Top 10 Risks of Cosmetic Surgery
surgery involves having a surgical procedure carried out by a
plastic/cosmetic surgeon to improve the "look" of a particular part of your
body. Cosmetic surgery can
not only improve physical appearance but it can also have emotional and
psychological effects. Procedures such as
enlargement or a facelift could have a great influence on an individual's
self esteem and confidence levels.
All forms of surgery are risky and cosmetic surgery is no exception. The
first is the risk of the surgical procedure itself and the second is that of
The risks of plastic surgery vary with person to person and the procedure
of plastic surgery patient and surgeons opt for. Again, the aspects and
history related to the patient's health carry immense importance. For example
patients suffering from certain diseases like
diabetics or heavy smokers are prone to the dangers of plastic surgery in
Although, the risks or complications are very
rare now a days, one has to seriously look after all probable risks and dangers
of plastic surgery involved. Read on...
Scarring is an issue and whilst every effort is made to minimize them they do
still occur. This is more of a problem with ethnic minorities who, because of
their darker skins are prone to thicker, raised scars or 'keloid'
Health Status: If you are in less than perfect health then there
will be increased risks during surgery. If you have a history of
or are overweight then you are at a greater risk of complications from a
general anaesthetic. These complications can take the form of a stroke due
to raised blood pressure or an abnormal heart rhythm. However, these are
Infection: The risk of infection after cosmetic surgery is less
than 1% and antibiotics reduce this risk dramatically. However, if infection
does occur, it is very serious. People who
smoke, take steroids
or have certain vascular conditions are at greater risk. The longer your
surgery lasts and the more blood you lose, the more likely you are to have
Excessive or unexpected bleeding (hemorrhage or hematoma):
Bleeding is pretty regular phenomenon for few hours following surgery and
can sometimes results into complications. Blood clotting and its
accumulation under the skin can result in a condition called hematoma which
will be firm in appearance and feel, and the color of overlaying skin may
change to blue or purple. The area experiences a characteristic pains but
pain gets reduced gradually once our body's' own anti clotting mechanism
starts addressing the specific area and reabsorbs the accumulated blood.
However, if the condition remains status quo and hematoma continual to
grows, it will compress the surrounding tissues and disrupts the flow of
oxygen through blood from circulating around that area. This may lead to
numbness, swelling, inflammation and skin death. An immediate attention or
perhaps a surgery is required to take out the coagulated blood. Moreover,
presence of large hematoma can increase the risks of other problems like
infection, wound separation, and necrosis. Also, if the sutures after the
cosmetic surgery come loose, it can lead to internal bleeding or a hernia.
Such problems would require additional surgery.
Necrosis: It is a death of tissues due to insufficient supply of
oxygen to the operated area. The risk is very rare in normal cosmetic
surgeries but in plastic surgeries involving face lifts, breast reductions,
tummy tucks, there is a
possibility of Necrosis. It increases with sudden inflammation. Smokers are
very prone to this possibility as blood vessel constriction and relatively
less oxygen supply. It is generally treated in early stages by hyperbaric
Anesthesia risks: (including shock, respiratory failure, drug or
cardiac arrest, coma, death)- risks due to use of anesthesia are very rare
but nevertheless its hazards if occur are still there. The risks depend on
the factors like healthiness and seriousness of surgery. Nausea is a common
feature. Sore throat is also commonly experienced risk. The total risk
factor of this type is generally very rare.
Paralysis or less severe nerve damage: In very rare, extreme
cases nerve damage can occur characterized by numbness and tingling
sensation. Generally the nerve damage can last not more than 1 year.
Weakness or paralysis of certain
muscles may be
experienced if a nerve related to muscle movement is impaired. It can be
treated with reconstructive surgery.
Unhealthy personal habits: Cigarette smoking is our biggest
enemy. In face and neck lifting particularly, where large areas of skin are
shifted from one location to another, the patient carries great risks for
skin breakdown, lack of healing, infection and scarring if they continue to
smoke at the time of surgery. Also, depending on the procedure, the smoking
may add only a minor risk. However, if a patient has significant liver
dysfunction, perhaps because of a long history of drinking or drug
ingestion, then it is no-go for anesthesia.
for secondary surgeries/dissatisfaction with results: Not
every surgery is successful, and unlike most "medically necessary" surgery,
the success of plastic surgery is quite subjective. Unsatisfactory aesthetic
results (including contour irregularities, asymmetry, excessive or
unfavorable scarring, etc.) can be disheartening or even devastating for
some patients. Worse yet, the unluckiest of patients can be left with
persistent pain, damage to vital tissues, or even nerve damage/localized
Psychological and Social risk: The potential adverse
psychological and social effects of plastic surgery have a lot to do with a
patient's pre-op expectations, and his or her pre-op mental and emotional
state. It's important to understand that while plastic surgery can bring
positive rewards, it will not change your life, your problems, or your
relationships. It is also important to understand that there is no such
thing as physical "perfection".
These risks can be mitigated by doing your homework and becoming a
very informed patient. Do not let price be the foremost determining factor in
choosing a surgeon. Check credentials and references, and ask lots of
questions. Be sure that you go into surgery in the best health possible
by taking care of yourself, and don't let your desire for the surgery
overshadow any serious health considerations.
While the risks of plastic surgery do vary from one procedure to another,
certain risks are common to all surgery, and some of the risks are grave. Only
you can decide if it's worth it for you. Educate yourself.