Understanding Risks and Recovery: Liposuction and Fat Grafting


At Cosmos Aesthetics, we are committed to informing our patients about the healthcare choices available to them. In this section, we explore the range of possible outcomes, risks, and possible complications associated with Liposuction and Fat Grafting. It’s important to understand that results can vary between individuals due to factors like skin elasticity and preoperative symmetry.

Risks of Liposuction and Fat Grafting

While our medical team is diligent and experienced, it’s important to acknowledge that, as with any surgical procedure, there is a risk of complications. The following is a non-exhaustive list of potential complications associated with liposuction and fat grafting:

  1. Temporary swelling or bruising, which may affect the treated area as well as the scrotum, vagina, or ankles.
  2.  More prolonged conditions such as extensive and continual swelling and fluid collection under the skin (Seroma) or extensive bruising, including collections of blood underneath the skin (Hematoma).
  3. Anemia (abnormally low iron levels) due to blood loss during surgery.
  4. Infection, although this is relatively uncommon.
  5. Permanent skin changes or irregularities, such as dimpling, indentation, lumpiness, cobblestone appearances, and/or hardness. Most of these issues dissipate over time.
  6. Slight asymmetry in results.
  7. Minimal scarring.
  8. Hyperpigmentation, which can result in brown or red discolouration of the skin.
  9. Blisters or burns on the skin.
  10. Loose skin that may not retract around the treated area.
  11. Persistent or excessive pain.
  12. Permanent loss or increased sensitivity in the area (Paresthesia).
  13. Temporary upper arm weakness post-anaesthesia.
  14. Permanent motor nerve loss.
  15. Side effects from local anaesthesia.
  16. Dizziness or fainting spells.
  17. Allergic reactions.
  18. Rare cases of organ perforation during surgery. This is more likely under general anaesthesia.
  19. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary emboli (PE), although these are not common. PE can lead to death. Please follow the instructions given to you by your doctor to reduce the risk of DVT.
  20. Fat necrosis, which may cause lumpiness in the treated area.
  21. For fat grafting procedures, fat emboli, which can lead to death. The mortality rate for this occurrence has been revised to be 1 in 14,952 procedures according to the Aesthetic Surgery Journal.
  22. Please note that there is currently no definitive evidence that fat transfer to breast either causes or prevents breast cancer.

Please keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list of potential risks. We encourage you to speak with your doctor to understand all the potential risks associated with your procedure.

Recovery from Liposuction and Fat Grafting

To facilitate a safe and smooth recovery process, we have compiled a list of post-operative instructions:

  1. Fluid Leakage Post-procedure, small incision holes may drain fluid, potentially bloodstained, for up to 48 hours. This is normal and expected. The doctor may decide to insert drains to assist with fluid drainage, typically remaining in place for about 5 days. We recommend using old towels or puppy training pads for sitting and sleeping, and wearing old clothes for your trip home. We suggest purchasing adult nappies during this leaking period.
  2. Garments We apply a garment immediately after the procedure. This garment must be worn for 6 weeks in total: 3 weeks full-time and the subsequent 3 weeks part-time. If your abdomen has been treated, you will need to wear a corset and binder on top of your support garment 24/7 for 3 weeks. We offer these garments for purchase at the Clinic.
  3. Brazilian Butt Lift (Fat grafting to buttock) Instructions For Brazilian Butt Lift patients, avoid putting pressure on the treated area for at least 2 weeks. To aid in successful fat grafting, we recommend using a BBL Pillow, available at our clinic.
  4. Showering For standard Vaser liposuction procedures, you should wait 24 hours before showering, and 48 hours for Hi Definition Liposuction or tummy Vaser liposuction procedures. Assistance might be required when removing the garment for the first time, as some patients may feel faint.
  5. Medication We routinely prescribe antibiotics, pain medication, anti-inflammatory drugs, and Bromelain 500mg (1 Tablet) to be taken once a day for 14 days post-operatively. Please take these as directed.
  6. Lymphatic Drainage Massages We recommend a total of 4 lymphatic drainage massages in the first two weeks post-surgery. For more information or to schedule a massage, please contact us directly or one of our recommended providers.
  7. Follow-ups Follow-up appointments with a Health Practitioner will be scheduled at week 1, week 2, week 6, 3 months, and 6 months post-surgery.
  8. Exercise Heavy exercise should be avoided for 4-6 weeks, or 10 days if only the neck has been treated. After a week, you should be able to resume normal activities.
  9. Discharge Upon discharge from the Clinic, you should return home and rest. It is crucial to be accompanied by a responsible adult for the rest of the day and overnight.

Remember, everyone’s recovery journey is unique and these guidelines provide a general frame of what to expect. Always consult with your doctor and follow their advice regarding your specific recovery process. Your health and safety are our top priority at Cosmos Aesthetics.

Recovery Times & Specific Requirements

After undergoing a liposuction procedure, you will generally need between 4-7 days off work. For Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) patients, this period increases to 10-14 days. While most results are noticeable at the 6-week mark, the final outcomes may not be apparent until 3-6 months post-operatively. Strict adherence to pre-operative and post-operative instructions is essential for achieving the best possible results. Non-compliance with any pre-op instruction may lead to the postponement or cancellation of your procedure, which will incur costs at your own expense.

The Follow-Up Process

Regular follow-up appointments at week 1, week 2, week 6, 3 months, and 6 months post-surgery are essential to track your progress, administer treatment to expedite recovery, and address any potential issues. If you have any complaints or concerns, please advise our clinic staff. If your complaint or concern cannot be resolved by our team or you are not satisfied with the response, please contact our management team at 1300 138 797 or via email at [email protected].

Possibility of Revision or Further Treatment

In certain cases, a second session or a “touch-up” might be required to achieve the best possible results. Additional costs may apply.