Liposuction Deaths

Liposuction is today the most common and popular plastic surgical procedure in the United States, as verified by the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons. Death from liposuction is indeed a rare occurrence, but when it does occur it always is accompanied by a sense of heartbreak. Actually there aren’t any specific reporting requirements for lipo death as a category. Patients that do die from liposuction will have causes of death the will be designated by the specific event. For instance, if a patient has a heart attack during her/his liposuction surgery – the cause of death will be “heart failure”, or something related.

It should always be remembered that liposuction is a surgery and as such comes with the risks of any regular surgical procedure, which can even be life threatening at times. In view of the deaths that have occurred due to liposuction there are certain factors that have led to these deaths. 

According to an article in the American Family Physician (dated October15, 1999) .One of the most prominent factors has been an excessive dosage of Lidocaine. This is a drug which is used as a local anesthetic during liposuction.  It causes the heart to slow and misfire and the blood pressure to fall significantly, thus sometimes lead to death. Lidocaine toxicity is a major reason for fatalities. 

However, studies suggest that it is also the most unsafe cosmetic procedure in the United States. 917 plastic surgeons reported 95 deaths in more than 496,000 liposuction surgeries. That averages out at 19 deaths per 100,000 or 1 in 5,224. The most common cause of death was pulmonary embolism, a blood clot. Generally accepted death rates for surgeries that are not essential to one’s survival are 1 per 100,000.

Some doctors go to the trouble and expense of duplicating the safety standards in a hospital operating room; many do not. And only a few states even try to force doctors to meet office surgery safety standards. The result is a dramatic difference among operating
environments.

It should always be remembered that liposuction is a surgery and as such comes with the risks of any regular surgical procedure, which can even be life threatening at times. One of the most important things that patients can do to minimize risks during surgery is to make sure that they are in the most capable hands possible. Even a physician who has been a doctor for many years can lack the proper training and experience. Because liposuction is such a lucrative industry many doctors who do not have surgical training are getting into the business of performing them

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