The demand for plastic surgery has been on a rising trend over the last few years. But the cost of plastic surgery is still high, and some people tend to choose lower prices without considering the risks that are usually associated with this.
The clients of plastic surgery interventions nowadays are both men and women. The most commonly performed procedures are liposuction, breast, and buttock augmentation, rhinoplasty and otoplasty. For some people, undergoing plastic surgery has become just as normal as a visit to the gynecologist or dentist.
However, before making the decision to undergo plastic surgery, you need to be aware of the fact that there are risks associated with these interventions, even when considering the simplest ones such as liposuction.
Here are 9 risks of plastic surgery that you need to be aware of:
1. Changes in sensitivity
Even after a very commonly performed procedure such as liposuction, the patient can experience changes in sensitivity on the areas treated. These changes can also occur after breast augmentation and usually concern the nipple and areola complex. The sensitivity changes occur as a result of the injury of the nerves in the area that resulted during surgery. In a vast majority of cases, these changes are temporary. However, it can also happen for them to become permanent. The change can either be a lack of sensitivity or an acute sensitivity.
Numbness can occur after plastic surgery interventions such as liposuctions and even tummy tucks. There is no cure or medical treatment for the numbness, and it usually lasts no longer than a few weeks. The numbness is also triggered by the trauma of the nerves in the operated areas and is usually temporary. However, it is important for the patient to be aware of this side effect to avoid unnecessary stress after the procedure.
The numbness that occurs after breast reduction surgery can be permanent. During this intervention, the nipple and areola complex can be completely removed and reattached using a skin pedicle. Each time skin is removed, nerves are eliminated as well. There is a risk for the nerves to be severely and permanently affected and to end up not only with a numbness but a complete lack of sensitivity in the area.
3. Fat tissue or skin necrosis
Necrosis is represented by the death of an area of the skin, and is usually caused by a lack of proper oxygenation of the tissues. This is the reason why an experienced and responsible plastic surgeon will recommend the patients to quit smoking at least three weeks before and after plastic surgery. Smoking can cause a lack of oxygenation on the operated tissues and skin necrosis can occur. This complication can occur with any plastic surgeon and many times is determine by the blood supply and anatomy of the patient rather than the skill of the surgeon.
Fat tissue necrosis can result after a butt augmentation procedure or any plastic intervention that requires a fat transfer. The patient will notice some lumps. When the area affected is not wide, the skin and fat tissue necrosis is not a severe complication. However, the plastic surgeon should assess the condition and even remove the skin affected to allow for better and faster wound healing.
It is true that the medical field has seen tremendous developments over the last decade and the rate of infections after surgery has decreased dramatically. However, when choosing to undergo surgery in the basement of a friend’s home or in a cheap hotel room and have it performed by someone with no credentials, the risk of infection increases exponentially. Infection can occur even if the surgery was performed in proper conditions with all the safety protocol in place. It can be caused by poor hygiene of the surgical wound, and its symptoms are high fever, pus on the surgical site, and swollen and red incisions. To prevent the occurrence of infections, an antibiotic treatment should be prescribed for at least seven days after the procedure. It is important for the patient to be aware that infection can occur so he can pay attention and report as soon as he notices any symptoms. Untreated infections can lead to death or trigger other life-threatening complications.
5. Hematoma and seroma
Seroma is a collection of liquids that tend to accumulate in the body after a surgical intervention. This is such a common occurrence that the golden rule is to prevent them by inserting drain tubes after the operation. When using the drains, we allow the liquids to flow from the body and prevent their accumulation under the skin, close to the surgical wound. Hematoma is a collection of blood.
Even if both seroma and hematoma can be prevented, they still occur in 1% of the patients and can become dangerous to the well-being if the patient if they are large and no treatment is applied. A sign of hematoma or seroma is the exaggerated and unilateral swelling of an area that was operated. When they are small, no treatment will be prescribed and the surgeon will advise you just to watch them to see if they change dimensions. When discussing large seromas and hematomas, the plastic surgeon might decide to remove them surgically.
6. Unaesthetic scarring
Many people looking to undergo a plastic surgery don’t take into consideration the scarring factor. The cicatrization process varies from patient to patient and is very dependent on our body and genetic inheritance. Hence, there is a possibility that even if you have chosen a talented plastic surgeon to play out the procedure, you can still be left with unaesthetic scarring. The excised tissue needs about one year to heal and mature. During this time, it will go through different stages. Usually, at the end of the maturing process, the scar should be barely visible and very thin. However, there are cases where the cicatrization process doesn’t transpire as well and the tissue doesn’t heal as it should. If you have scars from previous surgical interventions, you can show them to your plastic surgeon to see how they healed. This way he can take the right decision regarding the operative method and the treatment for the best possible aesthetic result.
We already know that the human body is not perfectly symmetrical. One breast is bigger than the other, one foot is bigger than the other; one hand is bigger than the other. But these are not the asymmetries that we are discussing here, but the ones that occur as a result of a plastic surgery. For example, after an abdominal liposuction, the right side of the abdomen can be different from the left side. When it comes to breast procedures, the breasts can be visibly asymmetric in terms of position on the chest wall, size, and shape. The butt cheeks can also look asymmetric after a buttock augmentation procedure. An experienced plastic surgeon will know how to address the natural asymmetries of the patient’s body, even if they are accentuated.
8. Unsatisfactory results
Even if the procedure is considered a success in medical terms, the patient might be deeply unhappy with the results achieved. Some patients believe that undergoing plastic surgery means correcting a feature of the body, but what actually happens is that the whole silhouette changes. Having breast implants, for example, will have an impact on how you look as a whole, not only on your chest.
Unsatisfactory results after surgery are not as uncommon as some people might think. Usually they occur as a result of a lack of proper communication between the patient and the plastic surgeon or the lack of experience of the plastic surgeon. Communicating your expectations clearly even from the initial meeting with the surgeon can help you avoid getting unsatisfactory results.
While the complication rate in plastic surgery has decreased in the last few years, there are still risks associated with these types of interventions. It is essential for the patient to be aware of all the risks and complications that can occur during and after plastic surgery, even if the incidence rate is rare. Choosing a plastic surgeon who is both board-certified and experienced will greatly reduce the risks but does not guarantee no complications or a risk-free surgery.