Plastic surgery complications can cause nerve damage, scarring, permanent disfigurement, severe injury, or even death. While most cosmetic surgeries do not cause problems, some surgeries have gone terribly wrong. Botched surgeries are often caused by defective medical devices, unqualified surgeons, and negligent follow-up care.
What Is Plastic Surgery?
Plastic surgery refers to a type of medicine in which doctors perform procedures to reconstruct or to restore different areas of the body. This type of surgery may be used following an injury such as a burn or as an elective procedure to obtain the desired outcome. Some people choose to undergo plastic surgery because they are unhappy with some aspect of their appearances such as the shape or size of their noses, chins, breasts, abdomens, thighs, and others. Doctors who perform plastic surgery should have additional certifications beyond their medical degree in plastic surgery.
Complications of Plastic Surgery
While a majority of plastic surgeries proceed without incident, these procedures can result in a number of complications. Patients should be aware of the risks before they undergo surgery so they can make informed decisions. The risks may depend on the specific type of surgery and where on the body it is performed. Complications include:
- Nerve damage
- Perforations of organs
- Seromas, hematomas, and blood loss
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Complications from anesthesia
Some people who undergo breast surgery experience nerve damage. They may suffer from a burning sensation or numbness that may be temporary or permanent. Others may be left with significant scarring and disfigurement that require additional surgeries to correct.
Seromas are fairly common after surgical procedures and frequently happen after tummy tucks. These occur when the body’s serum collects and pools under the skin’s surface. This can be painful and cause swelling. The seroma can also become infected and lead to further problems.
Hematomas, which are blood that pools under the skin, are very common after breast surgery or facelifts. Doctors may need to drain some of the excess blood that has pooled.
While all surgeries can result in scarring, some plastic surgeries that have gone wrong may leave the patients with thick, red scars. These scars may be disfiguring and may require additional surgeries to correct. Other issues such as excessive blood loss and problems with anesthesia may cause dangerous drops in blood pressure, coma, stroke, or death.
Understanding Plastic Surgery Risks
Some people may be at a higher risk of suffering complications from plastic surgery. People who smoke, are overweight or obese, and those who have other underlying medical conditions are more prone to problems. When doctors fail to inform their patients of the increased risks, they can be held liable if injuries occur.
In some cases, complications arise because medical mistakes are made by doctors and surgical staff members. Sometimes, defective medical devices cause complications. A medical malpractice attorney might review what happened to determine who is liable for injuries.
To reduce the risks of plastic surgery, people should thoroughly check the backgrounds of doctors and their credentials. They should check with the state’s licensing board to see if the doctors have any prior disciplinary records. Patients should also meet with the doctors in advance and make certain that they understand the risks involved and to be sure they are comfortable with the surgeons who will be performing their procedures. People should not be afraid to ask questions. They should be prepared to discuss any concerns they might have.
Plastic Surgery Horror Stories
Plastic surgery horror stories are often reported in the news. While these events are rare, they still do occur. In one case involving a doctor in Nebraska, the doctor performed a variety of complex cosmetic surgeries, including breast augmentations, eyelid lifts, liposuctions, and butt lifts even though he was not board certified in plastic surgery. The doctor was only board-certified in family medicine. He is now facing multiple lawsuits that were filed by a medical malpractice attorney on behalf of the patients for surgical mistakes and injuries that the doctor caused.
In another case in Florida, hundreds of women have filed lawsuits against a doctor who botched their breast augmentation surgeries. The women alleged that many of them were left with permanent burning sensations and pain. Others alleged that the doctor used implants that were too large for their bodies and that they were left with asymmetrical results, including nipples that pointed in unnatural directions.
Cosmetic surgery can help people improve their appearances. However, it is important for people to understand the risks and make sure their doctors have good reputations and the right credentials.