Plastic surgery in the past was only for the rich and famous. Today it has become affordable to almost everyone who is not happy with some physical attribute. All surgeries carry risks and plastic surgery has those risks as well as its own unique risks.
Physical Side Effects
With plastic surgery there are some other risks you should be aware of prior to undergoing the knife.
- Nerve damage – with many surgeries there is a risk of numbness at the incision site following surgery. Permanent numbness is rare, but does occur and with breast augmentation the occurrence is more common.
- Tissue death – also known as necrosis is increased for those who smoke, many plastic surgeons will not perform elective surgeries on those who smoke because of the delay or impaired healing and the risks during anesthesia.
- Seroma – is very common. This is a collection of fluids under the skin. It is so common that many surgeons place drainage tubes in the incisions to attempt to prevent this.
- Excessive bleeding and bruising – Many plastic surgery procedures are skin deep where the capillaries are located. Men commonly have more capillaries in the facial region than women do and therefore generally experience more bruising when having facial surgeries. All patients should be aware that there will be bruising and swelling immediately following plastic surgery. You will look worse prior to seeing the improvement you hope to achieve.
- Unexpected scarring – there are many skilled plastic surgeons who are great at hiding scars. There are many who are not. The amount of scarring you have is determined by your body and the placement of incisions. Be certain you have a skilled surgeon who is aware of the way your body heals.
- Anesthesia and Medication reactions – Plastic surgery is generally an elective procedure unless done as reconstruction following trauma. The risks of reactions to anesthesia and medications used during the procedure are the same as with non elective surgeries.
Emotional and Psychosocial Side Effects
When changing your appearance sometimes the expectation is not the result. Many patients have unrealistic visions of what they will look like following plastic surgery. This can lead to depression, social isolation, repeat surgeries, anger, regret, family problems and destructive behaviors. Prior to any plastic surgery make certain to research and make informed decisions with regard to what you expect, how the change will affect not only yourself but those around you. Plastic surgery is a permanent procedure and your expectations should be realistic.
Addiction and BDD
It is not uncommon for someone who has had one plastic surgery to seek another; this accounts for about 2/3 of people who have plastic surgery. Many of these people will suffer from Body Dysmorphic Disorder.
Approximately 7-12% of those undergoing plastic surgery procedures are affected by Body Dysmorphic Disorder known as BDD. This disorder is characterized by the obsession of people to change their appearance to the point that their personal lives are significantly adversely affected. These people have a distorted image of their body and no amount of surgery will ever satisfy them. They require psychological help to help them with the way in which they view their body image.
June 7th, 2010
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