Risks of Plastic Surgery

Many people believe the risks of plastic surgery are minor compared to the benefits. And most people do come through the surgery with great success.

However, you should still be aware of the risks before you decide to have any work done on your body.

There is always risk involved with surgery. An open wound can easily become infected. Anesthesia also comes with a large amount of risk.

Disastrous Results

Waking up to a bad result is the number one risk factor of plastic surgery

The biggest fear of most patients is not getting the results they had hoped for. This could be anything from the surgery not making them as attractive as they hoped it would, to turning out hideous.

A few people have very bad plastic surgery experiences. Your face, nose or breasts (depending on what you have done) could turn out uneven. You won't have the natural symmetry you had before the operation. This will make you look unnatural.

With rhinoplasty, you could also end up with breathing problems because of blocked nasal passages.


When your skin gets cut, there is a very real possibility that you will end up with a scar. Surgeons can't always predict how visible these scars will be, but they try to make them as inconspicuous as possible.

You can decrease the chances of horrible scarring by quitting smoking. Smokers don't heal as well as non-smokers. You also have to take proper care of your wounds after surgery.

Proper care will reduce the chance of infections and minimize scarring.


Your nerves may be damaged during surgery. This causes numbness in the area which may be permanent. Damaged nerves in your face will distort your look.

You won't be able to make normal facial expressions. You may end up with droopy eyes, or a droopy mouth.


Any open wound comes with the risk of infection. Caring for your wound is very important.

Never touch your wound with dirty hands, and never pick at scabs. Your doctor will give you detailed instructions on how to care for your wound. Make sure to follow these instructions to the letter.


When blood accumulates outside of a blood vessel, it is called a hematoma. The bruising and swelling you see after surgery is caused by a hematoma.

This usually goes away on its own after a week or so. But, in some cases it doesn't. This can be very painful and decrease the flow of blood in the area. The surgeon may have to remove the excess blood before it causes even more problems.


A seroma is accumulated lymphatic fluid around the area of the incision. The fluid grows into a large pocket that cannot drain on its own.

If you try to break the "bubble" yourself, you could end up with a bad infection, or a large scar.

The surgeon can empty the pocket with a syringe without causing any other problems. A seroma commonly occurs in more invasive plastic surgery procedures, such as a tummy tuck.


Obviously, when your skin gets cut, it will bleed. Bleeding is normal. It becomes a serious issue when the bleeding is excessive, or doesn't stop.

After the wound is closed, you will still have some bleeding, but this should stop within minutes. If the bleeding continues after the wound should have healed, you may be over exercising, or over exerting yourself.

Talk to your doctor in case there may be another reason for the continued bleeding.

Tissue Death

Tissue death (necrosis) is expected with any type of injury. The tissue around the injured skin usually dies off, and is replaced with new tissue.

This is a minor risk which usually doesn't need any further treatment. The dead tissue falls away during the normal healing process.

Blood Clots

Blood clots are not just risks of plastic surgery, but of most surgical procedures. The most common type of blood clot is called a deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which develops in the leg.

Even though a DVT is not normally life threatening, it usually requires medical treatment. Treating a DVT in time will prevent the clot from traveling up into the heart or lungs.

A blood clot in the lungs could be fatal, and should be treated immediately.

No surgery is risk-free, including cosmetic procedures

Anesthesia Complications

Most people don't have a problem with anesthesia. However, complications related to anesthesia are the leading cause of death for plastic surgery patients.

The risk is very slim, but it does exist, that is why plastic surgery should never be taken lightly.

Reducing the Risks of Plastic Surgery

The best way to reduce the risks of plastic surgery is to change your lifestyle. Smoking is a particularly bad habit because it can slow down the healing process. Smokers also end up with more scarring.

Another important factor is your surgeon. The more experienced he or she is, the better your results will be.

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