The Risks of Plastic Surgery

All forms of surgery carry some level of inherent risk. From undergoing anesthesia to the simple fact that you are being cut open by another human being, there are any number of different ways that surgery can result in aftereffects and long-term complications.

Plastic surgery is no different. Complications can – and do – happen with regularity. In this article we take a look at some of the most common risks associated with undergoing cosmetic surgery.

Risks of Undergoing Anesthesia

Health Conditions that Increase Risk

For most healthy individuals, anesthesia (when administered properly) does not present a significant risk for long-term complications. However, various health conditions can increase the risks of anesthesia-related complications significantly. These include:

  • Smoking
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Medical conditions affecting your heart, lungs, or kidneys

Risks of Improper Administration of Anesthesia

As with all medical procedures, undergoing anesthesia carries the risk that the doctor will do something wrong. Improper administration of anesthetics is a form of medical malpractice that carries significant risks for all patients. Delayed administration, overdose, and lack of oxygen are examples of some of the errors that can result in:

  • Anaphylaxis (a severe and dangerous allergic reaction to anesthesia)
  • Anesthesia awareness (feeling pain but being unable to communicate)
  • Asphyxiation
  • Birth defects
  • Brain damage
  • Coma
  • Heart attack
  • Hypertension
  • Pneumonia
  • Stroke

Toxic levels of anesthetics can also result in death.

Surgery-Related Risks and Medical Malpractice

Of course, anesthesia is not the only risky part of undergoing plastic surgery. In fact, the Mayo Clinic notes that the risks tied to the associated surgical procedure are typically greater than with general anesthesia.

The risks vary depending on the type of cosmetic procedure. For example, a face lift carries different risks than a breast implant. In general, these are some of the risks facing individuals who elect to undergo plastic surgery:

  • Bleeding
  • Infections at incision site (which may result in scarring or the need for a follow-up surgical procedure)
  • Internal infections
  • Cardiac and pulmonary issues
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Fluid build-up in the body
  • Nerve damage (which can result in weakness, numbness, or tingling and may be permanent)
  • Persistent pain
  • Skin discoloration and irregularities
  • Skin loss

Cosmetic procedures also carry the risk that the final product will not live up to the promised results. Problems such as asymmetry, unsatisfactory scarring, and persistent visible deformities are all real possibilities that may be permanent or require additional surgery.

Speak with a Medical Malpractice Lawyer at Carey, Danis & Lowe

The attorneys at Carey, Danis & Lowe are familiar with the risks of surgery and they have represented numerous victims of medical malpractice in Illinois and Missouri. If you are suffering as a result of a flawed surgical procedure, contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation.

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