Patient Safety in Liposuction Surgery

With an increasing number of people getting liposuction or lipoplasty procedures, improving patient safety is a priority for plastic surgeons. Modern plastic surgery technology is specially designed to improve patient safety. In an effort to ensure the safety of patients undergoing this hospital and ambulatory liposuction procedure, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) Patient Safety Committee has developed liposuction practice guidelines in support of clinicians. These practice guidelines describe a set of generally accepted methods for diagnosing, managing, or preventing specific diseases and conditions. The consultant also expects that the needs of some patients may be treated differently.

Practice advisory recommendations for liposuction procedures

Liposuction techniques: There are several liposuction techniques that a doctor can choose from such as an ultrasound-assisted procedure, laser-assisted surgery and dry techniques. Single lipolysis technology will not work for all patients as they are likely to have different problems. Plastic surgeons must take into account all factors such as the patient’s general health, the estimated amount of fat to be removed, and the number of sites to be treated to determine the appropriate technique for each patient. According to clinical studies, performing liposuction while a patient is awake may compromise a patient’s safety.

Types of cannulas: A plastic surgeon extracts the excess fat using a cannula, which is a small stainless steel tube inserted into the skin. There are different types of cannulas such as with suction assist, energy assisted or ultrasound. In energy assisted lipolysis, the cannulas used are small, flexible, and similar in length and diameter to the standard suction assisted liposuction cannulas. Depending on the technique chosen and the volume of fat to be removed, the surgeon must determine the most appropriate cannula for the particular patient.

Anesthesia: Different types of anesthesia or sedation are used for liposuction. Anesthesia may be administered by a qualified physician. A registered registered anesthesia nurse or other qualified healthcare provider can also perform anesthesia under the supervision of a physician. The physician in charge must be physically present in the operating room throughout the anesthesia procedure. General anesthesia can be used safely in the ambulance environment and is especially useful for complex procedures because it allows accurate dosing, control of patient movement, and airway management. For small liposuction, infusion solutions containing local anesthetic agents are good to provide adequate pain relief.

Patient selection: Not all patients are ideal candidates for liposuction. The surgeon should perform a thorough physical examination and assess the patient’s complete history prior to surgery to determine the filtration. It is also important to ensure that the patient has realistic expectations.

Volume of liposuction: Once it is determined that the patient is a suitable candidate for the operation, the surgeon determines the appropriate volume of fat to be removed. It is important to note the distinction between total fat removed and total liposuction removed. Certified facilities can perform large-scale facelifts (5,000 cc removal). For patients undergoing this procedure, vital signs should be monitored after surgery and urine removed overnight.

Multiple procedures: Certain combinations of plastic surgery procedures that involve liposuction are controversial. For some patients, certain circumstances may require lipoplasty as a separate procedure.

Possible complications: The surgeon must be aware of the signs and symptoms of complications that may arise after the operation. Complications that may occur include – seroma, minor deformities of the contour, fat embolism, and infection.