Sunday, 25 March 2012

How safe is office-based liposuction?

A recent paper published by Startling et al in the journal Dermatological Surgery (2012;38:171-177) examined 10 years of data collected in Florida and 6 years from Alabama. The investigators looked at all in-office adverse event data in order to determine which were the safest surgical procedures carried out in-office.

Here are some of the conclusions which were made:

  1. Cosmetic procedures performed in offices by dermatologists under local and dilute local anaesthesia yielded no reported complications.
  2. Liposuction performed under general anaesthesia requires further investigation because deaths from this procedure continue to occur despite the ability to use dilute local anaesthesia for this procedure.
  3. Requiring physician board certification and physician hospital privileges does not seem to increase safter of patients undergoing surgical procedures in-office.
  4. There were NO deaths from liposuction when using tumescent local anaesthesia.

As expected, the study reported that liposuction is extremely safe when using tumescent anaesthesia instead of a general anaesthesia. There was no mention of conscious sedation so we are unable to comment on that although we believe that conscious sedation provides patients the best of both worlds in anaesthesia - i.e. complete pain relief without the risk of a general anaesthetic.

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