If you’re thinking about undergoing a cosmetic surgery procedure, you will be in good company; according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, more than 17 million cosmetic surgeries were performed in 2017, marking a 2 percent increase over statistics reported in 2016. And the type of cosmetic surgery procedures that Americans have undergone varies tremendously, ranging from rhinoplasty and breast augmentation to eyelid surgery and everything in-between.
All in all, cosmetic surgery is a great way to achieve facial symmetry or even improve body composition. However, similar to other forms of surgery, there are some risks associated with cosmetic surgery.
How to avoid a “botched” surgery
The best way to lower your chances of being on the receiving end of a botched cosmetic surgery procedure is by choosing the right surgeon. That said, it is a good idea to work with a surgeon who has been certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery as it ensures that they have the knowledge and experience necessary to carry out specific cosmetic surgery procedures. Furthermore, board-certified surgeons are more likely to follow minimum safety requirements.
It is also a good idea to review before and after photos of past patients as doing so will enable you to get a better feel for the surgeon’s level of expertise as it relates to the surgery you’re thinking about undergoing. Beyond that, don’t hesitate to do your own research, which includes reading reviews from past patients. Lastly, you will want to work with your prospective surgeon to ensure that the procedure you want is one that makes sense and adequately meets your needs. Taking these steps to find the best possible surgeon not only lowers your chances of falling victim to a botched surgery but also medical errors that can prove life-threatening.
To further put this into perspective, over 250,000 people in America die every year as a result of medical errors, making them the third-leading cause of death behind cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Common complications in cosmetic surgery
Even when you’re working with an experienced, skilled, and board-certified cosmetic surgeon, certain complications may still arise. Of course, this is not an attempt to dissuade you from any procedure that you may have had your heart set on; moreover, it is an attempt to present to you what has become an unfortunate reality for many former cosmetic surgery patients. According to most cosmetic surgeons, including Dr. Daniel G. Becker with Becker Rhinoplasty Center in New Jersey, some of the most common complications associated with cosmetic surgery procedures include:
Hematoma – This particular complication occurs in roughly 1 percent of breast augmentation procedures. In short, a hematoma is a pocket of blood that forms after a patient has undergone surgery. In most cases, a second surgery will have to be performed to drain the blood.
Infection – This complication is also common among those who have undergone breast augmentation procedures. According to the National Institute of Health, 1.1 to 2.5 percent of those who undergo breast augmentation will eventually develop an infection even with proper postoperative care. Infections that occur at the incision site can generally be treated with oral antibiotics. However, if the infection is internal, IV (intravenous) antibiotics may be needed.
Deep vein thrombosis – This type of complication is especially common among those who undergo abdominoplasty or multiple cosmetic surgery procedures. Also known as DVT, deep vein thrombosis causes blood clots to form in veins. And if these blood clots break away and travel into the lungs, it can lead to a pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal if not immediately treated.
Organ damage – This type of complication typically occurs during liposuction. The surgical wand used to remove fat from the body, also known as a cannula, can puncture internal organs. The only way to resolve such an injury is by undergoing another surgery to repair the organ. And this surgery should be scheduled as soon as possible to minimize the risk of developing even worse health problems.
Nerve damage – According to a study published by the University of Michigan, many women who have undergone breast augmentation have noticed a change in breast sensitivity following their procedure. The study further revealed that 15 percent of these women eventually developed permanent changes in nipple sensitivity. That said, the most common signs of nerve damage following breast augmentation surgery is numbness and tingling.
Blood loss – Like any other surgery, there is always a risk of blood loss during most cosmetic surgery procedures. It is important to note that blood loss can eventually lead to a drop in blood pressure if not quickly corrected
Complications from anesthesia – In some cases, the complications that stem from cosmetic surgery may have nothing to do with the surgery itself but rather general anesthesia. Although this medication is usually well-tolerated by most people, it can cause a stroke, heart attack, or lung infection in some people. Also worth noting, there have been cases in which some people have developed anesthesia awareness. For those who may not be familiar with anesthesia awareness, it is a clinical term used to describe when a patient wakes up while the surgery is still being performed.
The bottom line
In summation, there are things that you can do to lower your chances of falling victim to a botched surgery or experiencing many of the complications detailed in this article. Firstly, you should work with the right cosmetic surgeon, preferably one who is well-versed in the surgical procedure that you are interested in having performed. Second, you should follow your surgeon’s recommendations regarding proper postoperative care as it can significantly reduce your chances of developing infections and other complications.
That said, if you’re thinking about rhinoplasty, consider scheduling a consultation with Becker Rhinoplasty Center today, a New Jersey-based cosmetic surgery practice that has a reputation for providing patients with a natural-looking reshaped nose that complements their face and improves their overall facial symmetry. Best of all, when it comes to these types of surgeries, Becker Rhinoplasty Center has the lowest revision rate of any other cosmetic surgery practice in New Jersey.
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