All The Rage

The Image staff muses on the culture of
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Liposuction deaths higher than car crash fatalities

November 13, 2007 |  8:32 am

West_west320_2 The very sad news that Kanye West's mother, Donda, may have died from complications from plastic surgery -- a breast reduction and tummy tuck -- makes you think about the real price of vanity. In her case, mortality.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, nearly 11 million cosmetic surgery procedures were performed in 2006, up 7% from 2005.  Breast augmentation (329,000) and liposuction (303,000) top the list. 

I did some quick searching online and found conflicting reports about the deaths associated with lipo or the combination of liposuction and another procedure. Every association seems to report different numbers. But many isolated incidents of deaths surface.  And actually, the combo platter of plastic surgery is grossly popular. Why not get a tummy tuck and a butt-lift at the same time, seems to be the prevailing thinking. (Um, maybe because you won't be able to sit or stand up for a few weeks? Ouch, indeed.)

Anyway, here's a link to some info from the FDA's government website that I found interesting. Notice how  inconclusive the findings are because of the unreported fatalities. The study showed that deaths associated with lipo could be as high as between 20 and 100 per 100,000 procedures. Death from car accidents is only 16 per 100,000 crashes.

That's astounding. If you have a better chance of surviving a car accident than liposuction, maybe it's safer to do crunches while you drive?

Photo credit: Wire Image