Prior to undergoing any plastic surgical procedure, patients should be aware of the risks and possible complications. Certain risks may be specific to the procedure you are undergoing; however, patients should be aware of the following general risks that are common to all surgical procedures. These are some possible risks associated with different surgeries, but Mr Ritz will discuss the specific risks relating to your procedure during your consultation.
Scarring is a normal consequence of incisions, but there is a risk that scars may be larger than expected. Patients should understand that incision scars will need time to heal and mature. While they typically become paler over time, some people may be more naturally susceptible to hypertrophic or keloid scars. If scar tissue is something that concerns you, ensure to discuss this with your surgeon before your procedure.
Infection is a potential complication that patients should be aware of. It occurs when germs infect the surgical wound, which often leads to redness, pain, delayed healing, swelling, or fever. If you suspect that a wound may be infected, it is important to contact a medical professional for treatment. Avoid infection in the first place by choosing a qualified surgeon for your procedure and following your aftercare instructions.
While a small amount of bleeding is normal and expected after surgery, excessive bleeding is a potential complication. In severe cases, excess bleeding after a surgical procedure could be life-threatening. Ensure that you speak with your surgeon about how much post-operative bleeding is normal and what you can do to reduce it during your recovery. If you experience excessive bleeding after surgery, ensure that you speak to your surgeon or another medical professional.
Post-operative pain will vary from person to person, depending on their particular surgery, pain tolerance, and their body’s response to surgery. Some amount of post-operative pain and discomfort is normal, and this can be managed with the use of compression garments, pain medication, and other pain management techniques. However, there is also a small risk of severe pain, which could be indicative of a complication. If you experience severe pain post-operatively, you should contact your surgeon for further advice.
Seroma is a potential complication after plastic surgery. It happens when there is a build-up of lymph fluid due to an injury, which accumulates under the skin. This can cause pain, discomfort, swelling, and a feeling of pressure. Although the complication is not usually severe, it may require treatment from a medical professional.
Every patient should speak to their surgeon about what outcomes they expect and discuss whether they are realistic. While an experienced surgeon will endeavour to satisfy your goals, there is always a risk that you may be unsatisfied with the cosmetic outcome. Unexpected cosmetic issues such as asymmetry or skin irregularities may occur, and therefore, you should thoroughly discuss your surgical goals to ensure you have realistic expectations.
While anaesthesia plays a large role in pain management during a surgical procedure, it also comes with certain risks. Adverse reactions to anaesthesia can include nausea, allergic reactions, blood pressure problems, fever, and respiratory problems. During surgery, your condition will be monitored so that any such adverse reactions can be promptly identified and managed.
Bruising and Swelling
After a surgical procedure, it is common to have some degree of bruising and swelling. However, prolonged bruising and swelling is a less common complication. There are things you can do to minimise this post-operatively, including using a compression garment, elevating the surgical site, using a cold compress, and getting plenty of rest. If you experience prolonged swelling or severe bruising, you should contact us for further guidance.
While rare, nerve damage is a potential complication that patients should be aware of. It can result from inadvertent injury to tissues and structures beneath the skin during surgery. While most instances of numbness are temporary and gradually resolve during recovery, there is a risk of permanent nerve damage and injury. The symptoms may include tingling sensations, numbness, or loss of feeling in the area. Ensure that you consult with your surgeon should you experience any unusual sensations post-operatively.
Although very rare, death is a risk associated with surgery. This could be due to many factors, including underlying health conditions or severe complications. Your surgeon and medical team have a responsibility to prioritise the health of their patients through medical screening and modern surgical practices. To help preserve your health and safety, it is important to disclose all relevant medical information to your surgeon before you undergo any surgical procedure.