From elective procedures that enhance our appearance to those that repair injuries after a trauma, plastic or cosmetic surgery is a big business. In 2013, some $7 billion was spent on these procedures. If you are considering plastic surgery, it is important that you understand the risks involved. Here are some of the most common complications associated with cosmetic surgery.
A hematoma is a packet of blood that, on the surface, looks like a large bruise. It is the most common complication following a facelift and occurs in just over 15 percent of all breast augmentation surgeries. Treatment for a hematoma can be as simple as ice packs or as serious as surgery to drain the blood.
Nerve damage is a risk in any type of surgery. If you experience any type of numbness or tingling following plastic surgery, you may have nerve damage. Many women report having some type of change in sensitivity after a breast augmentation surgery, with about 15 percent reporting a complete loss of sensation in the nipples.
It’s unrealistic to expect that you can undergo surgery without some type of scarring. That said, hypertrophic scarring, or red, thick, raised scars, are not to be expected. Hypertrophic scars occur in approximately 2 to 5 percent of all patients who undergo breast augmentation surgery. This can be devastating for people who have undergone surgery to enhance their appearance.
People are given postoperative care instructions in order to reduce the chance of infection. It is still one of the most common complications following surgery. Some infections can be relatively minor, but some can be internal, requiring IV antibiotics and further treatments.
A pulmonary embolism occurs when a blood clot from a deep vein, such as those in the legs, breaks off and travels to the lungs. It is a fairly uncommon complication but can happen. When it happens, a pulmonary embolism can be fatal.
While not being happy with postoperative outcomes is not a risk to physical health, it is still a risk. People may experience asymmetry problems following surgery, and others may simply not be happy with what they see in the mirror. It is important to speak with your surgeon to be sure that your expectations are realistic to help avoid dissatisfaction.
Anesthesia is what puts people in a state of sleep or relaxation that is so deep they are actually unconscious. Anesthesia is a necessary component of most surgeries, but it is not without its risks. Lung infections, heart attacks, stroke, death and more have occurred in some patients. Many people who have anesthesia wake up feeling confused and chilled. One of the least common though most frightening risks of anesthesia is waking up during a procedure.
Some surgeries can be traumatic for internal organs. Liposuction is particularly risky. Perforations or punctures can occur when any surgical instrument inadvertently comes into contact with an organ like the stomach, liver or kidneys. Repairing a perforated or punctured organ often requires additional surgery, and some punctures can prove to be fatal.
Losing blood happens with any type of surgery, but uncontrolled blood loss is concerning. When the body loses too much blood too quickly, blood pressure can drop rapidly. Blood loss can happen during surgery or after the procedure has been completed. Any dizziness, tenderness or bruising should be reported to your doctor as soon as possible.
When the serum from your blood pools beneath your skin, you are said to have a seroma. You will be able to identify a seroma because it looks like a larger-than-normal blister. Seromas are not serious complications in themselves, but if they become infected, they need to be drained with a needle. A seroma can return even after its been removed.
There are risks that come with any type of surgery, and many people accept these risks as a possibility. If you are considering plastic or cosmetic surgery, it is important to research your surgeon’s credentials and those of the hospital in which you will undergo the surgery. Speak to your doctor about all of the risks associated with your chosen procedure in order to be as informed as possible. When you have realistic expectations, you are less likely to be disappointed with the outcome and more able to manage complications.
If you are injured during a surgery in West Palm Beach, you may have the legal option to seek compensation for medical care, lost wages and more. Reach out to our team of experienced medical malpractice attorneys for more information. We will help you schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation and advise you of your options. We are here for you and your family as you begin to put the pieces of your life back together.