From: Tom Venuto, NSCA-CPT, CSCS
Re: Liposuction Safety (and list of liposuction risks and side effects)
Liposuction Safety, Risks, Alternatives and Costs Vs Benefits:
Review The Facts, Then You Be The Judge...
Is liposuction safe? What are the risks? Could you actually die in surgery? Is liposuction even effective? Are the results permanent or can fat cells come back? Is the high cost worth it compared to natural alternatives for body fat reduction? Are you even a potential candidate? Before you consider liposuction, take a look at these interesting facts and get the perspective of a fitness and nutrition professional (not just a surgeon), then you can decide intelligently for yourself…
“Liposuction KILLS!” … Truth or alarmism?
I prefer not to resort to “scare tactics” or “alarmism” when I educate my clients about diet, fitness and weight loss. I only present the facts, share my opinions and then assume that my clients and readers are intelligent and fully capable of making an informed decision on their own.
However, when I read about how the procedure is performed, and I saw the side effects list and death statistics for Liposuction surgery, I have to admit, it did raise an eyebrow.
It’s actually a simple thing to get rid of “stubborn” fat with nutrition and exercise… if you know what you are doing and you keep after it. Unfortunately, most people drop their diet and workout programs like a hot potato and start thinking “LIPO!” the moment the going gets tough. It’s a shame really….
Most Dangerous Type Of Cosmetic Surgery?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says, “Most patients are pleased with the outcome of their liposuction surgery.” However, it IS true that liposuction is the most dangerous type of cosmetic surgery and that more people die from liposuction than any other type of cosmetic surgery. The most common cause of death is blood clots.
A report by Dr. Frederick Grazer of Penn State and Dr. Rudolph de Jong of Thomas Jefferson Medical college says that to date, 917 plastic surgeons reported 95 deaths in over 496,000 liposuction surgeries. If you do the math, that comes out to 19 deaths per 100,000 or 1 death in 5,224.
The so called “acceptable” death rates for elective (non life-threatening) surgeries are 1 per 100,000. To give you a comparison, these statistics show that more people are killed during liposuction procedures than in automobile accidents (16.1 deaths per 100,000).
I recently read a news story about liposuction where the reporter said, “Some people are just “dying” to be thin.” It was a play on words and perhaps journalistic sensationalism, but in this case, it was literally true.
Lipo is Serious Surgery
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Liposuction is the most common cosmetic surgery procedure in the United States. As such, it is often taken very lightly.
However, liposuction is serious surgery. It involves making an incision and suctioning the adipose tissue from under your skin and out of your body. This causes the destruction of numerous blood vessels and surrounding tissue.
Liposuction Complications And List Of Liposuction Side Effects:
According to the FDA’s statement on liposuction, other complications include:
Liposuction is not necessarily permanent
- Visceral perforations (puncture woulds in the orgrans)
- Seroma (pooling of serum)
- Nerve compression
- Changes in sensation (parasthesis)
- Permanent numbness
- Visible scar
- Abnormal body contours
- Results that don’t look natural
- Burns (from ultrasound assisted lipo)
- Skin necrosis (skin death)
- Anesthesia toxicity
- Serious swelling which can persist for weeks or months.
When you are weighing the risks versus the benefits, it’s also important to realize that fat cells can come back even after they are liposuctioned.
It was once believed that the number of fat cells could not increase after adulthood, only the size of the fat cells could increase. Exercise physiologists now know that fat cells can increase both in size (hypertrophy) and in number (hyperplasia), even in adulthood.
Although liposuction is sometimes presented as a “permanent” solution in the sense that fat cells are completely removed, if lifestyle isn’t changed and the cause of the fat is not addressed, then remaining fat cells will grow in size and new fat cells can form.
Reducing the risks and choosing the right surgeon
If you decide to go forward with liposuction, I would caution you to do business only with surgeons who explain that you are NOT a good candidate for liposuction unless:
(1) you have first made sensible nutrition and training a part of your lifestyle for an extended period of time, but you still struggle with local pockets of fat.
(2) you are in good health
(3) you are normal weight or only slightly overweight (The surgeon should openly explain that liposuction is not a solution for overweight and obesity and is merely a cosmetic procedure).
