hands of a skilled and experienced plastic surgeon, many men and women achieve significant improvements in their figure and self-confidence through liposuction to trim stubborn fat deposits.

For those considering this popular body contouring surgery, safety largely depends on selecting the right doctor, following pre and post-op protocols, and understanding what to realistically expect during recovery.

Even when performed correctly, some temporary side effects like swelling, bruising, and numbness often occur after liposuction but generally resolve with time as you heal. More serious complications like severe bleeding, infection, or fat embolism to the lungs or brain are quite rare but can be life-threatening if they happen. 

Your doctor will discuss all the medical risks based on your health profile before consenting to surgery. While deemed relatively safe, it’s incorrect to say liposuction is completely without risks. However, the average patient is pleased with their enhanced shape and feels the rewards outweigh the recovery process needed afterward.

The question of whether liposuction is safe ultimately requires an honest risk-benefit evaluation with your plastic surgeon after reviewing your unique goals. If you need more clarification about safety, considering nonsurgical fat reduction procedures may give similar results without the risks of surgery.

How do the costs, expected downtime, and results compare between liposuction versus nonsurgical options? Getting all the facts allows informed decision-making when choosing body contouring treatments best aligned with your safety priorities.

Given the risks involved, under what circumstances would you consider liposuction a safe option compared to nonsurgical alternatives?


Dr. Luna Rey specializes in diagnosing and treating a wide range of skin conditions, from common conditions like acne and eczema to more complex conditions like psoriasis and skin cancer. In addition to her medical practice, Dr. Luna has a strong interest in writing and has published numerous articles on dermatology topics in leading medical journals. Her writing style is clear, concise, and easy to understand, making her work accessible to a broad audience.

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