Risk Management



Tumescent Liposuction Surgery Consent Form

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NOTE:  THIS FORM IS INTENDED AS A SAMPLE FORM.  IT CONTAINS THE INFORMATION OMIC RECOMMENDS YOU AS THE SURGEON PERSONALLY DISCUSS WITH THE PATIENT.  PLEASE REVIEW IT AND MODIFY TO FIT YOUR ACTUAL PRACTICE.  GIVE THE PATIENT A COPY AND SEND THIS FORM TO THE HOSPITAL OR SURGERY CENTER AS VERIFICATION THAT YOU HAVE OBTAINED INFORMED CONSENT.
Version 12/2/2002

(Courtesy of Emilio M. Justo, MD, a practicing ophthalmologist in Sun City West, AZ.)

CONSENT FOR TUMESCENT LIPOSUCTION SURGERY

Liposuction is a body contouring and sculpting technique.  It is a means of reducing localized fat deposits that are difficult or impossible to remove with diet or exercise.  Liposuction is not a technique for treating obesity.  In the tumescent technique of liposuction, a very dilute anesthetic solution is injected under the skin into the fatty tissue before it is removed.  Afterward, compression garments are worn for drainage and support.  Patients usually return to work after 2 to 7 days.

I clearly understand and accept the following:

The goal of liposuction surgery, as in any cosmetic procedure, is improvement – not perfection.
The final result may not be apparent for 3 to 6 months post-operatively.
In order to achieve the best possible result, a “touch-up” procedure may be required.
Areas of “cottage cheese” texture (i.e. cellulite) will be changed little by the liposuction procedure.
Liposuction surgery is a contouring/sculpting procedure and is not performed for purposes of weight reduction, nor as a substitute for healthy diet and exercise.
Strict adherence to the post-operative regimen and instructions is necessary in order to achieve the best possible results.
I have not taken any aspirin or aspirin-containing products for a minimum of two (2) weeks prior to my surgery.
There is no guarantee, expressed or implied, that the expected or anticipated results will be achieved.
I understand that liposuction surgery is contraindicated in certain patients (see below) and that I am not one of these patients:
Women who are pregnant or believe they might be pregnant
Women who are nursing
Patients with active thrombophlebitis or active infection
Patients with poor circulation or confined to bed
Patients with a history of pulmonary embolism or blood clots in the lungs
Patients with a history of severe or multiple allergic reactions
Patients with uncontrolled diabetes mellitus or uncontrolled collagen vascular disease (e.g. Lupus, etc.)
Patients with a history of uncontrolled bleeding
Patients with positive blood tests for hepatitis, HIV, or AIDS
I authorize and consent to the usage of photographs or video taken before, during, or after surgery for teaching, marketing, scientific journals, and other viewing purposes.

Although complications following liposuction are infrequent, I understand that the following may occur:

Skin irregularities, lumpiness, hardness, and dimpling may appear post-operatively.  Most of these irregularities disappear with time and/or massage, but localized irregularities may persist permanently.  If loose skin is present in the treated area, it may or may not shrink to conform to the new contour.
Infection is rare, but should it occur, treatment with antibiotics and/or surgical drainage may be required.
Numbness or increased sensitivity of the skin over treated areas may persist for months.  Rarely, it is possible that localized areas of numbness or increased sensitivity could be permanent.
Normal temporary side effects associated with liposuction surgery include soreness, inflammation, bruising, swelling, numbness, and minor irregularity of the skin. Some of these effects can take several months to resolve.
________
Initial
Objectionable scarring or pigment changes is unusual because of the small size of the incisions used in liposuction surgery, but scar formation or permanent pigment changes are possible.
Dizziness may occur during the first 24 to 48 hours following liposuction surgery, particularly upon rising from a lying or sitting position, or when removing compression garments.  If this occurs, extreme caution must be taken while walking.  Do not attempt to drive a car if dizziness is present.
Surgical bleeding is very rare using the tumescent technique of liposuction surgery; however, it could theoretically require hospitalization.
Temporary accumulation of fluid under the skin (seroma) may occur, requiring possible surgical drainage.
In addition to these possible complications, I am aware of the general risks inherent in all surgical procedures and anesthetic administration.  Although rare with tumescent liposuction surgery, unexpected severe complications can occur, including but not limited to:  allergic reaction, paralysis, convulsions, blood clots, strokes, heart attack, brain damage, or even death.
In the event of an emergency, I hereby give my consent to my transfer to a nearby hospital.  I understand that I am responsible for any transportation expenses incurred for my care during the time I am in transit between institutions, as well as any hospital, physician, laboratory, or radiological expenses.
I confirm the surgeon and his/her staff have explained to me the nature, purpose, limitations, and possible consequences of liposuction surgery, as well as risks involved and possible complications.  I understand the explanation I have received is not exhaustive and that other, more remote risks and consequences may arise.  I have been advised that a more detailed and complete explanation of any foregoing matters will be given to me is I so desire, and I do not desire such further explanation.  All questions have been answered to my satisfaction.
The following is/are the area(s) of my body to be treated by liposuction:  (circle and initial)

____   Abdomen, Lower    ____   Thighs, Outer    ____   Hips
____   Addomen, Upper    ____    Infero-Lateral Buttocks    ____   Waist
____   Male Flanks    ____    Thighs, Inner    ____   Female Flanks
____   Male Breasts    ____    Knees, Inner    ____   Posterior Axillary
____   Chin, Jowls, Neck    ____    Thighs, Anterior    ____   Arms
____   Platysmal Plication    ____    Knees, Anterior    ____   Buttocks

Patient Name (Printed)            Patient Signature            Date/Time

Witness Name (Printed)            Witness Signature            Date/Time

Physician/Staff Declaration:  I have explained the contents of this document to the patient and have answered all the patient’s questions, and to the best of my knowledge, the patient has been adequately informed.  The patient has consented, and has been given a copy of this consent form.

