Acute Respiratory Distress following Liposuction
Source: Military Medicine, Volume 172, Number 6, June 2007 , pp. 666-668(3)
Abstract:An active duty male presented to the emergency room with dyspnea for 2 days after undergoing liposuction surgery. Upon presentation, the patient was afebrile, tachycardic, tachypneic, and hypoxemic. The initial chest radiograph demonstrated bilateral patchy opacities and the PaO2/FiO2 ratio was <200. The patient was admitted to the medical intensive care unit for supportive care. He was treated empirically for pneumonia. Blood and sputum cultures were negative. A computed tomography angiogram of the chest was negative for pulmonary embolism but did reveal a bilateral, perihilar air space process. The patient’s oxygen requirement improved and the abnormal chest radiographic findings resolved over the next 48 hours. Given his clinical presentation, negative workup, and rapid recovery, the patient was given a presumptive diagnosis of pulmonary fat embolism. Fat embolism occurs when adipocytes and small blood vessels are damaged during the liposuction procedure. Patients may present with low-grade fever, tachycardia, tachypnea, hypoxemia, and hypocapnia. The differential diagnosis includes venous thromboembolism, aspiration pneumonitis, and pneumonia. The mainstay of treatment for pulmonary fat embolism is supportive care. The risk of mortality is 5 to 15%.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Division of Cardiology, Naval Medical Center San Diego, San Diego, CA 92134. 2: Department of Internal Medicine, Naval Medical Center San Diego, San Diego, CA 92134. 3: Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Naval Medical Center San Diego, San Diego, CA 92134.
Publication date: 2007-06-01
- Military Medicine is the Association's official monthly journal. The objective of the Journal is to promote awareness of Federal medicine by providing a forum for responsible discussion of common ideas and problems relevant to Federal healthcare. Its mission is: To increase healthcare education by providing scientific and other information to its readers; to facilitate communication; and to offer a prestige publication for members' writings.
Military Medicine's 5-year Impact Factor: 1.061
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