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Liposuction Gone Bad

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Avoiding Liposuction Gone Bad...

Author: Letty's Staff Writer

No one and I repeat, "NO ONE", wants to be a horror story.

So, if "liposuction gone bad" isn't the story that you want to tell, then there are some things that you should be thinking about when planning your liposuction surgery.

The goal of this article is to give you the tools that will equip you to make the very best choice of surgeon, facility, and type of procedure so that you are NOT a cautionary tale to your friends and family.

I'll take you step-by-step through the process – from choosing your physician, all the way up to the day of surgery.

So if you're ready – let's begin.

A Harrowing Experience...

I read this story in Black Enterprise magazine during my research for this article. It was so well written, that I wanted to excerpt a piece of the article for my audience here at Letty's Liposuction Directory.

Excerpt taken from: Black Enterprise Magazine -

"Lying in agony on an operating table, Lisa Espinosa, 43, was certain she was minutes away from death. The promise of inexpensive surgery lured her to the Dominican Republic... where a physician in a makeshift operating room performed breast augmentation surgery, a tummy tuck and liposuction, during which Espinosa contracted a virulent infection. Instead of recovering, the feverish and seriously ill Espinosa, a clinical grant manager of infectious diseases at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, was told she would die if she didn't get a blood transfusion. The news sent waves of fear through her body.

"Unsure if the blood she would receive on the island would be free of life-threatening infections such as HIV, she initially refused the transfusion but later reconsidered. "I thought about being sent home in a box and what that would do to my mother and children. I gave my verbal consent and shortly afterward lost consciousness," she says.

"But sadly the nightmare was only beginning. Years later, during surgery to repair the extensive damage to Espinosa's breasts, her doctor discovered a litany of blunders: the removal of healthy glands, severed nerves, multiple stitches embedded in the breast tissue, incorrect placement of her nipples, and the aftermath of an infection due to the use of unhygienic instruments – which caused significant buildup of scar tissue because the blood supply had been severed. "The inside of her breasts looked like the inside of a trash can." recalls Dr. David Watts, the... plastic surgeon who performed Espinosa's reconstructive surgeries.

"Espinosa would eventually undergo three painful reconstructive surgeries... All told it took her more than four years to fully recover from the ordeal."

It goes without saying that many avoidable mistakes were made on Ms. Espinosa's part... Her's was definitely the classic case of liposuction gone bad.

So let's talk more about what you should be looking for in terms of a potential surgeon.

How to pick an experienced surgeon

Liposuction gone bad – is no joking matter. One of the most important things you can do to avoid calamity is to make sure your surgeon is experienced.

To make sure that you choose the absolute best possible liposuction surgeon, here are a few tips:

  1. Check your doctor's credentials. Liposuction is actually major surgery and – as such – should be performed by someone with extensive surgical training and credentials. Also please be aware that any doctor from a non-surgical specialty can legally perform liposuction.
  2. Check your doctor's hospital privileges. Liposuction can be performed safely in an office-based surgical facility. However, some doctors perform office-based procedures because they don't have the adequate training and certification to practice in an accredited hospital.
  3. Check for facility accreditation. Again, office-based procedures are routinely performed safely and well. The standards for proper accreditation are stringent – and work to ensure the safety of patients. Be sure to ask for proof of the surgical facility's accreditation status. If you are having surgery in the United States you can check a facility's accreditation with one of the following organizations:
    1. Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC):
      Website - http://www.aaahc.org
    2. Joint Commission (JC):
      Website - http://www.jointcommission.org
    3. American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgical Facilities (AAAASF):
      Website - http://www.aaaasf.org.

Determine if liposuction is for you

Avoiding liposuction gone bad is as much a function of knowing whether or not liposuction is for you – as it is a function of choosing a good surgeon.

To decide if liposuction surgery is for you there are some questions that you must have the answers to before proceeding with liposuction:

  1. Have you tried diet and exercise? – If the answer to this question is no, then you should try to achieve a healthier more active lifestyle before trying liposuction. The reasons are that after dieting and exercising areas of resistant fat will become more obvious and a better target for liposuction surgery.
  2. Are you in good general health? – I think it goes without saying that pre-existing health conditions (such as heart disease, or diabetes) don't make for good surgery – of any type. Consult with your plastic surgeon to see if she can proceed with liposuction given your medical history.
  3. How elastic is your skin? – Now, this may seem a little unfair. But trust me you would rather me be honest with you, than have a liposuction result that you find unattractive. If your skin in not elastic, your liposuction results may be lumpy and saggy. The skin must be able to retract once the volume of fat and underlying tissue is removed.
  4. Can you maintain your new body contour? – If you are someone who gobbles greasy chips for breakfast, and thinks of exercise as a new-fangled torture technique, then perhaps liposuction isn't for you. Any liposuction result will need to be maintained with a diet and exercise regimen – there's just no way around it.

These are personal things you must consider. To do otherwise is to invite – not only liposuction gone bad – but disaster...

Most common mistakes liposuction patients make

Avoiding common mistakes is one way to make sure that you don't become a liposuction gone bad story. And some of the most common mistakes that individuals make are ones that are extremely preventable.

  1. Unrealistic expectations. This is a mistake that can lead to the patient pushing for more and greater surgical intervention than the body should be made to endure. And it goes without saying that you will increase your risks exponentially if you are using liposuction in an inappropriate way (say for instance – as a cure for obesity).
  2. Failing to provide accurate medical history. Sometimes this happens as an oversight. Either the patient forgets some crucial part of their previous history, or the physician fails to ask the right questions to ascertain that history. But whether it is intentional or just an oversight – it is risky not to have that information on the table.
  3. Failing to plan for recovery. When you have surgery – you should plan on having someone help a day or two after surgery. The body needs time to properly heal, and you need to be attuned to what is going with you during recovery in case symptoms crop up that need addressing.

What is the take-home here?

In conclusion – it is important to attend to the details of your liposuction surgery before you even lay down on the operating table.

Avoiding a liposuction gone bad story is a matter of making proper choices along the way. But even under the best circumstances you cannot reduce your risks in any surgical procedure to zero.

Picking an experienced surgeon is a large part of the work you must do to ensure your health and safety. So, spend enough time doing your research beforehand. And, if for any reason you don't feel good about a particular surgeon – be prepared to walk away from the situation.

It is far better to err on the side of caution.

Your health is important. And being a liposuction gone bad horror story is something to actively work to avoid.

You HAVE to Watch This:

Discover what the risks are with liposuction surgery...

Liposuction Gone Bad References:

  • "Tips Help Consumers and Patients Considering Lipoplasty." AORN Journal 73.3 (March 2001): 712. Expanded Academic ASAP. Gale.

  • "New Guidelines for Safe and Effective Lipoplasty." Medscape Medical News (Year 2000). http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/411514_print/.

  • Campbell, Denise. "Dying for the promise of perfection: sun, surf, and surgery gone awry. Lisa Espinosa's real-life cautionary tale of overseas cosmetic surgery. (SPECIAL REPORT)." Black Enterprise 39.11 (June 2009): 64(5). Expanded Academic ASAP. Gale.

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