What are the risks and side effects of body-contouring surgery?

Most body-contouring procedures involve making an incision in the least noticeable part of the area to be trimmed, removing excess skin, and suturing the area with fine stitches to minimize scarring. With these types of procedures, scarring is unavoidable. Liposuction may be used in conjunction with some procedures.Because of the significant amount of skin to be removed during contouring surgery, there are greater associated risks than with standard cosmetic surgery.Risks include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Separation of incision
  • Skin laxity (looseness)
  • Skin necrosis (tissue death)
  • Abnormal scar formation
  • Formation of a seroma (a mass or lump caused by fluid buildup in a tissue or organ)
  • Asymmetry (unbalanced appearance)
  • Unsatisfactory results

Rare risks include:

  • Deep vein thrombosis (blockage caused by restriction in a vein, possibly leading to the formation of a clot)
  • Pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung)
  • Myocardial infarction (heart attack)
  • Pneumonia

Side effects include:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Soreness, pain
  • Numbness
  • Scars
  • Depression

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