Complications of Cosmetic Surgery

Complications of cosmetic surgery can vary from person to person. Depending on your medical history and current state of health, cosmetic surgery could result in serious complications if not performed by a trained and experienced surgeon. For example, if you are a smoker or suffer from diabetes, you automatically fall into a higher risk category and are prone to complications and side effects as a result of the procedure.  

Anesthesia can be the cause of several complications in cosmetic surgery. In some cases, anesthesia can cause severe allergic reactions, shock, coma, and even death. Although this is rare, there is still a possibility that it could happen.

Other complications include poor drainage of blood and fluids, accumulation of fluids under the skin post surgery, acute pain and discomfort, swelling that does not lessen even with medication, scarring, slow healing, long-term infections, implants that harden or leak (in the case of breast surgery) and implants that need to be replaced.

The key to avoiding complications after cosmetic surgery is to ensure that the procedure is carried out at a clinic or medical facility that has all the necessary equipment to handle any emergency. The degree of risks and complications also reduces depending on the type of surgery being performed and the experience of the surgeon. 
Frequently asked questions
  1. Flesh Wounds: The Culture of Cosmetic Surgery; Deborah Sullivan, JAMA. 2004;292(6):743-744.doi:10.1001/jama.292.6.743-b
  2. Cosmetic Surgery: The Cutting Edge of Commercial Medicine in America; Janet E. Shepherd, JAMA. 2001;286(7):848-849.doi:10.1001/jama.286.7.848
  3. Cosmetic Surgery: Principles and Practice; Paul W. Greeley, JAMA. 1960;173(12):1392.doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03020300104030