A report published in the February 2012 issue of Dermatologic Surgery, a well respected medical journal, examined the safety of office based surgeries performed in Florida and Alabama over the last 10 years.
Reporting of bad outcomes during office based surgery is required in both Florida and Alabama. Procedures counted in this report included both elective cosmetic procedures like liposuction and non-cosmetic procedures such as heart procedures performed by a cardiologist. A wide variety of physician specialties were included in this report – not just cosmetic surgeons.
It turns out that liposuction under general anesthesia accounted for 32% of total cosmetic procedure-related deaths. The risk of death greatly increased when liposuction was combined with a tummy tuck under sedation.
In contrast, in 16 years of collecting data from the two states, no one who had liposuction under local anesthesia had a complication or died.
This report highlights the outstanding safety record of liposuction done while keeping the patient awake using only local anesthesia. Given the risk of death from having liposuction done with any form of sedation, it is surprising that any patient would choose to “go under” for liposuction. The risk does not outweigh the benefit.
If you want liposuction, stay awake and have it done using local anesthesia only!