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What Are the Risks of Plastic Surgery?

If performed by an experienced surgeon, the outcome of plastic surgery is generally very positive, with very few complications. Although complications are typically uncommon, plastic surgery, as with any surgery, carries a certain degree of risk. Following are some of the reported risks of plastic surgery: 

Nerve Damage: Nerve damage is a potential risk of plastic surgery. If a nerve related to muscle functioning is injured, it may lead to weakness and immobilization of the particular muscle. The probable signs of nerve damage are tingling sensations, numbness and localized paralysis in severe cases.

Infection: All surgical procedures have the potential risk of infection at the operation sites. The same is applicable to plastic surgery. People who have a weakened immune system are more susceptible to surgery related infections than others.

Excess Bleeding: It is common to experience bleeding during any type of surgery. However, the concern is excessive bleeding, which in turn causes low blood pressure and other health complications. In case of excess post-surgical bleeding, blood may ooze out and deposit under the skin. Such a condition requires immediate medical attention.

Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism: A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot in a vein. Blood clots in veins most often occur in the legs but can occur elsewhere in the body. The most common cause of deep vein thrombosis is immobility. A complication can occur in some cases where part of the blood clot breaks off and travels to the lung (pulmonary embolism).

Scarring: Whenever the skin sustains damage, there is the possibility of scarring. Some degree of scar tissue always forms during surgery because the dermis (deep skin layer) is damaged. 

Complications with Anesthesia: Given prior to the actual surgical procedure, anesthesia can result in mild to severe complications. Reported anesthesia risks are respiratory disorders (airway obstruction), allergic reactions, irregular heartbeat, heart attack, coma and at times, death. Patients who are overweight and those who have an underlying heart or lung disease are at a higher risk of developing anesthesia complications than others.It is important to compare plastic surgery risks versus the benefits before proceeding with any procedure. The best way to do this is to seek advice from a well-trained plastic surgeon. To learn more about potential risks of plastic surgery or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Allison, contact David W. Allison, MD at 703-754-8228 or mdallison.com today.