Cosmetic surgery is a multi-billion-dollar industry. In the UK, more individuals are undergoing different forms of cosmetic surgery, be it breast augmentation, face lifts, liposuction, and more. But the fact is that cosmetic surgery carries certain risks and complications, and although complications can be rare, they still occur. If you are going under the knife, as they say, it’s best to be aware of these risks and complications so you are adequately prepared. Here’s your guide to complications in cosmetic surgery: what you should know.
A hematoma is a so-called ‘blood pocket’ which looks like a large and painful bruise. This condition can occur in about 1 to 6% of procedures, especially procedures like breast augmentation, and it is also a very common occurrence after a person undergoes a facelift. Hematoma can be a risk in almost all types of surgeries, and in some cases, treatment for the condition includes another operation to drain the blood pocket.
- An infection
Another complication which can occur with cosmetic surgery is an infection. Even though post-operative surgery care will often include steps in order to reduce the likelihood of an infection, this is still one of the most commonly-occurring complications. A skin infection can occur in about 2 to 4% of individuals who undergo breast surgery, and in more extreme cases, an infection can become more severe if it is internal, which would then require the use of antibiotics delivered intravenously.
- Damage to the nerves
There will always be a risk of damage to the nerves in almost all cases of surgery, and conditions such as tingling and numbness can be quite common. For instance, many women go through a change in their skin sensitivity after breast augmentation, and about 15% of women can experience permanent loss of sensation in their nipples as well. Cases like these can result in cosmetic surgery claims if it can be proven that the damage to the nerves was caused by the negligence or recklessness of the surgeon or specialist.
- Issues or dissatisfaction with appearance
Even though many individuals are quite happy with the results of their cosmetic surgical procedure, there are those who are really disappointed with the results, especially if their surgery has resulted in problems with symmetry and contouring (common with breast surgery). Facial surgery patients may also be dissatisfied with the way they look after the surgery.
- The development of unsightly scars
Yet one more complication of cosmetic surgery is scarring, and although most types of surgeries can result in the formation of some scars, there are certain types of scars which are more unsightly than most. Hypertrophic scarring, in particular, can look very red and can be quite thick and raised; this occurs in about 2 to 5% of procedures involving breast augmentation.