Fat embolism syndromes following liposuction

Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2008 Sep;32(5):731-6. doi: 10.1007/s00266-008-9183-1. Epub 2008 May 29.


Fat embolism syndrome (FES) after liposuction is likely a life-threatening disorder, though its incidence is low. The three chief clinical manifestations include respiratory insufficiency, cerebral involvement, and petechial rash. Although FES is a multisystem disorder, the most seriously affected organs are the lungs, brain, cardiavascular system, and skin. Many laboratory findings are characteristic but nonspecific. The pathogenesis of FES after liposuction has been looked at both mechanically and biochemically. Diagnosis is difficult; Gurd and Wilson's diagnostic criteria based on clinical examination is still extensively used in clinics at present. There is no specific therapy for FES after liposuction for the moment, so prevention, early diagnosis, and supportive therapies are important. In this article we discuss the clinical presentation, pathogensis, and current methods to prevent FES and, if possible, ways to treat this complication.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cause of Death*
  • China
  • Embolism, Fat / etiology*
  • Embolism, Fat / mortality*
  • Embolism, Fat / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipectomy / adverse effects*
  • Lipectomy / methods
  • Male
  • Obesity, Morbid / surgery
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Survival Rate
  • Syndrome