European Journal of Plastic Surgery

, Volume 42, Issue 5, pp 509–512 | Cite as

Liposuction fat emboli resulting in myocardial infarction: a case report and review of the literature

  • Luke J. GromeEmail author
  • Erica Bartlett
  • Shayan Izaddoost
Case Report


Liposuction is a well-tolerated and safe procedure performed by plastic surgeons. Rare, major complications include infection, perforation of abdominal wall/viscus, and fat emboli. Fat emboli, seen more often after long bone fractures, are rarely associated with liposuction. We report the only known case of myocardial infarction (MI) secondary to fat embolism in the setting of post-procedural liposuction. A review of the literature was undertaken to elucidate the pathophysiology of liposuction-associated fat embolism, identify patient and procedural risk factors, discuss diagnostic criterion, and identify management of this rare but potentially fatal complication.

Level of Evidence: V

Type of study: Risk study


Suction assisted lipectomy Liposuction Fat emboli Fat emoli syndrome Myocardial infarction 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

Dr. Grome, Dr. Bartlett, and Dr. Izaddoost declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Patient consent

All patient information has been de-identified and informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


There was no funding provided for this study.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive SurgeryBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Molecular and Cellular BiologyBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA

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