Plastic surgery is just that, surgery. And sometimes complications can occur due to the nature of the work that’s performed. Infections, nerve damage, and anesthesia issues are all side effects that some patients could experience. It’s sometimes challenging for surgeons to predict the risk factors in what seems like an otherwise healthy patient.
Fortunately, these types of problems are extremely uncommon. Plastic surgeons would rather you focus your time and due diligence on vetting out the doctor performing your surgery rather than reading internet chat forums and getting misinformed, but well-meaning advice.
7 Things to Know Before Having Surgery
Did you know that most states allow licensed physicians to perform plastic surgery, even if they weren’t specially trained in plastic surgery? This is why you should always ask if your surgeon is board-certified. If they aren’t you should look for a surgeon who is.
The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) is the organization that awards surgeons board certification. This means they’ve gone through an extensive five-year training program and have passed a very tough written and oral exam. If you decide to go with a surgeon who isn’t board-certified, there’s a very good chance you won’t be happy with the results.
While it’s common for many people to research their upcoming plastic surgery procedure on the internet, many surgeons will warn patients from taking advice from a random internet stranger who may or may not be a licensed medical professional.
When it comes to getting a second opinion, it’s best to seek out another board-certified plastic surgeon versus letting Dr. Google give you advice. You never know if the information you’re being given (even from a well-meaning internet friend) is medically correct or not. If you listen to the advice of someone on the internet over your surgeon, you could experience severe complications or potentially fatal consequences.
When you undergo the knife, the plastic surgeon is essentially creating an open wound that he or she will sew back up. Surgeons are highly trained in creating a sterile environment, and they use all best practices known to modern medicine. However, due to factors outside of their control, such as how healthy and strong the patient’s immune system is, there is always a risk of infection.
If you suffer from a pre-existing condition or think you might be at risk of an infection, it’s vital that you discuss this with your surgeon before undergoing the procedure. They may decide that the procedure is too risky, or they may prescribe you some antibiotics to lessen the chances of an infection forming.
Nerve damage is another risk that plastic surgery patients face when undergoing the knife. The face, breasts, and other parts of the body contain a lot of nerves right underneath the skin. Whenever it’s cut with a knife, nerves are immediately damaged. This is completely normal and an unpreventable side-effect of surgery. Most of the time the damage will reverse itself after a few months, or in some cases a few years.
Whenever a nerve is cut, cauterized, or stretched, there is a chance for damage to occur, even though the surgeon is providing a high standard of care. It’s hard to say who is at risk because humans are different and while one person may heal up just fine, another may suffer some form of nerve damage.
A certain number of people can get anesthesia complications. Although complications from anesthesia are infrequent, some patients can experience pneumonia, blood clots, or even die during the procedure.
This is why a licensed anesthesiologist needs to be present during the surgery. While it’s the job of the surgeon to perform the work, the anesthesiologist is tasked with administering the anesthesia, monitoring the vitals of the patient, and taking corrective action if complications arise.
A blood clot is where the blood thickens and prevents bleeding. This is usually a good thing for an open wound which helps slow the bleeding, but not so much if the blood clot forms inside your blood vessels. On occasion, a blood clot could travel up to your lungs and cause a condition called pulmonary embolism. Although this is a life-threatening condition, it is fortunately very rare.
Patients also need to have reasonable expectations. While plastic surgeons are highly skilled professionals, there are certain things they cannot do, such as making someone who is 60 years old look like they’re 18 again.
You should sit down with your plastic surgeon before the surgery to discuss the results. By setting your expectations appropriately, you’ll know what to expect and will get a good idea if the procedure you’re considering is even right for you.
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in Dallas
If you have any questions that weren’t answered in this blog post or would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Adams, give us a call at (214) 965-9885. He is a board-certified surgeon who will sit down with you, listen to your concerns, and discuss options to achieve the results you desire.