Plastic surgery can be a good option if you want to correct deformations in the body, whether birth acquired or not. At the same time, plastic surgery can also damage many things about our appearance. It’s very important for those who plan to undergo plastic surgery to know that plastic surgery has its risks and complications. For instance, plastic surgery can lead to permanent scars. All forms of plastic surgery have risks and complications. According to scientific findings, the risks and complications of plastic surgery are more among people who have a medical history of heart and lung problems, diabetes, blood clot problems, and obesity. It’s important to discuss these complications with your plastic surgeon during consultation. Questions for the plastic surgeon As a patient, you should do all you can to be well informed before you go under the knife for any type of plastic surgery. Some of the complications and risks can actually lead to death. The best person to get information from is your plastic surgeon, so make good use of consultation time. Here is a list of questions you can ask your plastic surgeon before you go under the knife. • Does the American Board of Plastic Surgery recognize you as a plastic surgeon? • Can you tell me something about your experience in plastic surgery? • Which facility or hospital are you allowed to perform plastic surgery in? • Is the medical facility accredited and allowed to perform plastic surgery? • How many patients with a similar procedure have you performed? • How is this procedure performed? • Am I a good fit for this kind of procedure? • What are some of the risks and complications associated with this type of procedure? • How long will I take to recover completely? • How should I handle the risks and complications? • What should I do if I don’t get desired results? • Can you show me some of your before and after photos of patients you operated on? • Will the medications be used approved by FDA? • What should I avoid while recovering? As a patient, you should have realistic goals and expectations before plastic surgery. There must be open communication and honesty between you and your plastic surgeon. Understand your goals inside out to help you get expected results. Don’t go under the knife just because you want to make a loved one happy or want to look exactly like your favorite celebrity. Going under the knife should remain your personal decision. After all, it’s your body. Asking your plastic surgeon questions prior to undergoing plastic surgery is an essential part of getting best results. Studies show that patients who ask questions during consultation end up getting more satisfied than patients who don’t. Arm yourself with questions relevant to your planned procedure in order to get the most out of it. Risks and complications 1. Anesthesia-related side effects Anesthesia used during surgery can cause a number of side-effects during and after a plastic surgery procedure. These side effects mostly depend on the type of anesthesia used: General anesthesia, regional anesthesia and small anesthesia. Regional anesthesia is used when numbing a section of the body, such as the lower part of the body. Local anesthesia only numbs a small area in the body. General anesthesia Here are some of the possible side effects of general anesthesia: • Sore throat • Nausea: this side effect is common with other types of anesthesia. Nausea can also be caused by different medication used during and after plastic surgery. • Confusion upon waking up. This side effect can be worse in people who are older as it can last for days before getting normal. • Muscle pains: you can feel soreness and mild pains in muscles after plastic surgery due to some medications inserted into the muscles to make them relax. • Shivering: This side effect shows up after waking up from plastic surgery. It’s a common plastic surgery side effect many patients experience. So far there is no solid explanation why this happens, but some surgeons believe that it may be because of the body cooling down during a plastic surgery procedure. Some patients experience delirium and body system dysfunction. However, such cases are very rare these days, especially for healthy patients. This is why doctors prefer to operate on patients who are in the peak of health. Regional anesthesia • Mild back pains: this can be in the form of soreness on the area where the needle was inserted while administering anesthesia. • Headache: if there is a leak in spinal fluid during the process of administering anesthesia, a patient may experience a mild headache days after the procedure. • Pneumothorax: this condition can occur when a needle used to administer anesthesia accidentally gets into lungs, making them collapse. • Nerve damage: this side effect is very rare, but may cause permanent or temporary pains. • Difficulty urinating: before being discharged, a patient should first confirm whether urinating is possible. Numbness in the abdominal area due to anesthesia can make it impossible to urinate. 2. Hematoma This is a possible complication in many plastic surgery procedures. This condition is common in many breast augmentation procedures and facelifts. This condition occurs when blood forms a painful bruise in the form of small lumps of blood that remain in the body after plastic surgery. 3. Infection Infection is a risk in almost all forms of plastic surgery procedures. This is the most common complication many patients risk experiencing. For instance, in breast augmentation procedure, the possibility of getting an infection is estimated to be between 2 and 4 percent. 4. Scarring Any form of surgery can lead to scarring. Many people have had to endure severe scarring after plastic surgery. If not done by a certified plastic surgeon, plastic surgery can damage a patient’s body. It’s estimated that about 2-5% of breast augmentation procedures lead to scarring. 5. Blood loss During a plastic surgery procedure, some blood gets lost in the process. This condition can lead to a decrease in blood pressure, which can lead to death if not restored immediately. 6. Seroma Seroma occurs when serum from the blood settles under the skin surface, resulting in swelling and pain. It is very common in tummy tuck procedures, but chances of it occurring can be reduced by draining pools of blood under the skin surface using special surgical needles. 7. Organ damage Internal organs can be damaged by different plastic surgery procedures such as liposuction. The injuries caused may require another surgery to remedy it. Visceral perforations can occur during a liposuction procedure which can, as a result, lead to pain and puncturing of some vital internal organs. 8. Deep vein thrombosis This is one of the many possible risks associated with plastic surgery. This condition occurs when blood clots form in the veins and later breaks off, finding its way into the lungs. While it is a highly rare condition, it can be very fatal. 9. Appearance damage In some cases plastic surgery can lead to appearance dissatisfaction. Plastic surgery procedures such as breast augmentation and buttock augmentation sometimes may give undesired results such as asymmetry problems. This is why it is important for patients to explain and state exactly what they expect from plastic surgery. 10. Low blood pressure Blood pressure decrease during plastic surgery procedure is normal, but if blood pressure drops to the extreme, there is a possibility of experiencing a heart attack and irregular heartbeat rate. Conclusion To reduce the risks associated with plastic surgery, it’s important to begin by looking for a certified plastic surgeon with a good track record. Educate yourself and learn about possible complications and how to minimize them. Make sure you are fit for plastic surgery and you are doing it for the right reasons. Never go under the knife because someone else convinced you to do so. Plastic surgery is generally safe; it all depends on who the patient is and the experience of the plastic surgeon in charge.