The Dangers of Plastic Surgery

The Dangers of Plastic SurgeryRecent confession by the French beauty Emmanuelle B�art about surgical enhancement of her pout and the problems associated with it, has once again brought into limelight - how erroneously women view their physical being and are ready to go under the knife in the hope to get that media projected perfect look. She had got the botched job done at 27, went on to say " If a man or woman has something redone it is because he or she can no longer live with that part of their body, it is no longer bearable. Either they get help and find the strength to fight [the need to have plastic surgery] or they proceed with the act."  She added: �It is a grave act in which you don�t necessarily foresee all the consequences.'

Last year,  the most famous victim of the quest for better buttocks was former Miss Argentina Solange Magnano, 38. The mother of two died in Buenos Aires after a legal operation believed to have involved buttock implants and injections.

A facelift can lead to your eyes or mouth not opening and closing properly. Absence of lower eyelid resting against the eyeball can result after facial surgery. Breast implants might result in oddly shaped breasts. And post-surgical infection is a risk, as is severe psychiatric injury.

Cosmetic surgery is and can be clearly potentially dangerous.  If things go wrong someone can end up disfigured or even dead.

Teenagers are on the rise in the list of those looking for body enhancement. They often have plastic surgery to improve physical characteristics, they feel are awkward or flawed, that if left uncorrected, may affect them well into adulthood.  According to American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) statistics, nearly 219,000 cosmetic plastic surgery procedures were performed on people age 13-19 in 2010.

Before you decide to undergo plastic surgery, make sure you do your share of  job and are well informed about the risks and dangers involved in the surgery. Ask yourself  "Do I really need to do this?  How weird  is the body part that needs enhancement? and   so on... If you are still not convinced check out this article, not as a source of discouragement but an eye opener.

  • Hematoma or Unexpected Bleeding:  A hematoma is an abnormal, localized collection of clotted blood, bound to occur if the patient has high blood pressure. One of the most common complications following a facelift, hematomas are not life threatening, easily corrected, and rarely interfere with final results if addressed by a plastic surgeon within 24 hours. Blood vessels are like plumbing. If the blood pressure shoots  there is a chance of bleeding in and around the vessels at the surgery site. The site of hematoma can present a firm appearance with the color of overlaying skin turning blue or purple. Although it tends to dissolve once the body's anti clotting mechanism gets into action. In case the condition remains status quo and hematoma continues to grow, it can compress the surrounding tissues and disrupt 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. A facelift can lead to a haematoma, or blood clot under the skin, which in 2% to 3% of patients can be dangerous if left untreated.   

  • Asymmetry in the Surgical Area: A range of normal to several asymmetries can occur, especially in case of breast augmentation and liposuction of hips & thighs. Moderate to severe can most likely be corrected with a second surgery. Mild asymmetry is considered a normal result. 

  • Nerve Damage Leading to Muscle Paralysis:  Nerve damage can occur with any plastic surgery procedure. Injury occurs if nerves are stretched, cut, or cauterized. Nerve damage includes the spectrum from sensory nerve deficits (numbness and tingling sensation) to motor nerve deficits (weakness or paralysis of certain muscles). If a nerve is severely damaged, the effects may be permanent. In chin reduction surgery there is always a small chance of damaging the lower branch of the facial nerve that controls the lower lip. When damaged, patients experience loss of sensation and motor function in the affected area. If this nerve is cut, it can result in a temporary or permanent lower lip asymmetry. However, if the nerve is simply stretched, normal function will return in six to eight weeks.   

  • Seroma: A deposit of clear fluid that sometimes develops in the body after surgery such as liposuction, tummy tuck or breast augmentation. Typically, a drain is inserted in the affected area along and whenever possible, compression. In some instances, this doesn�t work and further treatments are necessary.

  • The Dangers of Plastic SurgeryDelayed Healing: Post surgery healing  depends on your age, skin type, and a number of other factors beyond anybody�s control.  These factors need to be taken under consideration especially if you are undergoing surgery for an  awaited event in your life, e.g. marriage, school reunion etc. Delayed wound healing may increase the risk of infection, extrusion, and necrosis. Depending on the type of surgery or the incision, wound healing time may vary. Smoking may interfere with the healing process. Nicotine is the root cause of the decreased blood supply in that it causes constriction of the capillaries and small blood vessels that feed the skin with its required oxygen. You should contact your surgeon immediately if your wound does not heal within the period of time he or she has discussed with you. 

  • Pneumonia: Aspiration pneumonia is caused by fluid entering the lungs, causing a blockage. This can happen when food or vomit enters the lungs from the mouth. After having a tummy tuck, it is very important to watch for chest pains when taking a deep breath, difficulty swallowing and shortness of breath.

  • Scarring: Extensive scarring is a possible complication of breast augmentation. Scarring is the result of the body's attempt to heal the site of a cut. When the body heals from surgery an overabundance of collagen is produced, which forms a scar. This production of collagen is kept in check by an enzyme aptly named collagenase that melts collagen away. During the initial healing process the interaction of these substances determine the nature and extent of scarring. Excessive scarring can result due to the role of genetics, specific medical conditions, and overall health. These factors need to considered prior to surgery. Smoking before and after breast augmentation, as with virtually every surgical procedure, reduces the body's ability to heal properly and quickly, so patients who smoke are encouraged to quit smoking before the procedure at least until the wound has fully healed. 

  • Depression: Teenagers and women go in for plastic surgery with high expectations. 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�. If the results do not turn out the desired way it can be disheartening or even devastating for some patients.

  • Anesthesia Risks: Complications from anesthesia, while rare, include heart palpitations, blood clots, drop in blood pressure, brain damage, strokes or paralysis. Skilled anesthesiologists will keep risks to a minimum, but complications can occur, no matter how small the procedure or how careful the medical team. 

If you decide to go for it, choose the best surgeon you can find. Follow his or her pre- and post-operation instructions to the hilt.  All the best & Enjoy your new look!

Do not let price be the foremost determining factor in choosing a surgeon. Check credentials and references, ask lots of questions, and be on the look-out for red flags. 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.



Dated 13 March 2012

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