Health and Lifestyle for the over 50s
The Best of Guide to Cosmetic Surgery

What are the Risks of Cosmetic Surgery?


Any form of surgery has an element of risk, whether it’s cosmetic or not.

Thankfully, many practicing cosmetic surgeons in the UK are registered with the General Medical Council (GMC), which means that they’ve had a minimum of 6 years specialist plastic surgery training in addition to their general training.

However, even the finest surgeon in the country cannot 100% guarantee that your surgery will go according to plan. In most cases, presuming that you select a reliable practitioner, your surgery will be a success. But it’s important to be aware that problems can occur, ranging from minor issues to full-blown medical emergencies.

Risks Associated With Cosmetic Surgery

Whenever you have an anaesthetic, regardless of the procedure, there is a risk involved. This could be as minor as experiencing nausea or a sore throat after you wake up or the effects of the anaesthetic wear off. However, it could be far more serious and you could suffer nerve damage or even death. This is extremely rare, but it’s still important to be aware of the dangers involved.
Nerve Damage
With any form of surgery, nerve damage is always a possibility. This could be due to accidental damage to the nerve itself, caused by the scalpel during the procedure, or it could be due to damage to the surrounding tissue. In some cases, the effects are only temporary. In others they can be permanent.
Surgical Scarring
Whether or not you scar or not after your cosmetic surgery depends largely on how you heal; and everyone is different. Some may experience virtually no scarring, others may develop very prominent scar tissue. If you do develop severe scarring, there are treatments available to reduce their appearance.
Uneven Breast Implants
When having breast augmentation, there is a risk that your breasts may appear uneven afterwards. There’s also a risk that you may notice creasing or folding on the skin.
A haematoma is a swelling containing blood, and they’re fairly common after injury or surgery. If it’s superficial, it may be possible to treat it by using an ice pack and resting. However, severe haematomas are classified as a medical emergency.
Infection is one of the most common post-operative complications. In most cases, it will tend to be superficial and in the area of the healing wound itself. However, more rarely, infection can cause serious problems and can even be life-threatening.
Blood clotting and deep vein thrombosis are both risks after cosmetic surgery. It’s important to note that you are still at risk of blood clotting for several weeks after your treatment.

It’s important to discuss things thoroughly with your surgeon before you book any procedure, to ensure that you fully understand the nature of the treatment and the risks involved.

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