The Risk and Complications of Plastic Surgery

No surgical procedure is risk free, but fortunately, in the hands of a skilled surgeon, complications are seldom and usually correctable. Your plastic surgeon can and should do several things to reduce your chances of unwanted results.

He or she will monitor you carefully to make sure you are physically and emotionally a good candidate for cosmetic surgery.
You will be asked to stop medications previous to surgery that can promote bleeding, and in some cases, your doctor will require you to obtain medical clearance from your primary care physician to make certain that it is safe to go on.

Your surgeon will also offer you specific pre- and post-operative orders that are carefully intended to minimize your risk of complications. While serious complications are rare, they do occur from time to time, even with the most careful plastic surgeons under the strictest conditions.

Cosmetic surgery risks frequently have to do with the patient’s health and emotional well being. If a person is not physically healthy or has a history of illness that might boost plastic surgery risks, they should be advised against having plastic surgery.

Certain types of medications and supplements may also increase plastic surgery risks so it is imperative that these issues be discussed prior to surgery. Smoking and alcohol consumption can also add to plastic surgery risks and should be stopped prior to surgery as recommended by a plastic surgeon. Smoking can lengthen the time it takes for a patient to recover from surgery and may make scarring worse.

As with all surgical measures, there are plastic surgery risks due to anesthesia complications. Numerous types of plastic surgery are performed under a general anesthesia. The following plastic surgery risks involve complications with anesthesia: abnormal heart rhythm, blood clots, airway obstruction, brain damage, heart attack, stroke, temporary paralysis, and even death. It is important to keep in mind that these plastic surgery complications are rare and there are a number of things that a good anesthesiologist can do to alleviate these plastic surgery risks.

Plastic surgery risks can be greater than before for patients who are undergoing multiple procedures at the same time. This is due to the fact that a patient is under general anesthetic for longer periods of time and there is more trauma linked with multiple procedures. Amplified operating time can increase the plastic surgery risks of developing blood clots and other serious complications.

Plastic surgery risks also involve complications in the outcome of the surgery. In some cases surgical errors can result in subsequent problems in plastic surgery results. Plastic surgery risks can include asymmetries in the surgical area, irregularities, dimples, puckers, and divots. Other more serious plastic surgery risks are long term or permanent loss of sensation, or tingling in the exaggerated area caused by nerve damage. Sarcoma development can also occur as fluid collects under the skin after some types of surgical procedures. Skin death can also occur if infection or bleeding plastic surgery risks occur after the procedure is over.

Before I get to the niceties involving the various corrective medical procedures available, I want to address the most important consumer challenge of all: Who should do your surgery, regardless of what you decide to have done. Given the growing number of doctors with cosmetic or plastic surgery, it is very difficult to know where to go and how to get started.

Most women use one of four methods to select a cosmetic surgeon: articles in fashion magazines, finding out where celebrities went, getting a referral from a friend or a friend of a friend, and, last but not least, checking out the doctors who advertise their services.

Though I wouldn’t call these the worst plans of action, they should just be the beginning of the process. You need to know more before you can make an knowledgeable final decision. Take the time to congregate detailed consumer information. Sketch up a comprehensive list of questions to ask so you’ll know what all your options are, which procedures will meet your needs, what are the risks or disadvantages, and which doctors are performing the safest and most reliable current procedures. The latest method doesn’t necessarily mean the best when it comes to surgery-you don’t want to be someone’s test case.

Appallingly, many physicians downplay any risks. A quick review of several cosmetic surgery Internet sites reveals a scarcity of in order regarding what can go wrong during or after a procedure. Yet each and every medical or cosmetic corrective procedure has risks. Yes, the risks are few and far between, but an average of about 1% to 4% (depending on whose statistic you use) of all patients have some sort of problem or negative outcome. When you consider that over 7.4 million procedures were performed in 2000, that would mean there were at least 74,000 problems. It is wise for you to decide if you want to chance being one of those who may fall in that statistic.

Being practical about any surgery is incredibly important, but let me reiterate that it is even more vital with cosmetic surgery. After all, this surgery is usually elective and completely up to you; there is (or ought to be) nothing life-or-death about these procedures. Furthermore, cosmetic surgery is a very lucrative business-most surgeons get paid up front before you go under the knife or laser. So, before you hand over your hard-earned money, your very appearance, and your well-being, you have to be well-informed about every detail.

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