Most people have a cursory understanding of what liposuction entails, gleaned from movies and television rather than from health experts. The general public would likely describe the surgery as an elective, cosmetic procedure to remove body fat, particularly fat from the stomach. The general public would likely also expect that the reason for the procedure is to be skinnier.
Though liposuction can be for cosmetic reasons, there are medical diagnoses that recommend this procedure as well. Some of these include lipomas (which are small benign tumors which can limit movement or cause pain dependent upon their location), gynecomastia (when fat cells accumulate unnecessarily in the male breast, increasing the risk of breast cancer), and lymphedema (when fluid pools in the lymphatic system).
Liposuction is a higher risk procedure than most elective surgeries, in part due to the fact that it is performed under general anesthesia. Anesthesia runs the risk of allergic reactions or an anesthesiologist overdosing the patient. There is also a risk of significant scarring, of infection at the site of the procedure, and of edema.
Though the risk profile is higher, this does not absolve the surgeon from responsibility if something goes wrong. There is still an expectation of high quality of care, and the doctor is still responsible to minimize the risk of side effects. Even if the procedure is performed for cosmetic rather than medical reasons, it is still important for the surgeon to follow proper protocols.
If you or someone you love has suffered significant side effects due to liposuction surgery, the emotional and financial toll can be devastating. Please, consult with an experienced attorney regarding your case. Only by requiring medical professionals to perform procedures to the best of their abilities can healthcare in this country be made safe.