As with all cosmetic surgeries, it’s also important to choose a surgeon who is well-trained in the procedure and has a long list of references and satisfied clients. A surgeon should always abide by the highest ethical standards. Cosmetic surgery is a lucrative business, and being an ethical physician includes telling someone if they are not a good candidate for the procedure, even at the risk of losing a potential client (“sale”).
Perhaps most important - you would want to pick a surgeon who puts safety above all other considerations. Many surgeons have responded to the media’s often harsh coverage of liposuction. Some have posted statements online saying that safety can be increased by following certain procedures and by avoiding others. For example, extracting large amounts of fat at one time, using general anesthesia or removing fat from multiple areas in one day have all been reported to increase risk of complications.
Ultimately, you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons and decide for yourself whether the potential benefits are worth the possible risks. Just keep in mind that fat loss can be achieved naturally, even in what appears like “difficult cases,” so whatever you do, don’t throw in the towel and concede to surgery prematurely. Intense exercise and proper nutrition can work wonders, they really can.
The Wisdom of The Natural Approach
Hippocrates, the “Father of Medicine” (460-370 B.C) said, “The natural way is the only way.” He believed that the body must be treated as a whole, not just in individual parts, and that causes must be treated, not just symptoms. Liposuction is your classic example of treating symptoms, not causes.
That’s why liposuction should not be viewed as a true weight loss solution, only as a cosmetic procedure. It should also be viewed as a last resort. It just doesn’t make sense if you haven’t first fully explored, exploited and consistently applied all the scientifically proven nutrition and exercise principles that are available today.
I guess what I’m saying is, DON’T skip past the gym, the trainer and the nutritionst and go straight to the surgeon… go straight to the fitness and nutrition professionals FIRST! Then, hopefully, you can skip past the surgeon!!
What Every Effective Fat Loss Program Has In Common
There is a proven formula for fat loss success. The most effective fat reduction programs in the world always include these 4 elements:
(2) strength training
(3) cardio training
(4) mental training (goal setting and self image modification)
A 5th element - social support - can make the first 4 elements work all the better.
If you’re not using this multi-tiered approach to fat loss, then you owe it to yourself to put ALL 4 of these pieces into place before you even think about what should be a “last-resort” like liposuction surgery.
My first advice to clients who are thinking about liposuction is simply this one word:
Yes, procrastinate! (and don’t tell me you don’t know how to do THAT!). Just don’t decide yet. Think it over and while you do, tackle the nutrition and training with all your heart and see what happens.
Train hard and expect success,
In my nutrition consulting and personal training practice, I have seen dozens of men and women who were on the verge of getting liposuction, who said they were frustrated with “stubborn fat” but they admitted they were missing one or more of these 4 elements. Most of them had not been training with any degree of intensity, and some told me they hadn’t even done ANY training at all (but they were considering surgery… go figure).
When they put everything together in a comprehensive fat loss program, they were amazed, suprised and thrilled to see the body fat starting to come down. They saved thousands of dollars and avoided the pain and potential complications of serious surgery. For a safe, inexpensive and proven solution, please visit the home page to learn more about this all-natural approach: www.BurnTheFat.com/index.html
- Tom Venuto,
Author and fitness coach,
Hoboken, New Jersey, USA
About Fitness Coach, Tom Venuto
Tom Venuto is a natural bodybuilder, an NSCA-certified personal trainer, certified strength & conditioning specialist (CSCS), and author of the #1 best selling diet e-book in Internet history, "Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle.” Tom has written hundreds of articles and been featured in IRONMAN, Natural Bodybuilding, Muscular Development and Men’s Exercise. To get more information about Tom's e-book about natural fat loss, visit the home page at: www.BurnTheFat.com
"BIG FAT LIES!"
Simply enter your name and e-mail address below and I will immediately send you my FREE 12-part mini course called, "BIG FAT LIES: A shocking expose of the 12 biggest scams, cover-ups, lies, myths and deceptions in the diet, supplement and weight loss industries!
You'll also get my fat burning tips newsletter, which is delivered weekly to more than 250,000 subscribers all across the world. It's FREE with my compliments as a thank you gift for visiting my Burn The Fat website
We respect email privacy: Your e-mail address will be kept private and secured.