A rare outcome of liposuction complicated by the development of peritonitis following perforation of the small intestine: a case report


  • Jungwoo Park Department of Surgery, UChicago Medicine AdventHealth Hospital, Hinsdale, Illinois, USA
  • Maymona E. Nageye Department of Surgery, UChicago Medicine AdventHealth Hospital, Hinsdale, Illinois, USA
  • Mohammed M. Arain Department of Surgery, UChicago Medicine AdventHealth Hospital, Hinsdale, Illinois, USA




Liposuction, Complications of liposuction, Bowel perforation, Peritonitis


There are a growing number of demands for liposuction each year and it is one of the most performed procedures in plastic surgery for aesthetic purposes. Bowel perforation and peritonitis are rare, but life-threatening complications following liposuction. However, there is a lack of awareness of these ill-fated outcomes which are underestimated and under-reported in the literature. We present the case of a 63-year-old male admitted to emergency department (ED) with the symptoms of abdominal pain and distension with anorexia and nausea. The patient stated that he had not been feeling well since the liposuction procedure which he received 6 days prior. During the physical examination, there was mild abdominal distension with tenderness and some guarding in all 4 quadrants. A computed tomography (CT) scan showed pneumoperitoneum. The patient underwent an exploratory laparotomy where multiple small bowel perforations were repaired and a part of the small bowel was resected. The patient eventually recovered well and was discharged on post-op day 12. Bowel perforation which can lead to peritonitis following liposuction is rare, but the risk increases in patients with a previous history of abdominal surgery such as hernia repair, as in this patient. Increased awareness of possible life-threatening complications and close follow-up in patients with risk factors are essential to prevent undesirable outcomes and promptly treat the patient.



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Case Reports