Liposuction: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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Liposuction: The Bad and The Ugly

Due to the risk involved, liposuction is not the answer to having a great body. Liposuction is one of the most popular forms of cosmetic surgery today. Those seeking the perfect body seldom understand the risks involved in this invasive surgery. One of the risks of liposuction is that fat cells can grow back in the area where the procedure took place. Another risk associated with this procedure is over-aggressive fat removal. Poor work performed by untrained doctors poses many problems in itself. Pulmonary Thrombosus, Lidocaine Toxicidy, and imbalances of bodily fluids also are serious risks associated with liposuction, not to mention the ultimate danger with any surgery, death. What exactly is this procedure for which so many people are willing to take the chance?

Liposuction is also known as lipoplasty and liposculpture and is the most popular form of cosmetic surgery performed in the United States. Liposuction has been a means of contouring the body in one or more areas for the past twenty years. This surgery is mostly performed on women, but among men and older people, the surgery has become more popular. Also, this surgery has been classified as the rich person's surgery (Pavlovich-Danis, 2001, p. 1). Liposuction begins by the surgeon making tiny incisions throughout the areas where the liposuction is going to be performed. Then the surgeon takes the cannula, narrow tube, and vacuums out the fat layer deep beneath the skin. The cannula then breaks up the fat cells by being pulled continuously back and forth throughout the skin. The broken up pieces of fat are then suctioned up by the cannula. The fat that is taken out is replaced by fluid, so that the patient does not go into shock ("New Image," 2001, p.2). Even after this surgery, the results are not guaranteed.

After paying $6,000 for a liposuction procedure, there is still a good chance that the fat can grow back, therefore making the liposuction surgery useless. Liposuction is a temporary fix that should not be assumed to be permanent by the patient. Even after the patients have the surgery, if they were overweight before, they are still overweight (Rowland, 1998, p.3). Besides the chance that the fat cells can return, the patient can put his or her health in jeopardy if excessive fat is removed.

Overaggressive fat removal occurs when the surgeon tries to remove larger and larger quantities of fat, therefore increasing the chance of problems occurring . The removal of 1,500 to 3,500 mL of fat or less does not pose that much of a risk. The chance of problems occurring increase when a larger volume of fat is removed, a number of areas are treated at the same time, and if the operative sites are larger in size than normal. The common recommendation of fat removal is not to exceed 12,000 mL, but some doctors do not take the patient's health into consideration and exceed 12,000 mL. Any doctor who performs large volume liposuction must be well trained and have lots of experience. Any patients who receive large volume liposuction should stay in an overnight facility where the patient may be monitored and given medical treatment if needed (Pavlovich-Danis, 2001, p.3). Many of the risks associated with liposuction are due to the negligence of the surgeon or doctor performing the operation.

Due to the doctor's lack of qualifications, lack of experience, and lack of training there is a high risk of something going wrong during liposuction surgery. The New York State Senate Committee of Investigations performed an investigation of doctors performing surgeries in the private establishment of their offices over the course of nine months. Found in the investgation was that many doctors were performing surgeries outside the scope of their training ("Problems of Office," 1999, p.2). Not all of the liposuction surgeons are ceritfied by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), which causes a major problem...
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