Liposuction Can Be Deadly

The above headline came from Jan. 19, 2000 MSNBC news. The subtitle is even more chilling saying, “Liposuction has become the most common cosmetic procedure in the United States, but surgeons warned Wednesday that some people dying to get rid of that extra fat may literally pay for it with their lives.” This revelation was based on a survey of plastic surgeons. In that survey, of the 917 surgeons who answered, they reported 95 deaths in more than 496,000 operations. This works out to one death in 5,224, or 19 per 100,000. Generally, the medically accepted death rate for any kind of elective surgery, the kind not needed to save a life is 1 in 100,000. This makes liposuction 19 times more deadly than other elective surgery. Dr. Gerald Pitman of New York University, and a privately practicing plastic surgeon, said, “The problem with liposuction is not that it is unsafe. The problem is that neither the surgeons nor the patients take it seriously enough,”