Any kind of surgery has some degree of risk due to the nature of our complex internal systems along with the precision required to achieve some of these surgeries. Although out of all kinds of surgery, plastic surgery and botox have some of the worst reputations for potential problems that can come during or after these procedures.
If you’ve ever known someone who has experienced a botched injection removal then you probably know it could be worse, but I believe it’s important to talk about the truth behind the risks in plastic surgery and botox.
Plastic surgery can be broken into two distinct types, reconstructive surgery and cosmetic surgery. The reasons either of these are pursued are often different in their roots, but achieve essentially the same symbiosis between physical and mental self-image. Therefore I believe the distinction between plastic surgery for reconstructive or cosmetic reasons is up to the individual, and the risks that come with them should be weighed against the benefits.
A common enough occurrence to almost be a household name, but perhaps the truth behind this scary sounding word can shine some light on why it is so common. A hematoma is simply a pocket of blood that resembles a large, painful bruise. They occur in around 1% of all breast augmentation procedures, and is also the most common complication after a facelift occurring at the same percentile. Hematomas are also more commonly seen in males than females. Treatment often includes additional operations to drain the blood under more dire circumstances.
Similar to a hematoma in its location on the body, seroma is a condition which occurs when sterile body fluid (serum) pools beneath the surface of the skin, resulting in swelling and sometimes pain. Also similar to a hematoma this can occur after any surgery, and it’s the most common complication following a abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), having a rate of occurrence at 15% to 30% in patients.
As they can become infected, they’re often drained with a needle which effectively removes them, although there is some chance of recurrence.
Although this is generally avoided through careful postoperative practices, infection is still one of the more common complications of plastic surgery, occurring in between 1.1% and 2.5% of people who go through breast augmentation. Infection can occur in any part of the body so whether you’re going for earlobe repair or breast reduction make sure you get the most professional level of medical assistance available.
As with all possible complications given so far, nerve damage can occur during almost any kind of surgical procedures. It’s not uncommon to feel some numbness and tingling after plastic surgery, and they can be an indication of nerve damage. More often than not nerve damage is temporary, although in some cases it can be permanent. To give an example of how it can manifest, after a rhinoplasty (nose job) some patients can experience some numbness around the upper lip or the skin of the nose, and while most of the time this does wear off, there are very rare cases where the nerve damage may be prolonged or permanent.
This is almost exclusively limited to such invasive procedures as liposuction, visceral perforations or punctures can occur when the surgical probe comes into contact with internal organs. Any damage done to organs in such a way will usually require additional surgery, but perforations can be fatal. If you’re considering getting liposuction make sure to do your due diligence with any surgeons or clinics that will be involved.
Although it’s another incredibly normal result of any kind of surgery, scarring is almost the exact opposite of what a patient wants when going in for cosmetic or reconstructive surgery. The most common scarring seen is hypertrophic scarring, which is a thick red raised scar. Avoiding this also falls on your own shoulders to find the best medical assistance possible for any kind of surgery.
The use of botulinum toxin (botox) is still quite new to the cosmetic world, although enough information has been gathered to inform us of the risks during and after the injections. The common side effects are somewhat similar to those listed above, and include but are not limited to: pain at the injection site, inflammation, infection, redness, bruising, bleeding and swelling. Some of these symptoms are indicative of an allergic reaction, of which other allergy symptoms are common such as itching, wheezing, rashes and dizziness. Tell your doctor immediately if you feel faint, dizzy, or have any breathing issues.
To avoid the long list of possible side effects given above, there are a few things you should remember before going in for your injections.
Always be sure your practitioner is highly experienced in giving botox injections and is also a respected medical professional. It’s not uncommon for salon stylists to offer botox administering, but it’s never appropriate as they don’t have the emergency equipment or medical knowledge if something went wrong. It’s also not uncommon for counterfeit botox solutions or poorly diluted solutions to be in the hands of those who don’t know exactly what they are handling or doing.
Before having any injections you must be completely open with your practitioner about any health problems you have, as well as all medications, vitamins, herbal preparations or any other supplements you take. The combination of any of these things with Botox can cause serious side effects. It’s especially important to mention injected antibiotics, muscle relaxants, allergy or cold medicines, and sleep medicines.
Follow your practitioner’s pre-injection and post-injection instructions very carefully, and be sure to report any side effects you’re feeling that are bothering you or haven’t stopped.
This article is in no way attempting to disencourage you from pursuing plastic surgery or botox, and should instead be treated as a guide in which the real risks are simply outlined. If you have any concerns about anything mentioned here be sure to do your research or ask a professional, and if you choose to pursue either botox or plastic surgery make sure to do your research into the clinic and medical professionals.
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