Cosmetic surgery is a booming business that racks in billions of dollars each year. Roughly nine in ten patients are women, and it’s become an increasingly common solution for people looking for a quick fix for their bodies. In 2016 alone, more than $16 billion was spent on cosmetic surgery and minimally invasive procedures in the United States alone!
It’s important to note that older women are not the only group getting these procedures, as younger women are becoming more likely cosmetic patients as well. Currently, the most common procedures on the market are breast augmentation and liposuction.
Despite the industry’s increasing prevalence, psychologists and surgeons fear that many patients that undergo surgery do not fully understand the risks associated with these operations.
All surgeries need to be taken seriously, but it seems like those pursuing cosmetic procedures aren’t doing so. To help you make an informed decision and ensure you aren’t oblivious to the potential risks, here are a few ways cosmetic surgery can prove to be dangerous. Keep in mind these scenarios are highly unlikely, but still should be noted.
Hematomas and Seroma
A hematoma is a pocket of blood similar to an extensive bruise, which can cause considerable pain. Hematomas occur in about one percent of patients who received a breast augmentation or facelift, and more commonly affect males than females.
Seroma is a condition that occurs when a sterile body fluid, called serum, collects beneath the epidermis, which can cause considerable swelling and sometimes can be painful. Most frequently affecting patients who received tummy tuck procedures, doctors treat seroma by draining the liquid with a needle.
Blood loss can happen during any type of operation. Such an occurrence can pose a severe danger to patients, as losing significant amounts of blood can result in a steep drop in blood pressure that can prove deadly.
Formation of New Problem Areas
Surgical experts note that any time you do something to alter the body, you risk creating new problem areas. For example, liposuction can resolve the problem of excess fat in a particular area, but it may also cause a problem in another.
If you remove fat from your thighs or lower abs, it can distribute unevenly on the upper abs, back, and arms, especially if significant weight gain occurs following the procedure.
Doctors also warn that altering the appearance of one bodily feature can throw off the look of other areas. Fat reduction in the stomach can cause your legs to look bigger than usual. Bigger lips can make your nose look wider.
This possibility does not necessarily mean new fat will accumulate in these areas, but rather that you should consider how significantly altering a particular feature will make the rest of your body look.
Every surgery carries the risk of infection, explaining why we recommend properly vetting your doctor before deciding on a procedure. Postoperative care will provide steps for limiting your chances of becoming infected, so make sure to follow all of your surgeon’s guidelines following the operation. On average, between 1 and 2.5 percent of people who receive a boob job, for example, will develop an infection.
Unexpected Botched Surgery
Another concern is the deformities that could ensue from a botched surgical procedure. One possible result could be the patient suffering nerve damage and not being able to recover from it. This risk is incredibly unlikely, but always a possibility for those undergoing an invasive procedure.
For example, most women who undergo a breast augmentation will feel a drastic change in sensitivity in the treated area, which should wear off with time. 15 percent of patients, however, will experience a permanent change in nipple sensation.
A common type of blood clot that develops after any surgery, a deep vein thrombosis, originates in the leg and may move to other body parts. Should this occur, you will have to receive immediate medical attention, as the clot could prove deadly if it moves toward the heart or lungs. The medical term for this rare complication (it occurs in roughly .09 percent of patients) is a pulmonary embolism.
Potential Emotional Threats
Patients may not be fully aware of the mental toll cosmetic surgery can have. Surgery is very stressful, and in the immediate aftermath, patients sometimes report trouble sleeping, which can prevent you from recovering effectively.
Pain, consistent fatigue, and inflammation can lead a patient to become minorly depressed.
After surgery, you may be hit with an emotional arc. Depression can occur during the healing process, then satisfaction with the results may kick in, and months later, you may experience a measure of dissatisfaction if results don’t hold.
These factors help explain why surgeons highly recommend you set realistic expectations about the outcome of your surgery.
Sometimes patients will feel the need to focus on a new area of their body after an operation. If they get their nose fixed, for instance, they’ll then possibly feel the need to undergo a fat removal on their cheeks.
Anesthesia typically comes with no adverse side effects. Still, in rare cases, it can cause complications, especially following extensive procedures that require the use of general anesthesia. Potential reactions include lung infections, heart attacks, and strokes, all of which could cause death in rare instances. Anesthesia-Related deaths are, in fact, the leading cause of cosmetic surgery-related deaths. If you can receive treatment under local and not general anesthesia, you should always pick this option.
One of the biggest causes for concern following any cosmetic procedure can be the response from others. You should undergo the surgery understanding that it is meant for your own happiness. Getting a procedure done to appease others can lead to considerable dissatisfaction.