Cosmetic Surgery Risk Factors

You need to carefully consider the cosmetic surgery risk involved with the procedure before you let a doctor work on your face or body.

There is risk involved in just about every type of surgery. We have all heard the horror stories of medical equipment being left inside the patient's body, or seen the horrific pictures in magazines about cosmetic surgery that left a celebrity looking like an alien.

Know the risks of plastic surgery before you undertake the op

Pre-existing health conditions and certain habits can increase your risk of having complications during or after surgery.

For example, a history of lung problems, cardiovascular conditions or diabetes can increase your risk of developing pneumonia, blood clots, or having a heart attack or stroke.

Smoking and heavy alcohol use can interfere with the healing process.

Before surgery, you should discuss your health conditions and the potential risks with your doctor.

General Surgery Risks

Risks involved with any type of surgery include:

  • Complications with the anesthetic, which could lead to blood clots, pneumonia or even death
  • An infection, which could interfere with healing, worsen scarring or require more surgery
  • Buildup of fluid
  • Excessive bleeding, which might lead to additional surgery
  • Excessive scarring, which could also mean more surgery
  • Nerve damage, which could be permanent

Cosmetic surgery risks range from unattractive results to excessive scarring, and in rare cases, even death.

Most cosmetic surgery procedures are handled in private surgery centers or in the physician's private operating suite. This is usually very safe, and not a big concern to the patient.

However, if a patient becomes seriously ill, or something goes wrong with the operation, then having an ICU nearby could mean the difference between life and death.

Most Operations are Safe

Millions of people every year choose to have cosmetic surgery.

The most popular types of beauty enhancing procedures include face lifts, rhinoplasty, breast augmentation, liposuction and gastric bypass surgery.

The risk of having complications with your surgery are rare, but they do happen.

Risks to your health are rare, and usually come from problems with the anesthesia or from the incision becoming infected.

The biggest risk you take when you decide to have plastic surgery is that the results will not come out as you hoped:

  • A facelift could make your face look unnatural, uneven or raise your hairline.
  • Rhinoplasty can make your nose look out of proportion compared to the rest of your face.
  • With breast augmentation you may lose feelings in your nipples, or the breasts could look uneven.
  • Liposuction often leaves irregularities in the natural contour of your body.
  • Gastric bypass surgery generally has more serious risks like excessive bleeding, or infections in your lungs, kidneys or bladder.

An allergic reaction to medications used during or after the surgery is another common cosmetic surgery risk.

Make sure the surgeon knows about any allergies you have, or may think you have. This should be discussed during the initial meeting, or follow-up consultations before the surgery.

Anaesthesia is one of the greatest risks of cosmetic surgery

How to Reduce Your Risk

To minimize the risk of infection or scarring, make sure to follow all post-operation instructions.

There will be a lot of scabbing as the dead skin falls off and the new skin emerges. Picking at these scabs increases your risk of infection and scarring.

Apply creams or lotions with clean hands or sanitary cloths. Your fingers are loaded with germs. It only takes one little germ to enter an open wound to infect the entire area.

The first bandage change will be before you are released from the hospital or operating suite. There will be a lot of bruising, and the wound will not be pleasant to look at.

However, it is very important that you do look. Watching the doctor or nurse change the bandage will show you the proper way to do this yourself once you get home.

Proper wound care after the operation will minimize the chance of infection and reduce the appearance of scars. Sometimes even the best cared-for wounds can have problems. If you see or feel anything unusual, consult your doctor right away.

Ask plenty of questions, and follow your surgeon's instructions before and after surgery, and you will be able to greatly reduce your cosmetic surgery risks.

Go from Cosmetic Surgery Risks to the Health Risks 101 Home Page