In a society in which beauty is often measured by slender bodies and youth, it is no wonder that thousands of Americans chase the "perfect" look by means of liposuction. Portrayed in upbeat tones and associated with Hollywood glamour, liposuction seems to offer instant help for unsightly bulges. Consumers checking out liposuction Web sites on the Internet are further assured by the positive information they find. There are liposuction risks, however, that few consumers understand. Learning the risks of liposuction is important, it will help you make a decision whether or not liposuction is right for you.

"There are probably hundreds of thousands of patients who have had body sculpting without complications," says Ann Graham, senior nurse consultant in CDRH's Office of Surveillance and Biometrics.

"But we are concerned about the published reports of patients who have not had a good outcome. They have undergone liposuction for weight reduction, not just body sculpting. Liposuction, in general, is a purely elective procedure. As such, our tolerance for an unsafe or harmful outcome is extremely low."