I heard plastic surgery is not safe

I heard plastic surgery is not safe

15th Feb 2017

There are not many surgical branches that can match the explosive growth and ascendant popularity of plastic surgery during the last few decades. From techniques that were preponderantly reconstructive to sporadic minor corrections, plastic surgery has evolved beyond expectations and there’s very little that highly skilled and experienced surgeons cannot do to change, improve and enhance your appearance while maintaining the highest standards of safety and aesthetic artistry.

A lot of these developments can be attributed to the startling upsurge in interest in both genders, from varying ages, diverse backgrounds and broader socio economic spectrum. Where before, it was for a select few, now it is more affordable to many. The restructuring and individualization of plastic surgery as a separate surgical field, the strengthening of plastic surgery organizations and institutions that establish professional protocols, which guides and directs the appropriate action for each type of intervention.

The standardization of the aesthetic surgery practices, the increased number of studies and researches in the field have opened doors for the continuous development of new surgical techniques and medical protocols designed for more and more patients who now have almost unlimited possibilities when it comes to corrections and aesthetic remodeling.

More about plastic surgery

Since its early beginnings, Plastic surgery is generally one of the safest surgical fields. The truth to the matter is that the patients are usually in perfect health when undergoing the procedures. Another reason might be that The interventions are performed on a schedule, never as an emergency procedure thus giving the plastic surgeon sufficient time for thorough analysis of each case. The protocols established for each intervention and the battery of tests the patient has to go through prior the procedure minimizes the risks and possible complications. When it happens, it does so, rarely. Strides have also been taken to improve anesthetic procedures that are, to a large extent, uniquely tailored to plastic surgery interventions such as tumescent liposuction. The anesthetic substances are better compared to the ones that were available no more than ten years ago. We can now perform complex interventions that can last for many hours without compromising the safety and wellbeing of the patient and with fewer side effects or adverse reactions.

The development of imaging tests such as magnetic resonance imaging, computerized tomography, Doppler echography now allow us to monitor the results after the interventions. This means that we can see if the evolution is normal or if a pathological modification occurs in the areas targeted by the procedure.

The pharmacological industry and the increased demand of the patients gave considerable impetus to the introduction, evolution and advances in anesthesia and its application and techniques. Patients can now undergo multiple and sophisticated surgical procedures without feeling any pain during the procedure and during the recovery period.

From the first breast augmentation performed at the end of the 19th century using fat harvested from a patient’s lipoma and going through the augmentation techniques that use muscular flaps or the presence of the first mammary implants in the 60s (initially filled with silicone and eventually also with saline solution), we can say that the breast augmentation procedures have been an important factor in the development of aesthetic surgery. There has also been remarkable developments in silicone implants, which gives the patients several choices in shape, size, be it anatomical, individualized implants customized for each anatomical profile. The operating techniques have also evolved from preponderantly inframammary incisions to the periareolar incisions and even transaxillary incisions. Improvements were also made in the placement of implants, which gives the choice of either the subglandular or the submuscular positioning of the implants, depending on the anatomy of each case.

The risks and complications of plastic surgery

Despite plastic surgery being one of the safest surgical interventions, it still comes with associated risks and complications. That is simply the nature of surgery. Some of these risks are common to all surgical interventions such as excessive bleeding, the formation of hematoma and seroma, allergic reactions to the anesthesia, bruising, and a loss of sensation of the area treated.

Specific complications of plastic surgery are dependent on the type of intervention performed. When using implants, either for the breasts or the buttocks augmentation, there is always the risk of developing capsular contracture. Implant migration can also happen or in some cases, deep tissue infection that would require the removal and replacement of the implant.

All of these are just normal and natural side effects. Plastic surgery is still surgery after all so it will always carry risks. Risks are greatly reduced under the hands of skilled and experienced plastic surgeon and on how well you follow the surgeon’s recommendations for pre and post- operative care.

In other words, plastic surgery is safe, but if you choose someone with questionable credentials to perform your intervention in a hotel room, then you are playing Russian roulette with your life. If you wouldn’t allow a person who is not board certified or with verifiable qualifications to perform your heart, liver or kidney intervention, then it behooves you to follow the same principle with plastic surgery so you do not subject yourself to unnecessary risks.


Plastic surgery has seen a tremendous rise in demand over the last few decades. Advancements in technology and operating protocols make plastic surgery interventions one of the safest procedures today. Because plastic surgery is elective, there is plenty of time for the patient to undergo tests and analysis before scheduling the procedure. More than this, plastic surgery interventions should only be performed if the patient is in a good health condition. Even something as common as a cold can mean a postponement until you are in tiptop state.

Do note that as a patient, you also carry the responsibility of reducing risks of complications by strictly complying with and following the pre and postoperative care instructions of your plastic surgeon, including showing up for your follow up appointments.

Your choice of plastic surgeon and the medical facility where the procedure will be performed are critical elements to ensure your overall safety and well being during and after the surgery. Choose wisely and carefully.

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