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Fat Embolisms: What Are They, and What Are the Dangers?

Embolisms of any kind are scary—they’re when an artery gets blocked by something. While blood clots are perhaps the most famous, other sorts of blockages are possible. A fat embolism is exactly what it sounds like: fat globules blocking a blood vessel. This disrupts the blood supply, which can lead to various problems—some minor, some very rarely fatal. When the lack of blood starts causing problems like confusion or breathing difficulties, it becomes fat embolism syndrome, or FES. St Louis Liposuction has all the answers!

So, how do you protect yourself against this problem? Who does it strike, and just how dangerous is it? The good news is, you probably do not need to worry. There is, however, other news, too.

When Does FES Strike?

Fat embolisms, unlike blood clots, are usually caused by trauma. One paper published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine explains that fat emboli occur in all patients with long-bone trauma. With minor fractures, the risk is lesser. It is just one of many problems that trauma doctors must keep in mind. That said, the progression into FES is rare, and there are fewer than 200,000 cases of FES in the U.S. each year.

The other problem is that a fat embolism can be the result of large-volume liposuction. In these cases, once again, the primary concern is that it can develop into FES.

Who Is at Risk?

Fat embolisms once again depart from blood clots when it comes to risk factors. There is little difference between one trauma patient and another when it comes to a fat embolism; people are equally likely to get it, with the exception being that children are much less likely to develop FES. FES is more likely to develop in people who already have low oxygen in the blood—a condition called hypoxemia. This is because their body is more vulnerable to disruptions in the blood supply due to the already poor oxygen levels in the blood.

What Treatments Are There?

When it comes to FES, you need a critical care doctor, trauma surgeon, or similar professional. Supportive care, such as high flow oxygen, is usually sufficient for a patient’s recovery.

Fat Problems? Vein Problems?

With experience with phlebology, liposuction, dermatology, Dr. Wright and St Louis Liposuction is one of the first people you should consider trusting when it comes to fat embolism concerns. Trust him with your liposuction procedure because he knows what to watch out for and how to handle various side effects that may occur. Call 636-614-1665 to schedule an appointment with one of Missouri’s most qualified skin, vein, and liposuction doctors.