Staff Signature                                    Date/Time

Physician Signature                                Date/Time

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT TUMESCENT LIPOSUCTION

Risks of Liposuction Surgery:   Any surgery involves the risk of infection, bleeding, scarring, or serious injury.  However, tumescent liposuction has an amazingly good safety record.  One of the reasons that tumescent liposuction is safer than other liposuction techniques is that general anesthesia is not required.  The greatest risks of liposuction are those associated with general anesthesia.  By eliminating general anesthesia, the risks of liposuction are dramatically reduced.

Patients can minimize the risk of surgical complications by not taking medications or over-the-counter preparations that might adversely affect the surgery.  Patients should inform the surgeon of any medications being taken regularly, or occasionally, including herbal remedies.

Risk of Irregularities of the Skin:  Tumescent liposuction using microcannulas is the least likely to cause any significant or noticeable post-surgical irregularities of the skin.  By magnifying the fatty compartment, the tumescent technique permits more accurate removal of fat, with greater assurance that the liposuction cannula will not inadvertently approach too near the undersurface of the skin, which would cause irregularities.  Thus, the tumescent technique helps to minimize the risk of post-surgical irregularities or rippling of the skin.  Liposuction might improve pre-existing irregularities of the skin such as dimpling, but prospective patients should not assume that there will be significant improvement.  It is unrealistic to expect perfectly smooth skin.  Patients should expect that their skin will have approximately the same degree of dimpling and irregularities as existed before tumescent surgery.  Ultimately, after liposuction the skin texture should be within normal limits.  A casual observer should not notice any evidence of surgical irregularities of the skin.  However, it is possible that a noticeable irregularity of skin may result and require touch-up surgery.

Risk of Scarring of the Skin:  Incisions for liposuction may result in scarring. The incisions made for inserting the cannulas are usually less than 2 to 3 mm in length and are usually virtually invisible once healed.  Although you may be able to find them upon close examination, most other people would not be able to see them.  Some patients may experience temporary hyper-pigmentation (darkening) that usually fades after several months.  Some patients may have a genetic predisposition for persistent discoloration at the incision sites.  Patients that have experienced hyper-pigmentation, or hypo-pigmentation (pale or light-colored scars) in the past might expect to also experience it with these incisions.  Certain areas of the body, such as the back or upper flanks, may be more likely to have pigmentation changes.

Cellulite:  Liposuction of the thighs, while improving the silhouette, does not necessarily eliminate the subtle “puckering” of the skin often called “cellulite.”  Cellulite results from the pull of fibrous tissue that connects skin to underlying muscle.  While tumescent liposuction may reduce the degree of cellulite, it is unlikely to eliminate it.  Liposuction should not worsen cellulite.

Liposuction and Obesity:  Liposuction is not an appropriate treatment for obesity.  Liposuction is not a substitute for a prudent diet, good nutrition, and regular exercise.  Obese patients may be good candidates for limited liposuction if their goal is simply to improve the shape of certain limited areas of the body.

Postoperative Healing:  Normal healing after tumescent liposuction involves a limited but definite degree of soreness, swelling, bruising, and lumpy firmness.  A temporary mild numbness of the skin may persist for up to 4 months.  Most patients can actually see some improvement of their silhouette within one week after surgery.  However, because of the slow resolution of post-surgical swelling, the ultimate results following liposuction usually require 12 to 24 weeks to be achieved.

________
Initial

Realistic Expectations:  Although the results of liposuction are often quite spectacular, it is not realistic to expect perfection.  It is impossible to guarantee the precise amount of improvement that will result from liposuction.  Patients should not have unrealistic expectations.  Although patients can usually expect to achieve at least a 50% improvement, it is unreasonable to expect 95% improvement or near perfection.  For the perfectionist, or for liposuction of a very large area, maximum improvement may require a second procedure for which an additional fee may apply.

Patients who would be satisfied with a 50% improvement would be reasonably good candidates for liposuction.  The “50% Improvement” is intentionally a vague measure.  It indicates a definite perceptible improvement, but something short of perfection.  If a 50% improvement would make a patient happy, then it is likely that these expectations will be met.

Longevity of Results:  The fat cells that are removed by liposuction do not grow back.  If the patient later gains or loses weight, the change tends to be distributed proportionately over the entire body.  Although one can expect some changes with aging, provided that the patient does not gain large amounts of weight, the new, more pleasing silhouette is relatively permanent.

Patient Name (Printed)            Patient Signature            Date/Time

Witness Name (Printed)            Witness Signature            Date/Time

This sample consent form is provided courtesy of Emilio M. Justo, MD, a practicing ophthalmologist in Sun City West, Arizona.

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