Risks

All surgeries, including cosmetic procedures, carry risk. Those with a history of cardiovascular disease, lung disease, diabetes or obesity have a higher risk of developing complications such as pneumonia, stroke, heart attack or blood clots in the legs or lungs. Smoking also increases risks and interferes with healing.

A meeting with the surgeon will include a discussion of these risks and others related to the patient's health history.

Possible complications for any surgical procedure include:

  • Complications related to anesthesia, including pneumonia, blood clots and, rarely, death
  • Infection at the incision site, which may worsen scarring and require additional surgery
  • Fluid build up under the skin
  • Mild bleeding, which may require another surgical procedure, or bleeding significant enough to require a transfusion
  • Obvious scarring or skin breakdown, which occurs when healing skin separates from healthy skin and must be removed surgically
  • Numbness and tingling from nerve damage, which may be permanent
July 19, 2017
References
  1. Neligan PC. Managing the cosmetic patient. In: Plastic Surgery. 3rd ed. London, England: Elsevier Saunders; 2013. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed April 28, 2017.
  2. Cosmetic procedure questions. American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. http://www.asds.net/PatientSafetyPreProcedureQuestionnaire.aspx. Accessed April 28, 2017.
  3. Questions to ask your plastic surgeon. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. https://www.plasticsurgery.org/patient-safety?sub=Questions+to+Ask+Your+Plastic+Surgeon. Accessed April 28, 2017.
  4. Neligan PC. Patient safety in plastic surgery. In: Plastic Surgery. 3rd ed. London, England: Elsevier Saunders; 2013. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed April 28, 2017.
  5. Quit smoking before your operation. American College of Surgeons. https://www.facs.org/education/patient-education/patient-resources/prepare/quit-smoking. Accessed April 28, 2017.
  6. Patient safety tips. American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. http://www.surgery.org/consumers/patient-safety/surgical-risks-overview. Accessed April 28, 2017.
  7. Tummy tuck guide. American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. http://www.americanboardcosmeticsurgery.org/procedure-learning-center/body/tummy-tuck-guide/. Accessed April 28, 2017.
  8. Ericksen WL1, Billick SB. Psychiatric issues in cosmetic plastic surgery. Psychiatry Quarterly. 2012;83:343.