The Most Common Plastic Surgery Complications are:
- Blood loss
- Nerve damage
- Blood clots
- Organ damage
- Dissatisfaction with appearance
- Anesthesia complications
Most of the international patients arriving in Turkey are actually the ones in need of plastic surgery be it weight loss surgery, breast surgeries, liposuction, BBL, etc. The procedures to change our appearance are becoming increasingly common. However, these surgeries don’t come without risks.
For many people, the thought of undergoing surgery is very scary. If you’re considering plastic surgery, it’s important that you’re aware of both the benefits and the risks. Here are some of the most common and most talked about cosmetic surgery complications
1. Hematoma is a pocket of blood that resembles a large, painful bruise. It occurs in 1% percent of breast augmentation procedures. It’s also the most common complication after a facelift, occurring in an average of 1 percent of patients. It occurs more commonly in males than in females.
Hematoma is a risk in nearly all surgeries. Treatment sometimes includes additional operations to drain the blood if the collection of blood is large or growing rapidly. This may require another procedure in the operating room and sometimes additional anesthetic.
2. Seroma is a condition that occurs when serum, or sterile body fluid, pools beneath the surface of the skin, resulting in swelling and sometimes pain. This can occur after any surgery, and it’s the most common complication following a tummy tuck, occurring in 15%-30% percent of patients.
Because seromas can become infected, they’re often drained with a needle. This effectively removes them, although there’s a chance of recurrence.
3. Blood Loss: As with any surgery, some blood loss is expected. However, uncontrolled blood loss can lead to a drop in blood pressure with potentially deadly outcomes.
Blood loss can happen while on the operating table, but also internally, after surgery. Our nurses are qualified if in any case of a blood lessening - they let the Dr know and if advised the patient will need to take an additional blood transfusion of the patient's blood type.
4. Infection: Though post-operative care includes steps to reduce the risk of infection, it remains one of the more common complications of plastic surgery. In some cases, infections can be internal and severe, requiring intravenous (IV) antibiotics.
5. Nerve Damage: The potential for nerve damage is present in many different types of surgical procedures. Numbness and tingling are common after plastic surgery and can be signs of nerve damage. Most often the nerve damage is temporary, but in some cases, it can be permanent.
Most women experience a change in sensitivity after breast augmentation surgery, and 15% experience permanent changes in nipple sensation.
6. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT): is a condition where blood clots form in deep veins, usually in the leg. When these clots break off and travel to the lungs, it’s known as pulmonary embolism (PE).
These complications are relatively uncommon, affecting only 0.09% of all patients undergoing plastic surgery. However, these clots can be fatal.
Abdominoplasty procedures have a slightly higher rate of DVT and PE, affecting just under 1% of patients. The risk of clots is 5 times higher for people having multiple procedures than it is for people having only one procedure.
7. Organ Damage: Liposuction can be traumatic for the internal organs.
Visceral perforations or punctures can occur when the surgical probe comes into contact with internal organs. Repairing these injuries can require additional surgery.
The perforations may also be fatal.
8. Scarring: Surgery typically results in some scarring. Since cosmetic surgery seeks to improve the way you look, scars can be particularly troubling.
Hypertrophic scarring, for instance, is an abnormally red and thick raised scar. Along with smooth, hard keloid scars, it occurs in 1% to 3.7% of tummy tucks.
9. General appearance dissatisfaction: Most people are satisfied with their postoperative outcomes, and research suggests most women are satisfied with breast augmentation surgery. But disappointment with the results is a real possibility. People who undergo breast surgery may experience contouring or asymmetry problems, while those undergoing facial surgeries could simply not like the result.
10. Complications of anesthesia: Anesthesia is the use of medication to make you unconscious. It allows patients to undergo surgery without feeling the procedure.
General anesthesia can sometimes lead to complications. These include lung infections, stroke, heart attacks, and death. Anesthesia awareness, or waking up in the middle of surgery, is very rare but also possible.
More common anesthesia risks include:
- nausea and vomiting
- waking up confused and disoriented
To Sum Up:
On the whole, plastic surgery complications are rare, like less than 1 percent of outpatient surgeries.
As with most surgeries, plastic surgery complications are more common in certain people. For example, smokers, older adults, and people who are obese are more prone to complications.
You can reduce your risk of unwanted side effects by fully vetting your doctor and their credentials. You should also investigate the facility where your surgery will take place.
Educating yourself about the procedure and possible risks, and discussing your concerns with your doctor, will also help you manage your expectations and reduce the risk of complications.