A patient may develop the Fat Embolism Syndrome (FES) following liposuction. In severe cases it can cause the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and even death.

Clinical features:

(1) history of recent liposuction

(2) onset of the adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)

(3) lipid-laden macrophages in a bronchoalveolar lavage specimen

(4) exclusion of other causes of ARDS and fluid overload


In severe cases fat particles may be found in the circulating blood and retinal blood vessels.

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