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What are liposuction side effects?

Liposuction side effects are limited due to the relatively straightforward nature of the procedure. That said, liposuction side effects and risks do exist and it is important to be aware of them before going ahead with surgery.

Tagged: Recovery & Aftercare

Liposuction side effects are limited due to the relatively straightforward nature of the procedure. That said, liposuction side effects and risks do exist and it is important to be aware of them before going ahead with surgery. 

Liposuction side effects and risks include (but are not limited to):

  • Numbness
  • Infection
  • Embolism
  • Edema
  • Allergic reaction

We have over 40 years of experience in liposuction at the Cadogan Clinic and we take extensive steps to manage these.

Our 24/7 nursing on-call service is available for anyone who experiences liposuction side effects following surgery.  

What are the more common side effects of liposuction?

Before you decide to have liposuction with the Cadogan Clinic, it is important that you understand there are common side effects you may experience.

These include:

  • Bruising and swelling (which may last up to six months)
  • Numbness (which should go away in six to eight weeks)
  • Scars
  • Inflammation of the treated area, or the veins underneath
  • Fluid coming from the incisions
  • Swollen ankles (if the legs or ankles are treated)

What are the less common side effects of liposuction?

Very occasionally liposuction can cause:

  • Lumpy and uneven results
  • Bleeding under the skin
  • Persistent numbness that can last for months
  • Changes in skin colour in the treated area
  • A build-up of fluid in the lungs
  • A blood clot in the lungs
  • Damage to the internal organs

Any type of operation also carries a risk of excessive bleeding, developing a blood clot in a vein, infection or an allergic reaction to the anaesthetic. However, the risk of any of these happening during your treatment is small.

Your consultant will discuss all the risks with you comprehensively at your consultations before you undergo your treatment.

How long is recovery for liposuction?

At the Cadogan Clinic, the procedure can be done under general or local anaesthesia, and as a result, puts your body under relatively little stress. It’s always done as a day case procedure and you should be reasonably mobile straight after your surgery.

After a week you should be recovered enough to drive and return to work. Restricted sexual activity can be resumed after two weeks.

You can expect a full recovery from surgery in two weeks. However certain activities, such as exercise and going to the gym, should be avoided for up to six weeks.

You will need to wear compression bras or garments for six to eight weeks after surgery to control swelling.

You can read our comprehensive article on liposuction recovery here.

Words from our clients:


What is the safest liposuction procedure?

All approved surgical liposuction procedures are safe and have been honed over 40 years of practice since our founder Mr Bryan Mayou pioneered the practice in the UK.

We carefully evaluate all available liposuction techniques and are able to offer different kinds at the Cadogan Clinic, depending on your specific condition and needs.

We currently offer Traditional Liposuction, MicroAir, BodyJet and MicroLiposuction techniques. We also offer SmartLipoMPX and Cellulaze, which is liposuction done via laser technology.

What happens to your body after liposuction?

Up to 10 pounds of fat cells can be removed during the procedure. However, you will experience fluid retention and swelling, which can make you look temporarily bloated. This swelling will soon go down and you will be able to see the results.

Liposuction may leave you with loose skin in the treatment area, but this can firm up over time. You should also expect to see some bruising following the procedure.

Once the swelling has settled, your targeted region(s) should look more sculpted, more toned, and firmer to the touch.

For examples of results achieved, see our Before and After gallery on our liposuction treatment page.


Treatments mentioned in this article

Liposuction can provide an efficient solution for the removal of unwanted fat from specific areas of the body, leaving a more defined shape.

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SmartLipo, or Laser Liposuction, is an innovative liposuction technique for the removal of unwanted body fat. It utilises laser technology to break down fat cells.

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Cellulaze Laser Therapy is the world’s first aesthetic laser treatment that uses minimally invasive means to reduce cellulite by directly targeting its actual structure beneath the surface of the skin.

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