10 of the most common complications associated with plastic surgery.

10 of the most common complications associated with plastic surgery.

10 of the most common complications associated with plastic surgery.


Cosmetic surgery cost Americans more than $6.5 billion in 2017. Procedures to alter our look are becoming more widespread, ranging from breast augmentation to eyelid surgery. These procedures, however, are not without risk.


Seroma is a disorder in which serum, or sterile bodily fluid, collects beneath the skin’s surface, causing swelling and occasionally pain. This can happen after any surgery, but it’s the most prevalent problem after a stomach tuck, with 15 to 30 percent of people experiencing it.

Seromas are frequently drained with a needle since they might become infectious. Although there is a potential of recurrence, this successfully removes them.

Blood loss

Blood loss is to be expected with any procedure. Uncontrolled blood loss, on the other hand, can cause a reduction in blood pressure, which can be fatal.

Blood loss can occur both on and off the operating table, as well as after surgery.


Though postoperative care includes steps to reduce the risk of infection, it remains one of the more common complications of plastic surgery.

For instance, infections occur in 1.1 to 2.5 percentTrusted Source of people who undergo breast augmentation.

The skin infection cellulitis may occur after surgery. In some cases, infections can be internal and severe, requiring intravenous (IV) antibiotics.


A hematoma is a blood pocket that looks like a huge, painful bruise. It happens in 1% of breast augmentation surgeries. It’s also the most prevalent problem following a facelift, affecting about 1% of patients. Males are more likely to develop it than females.

Nearly all procedures have the risk of hematoma. If the blood collection is substantial or expanding rapidly, more surgeries to drain the blood may be required. This may necessitate another operating room procedure and, in some cases, further anaesthesia.

Nerve damage

Many different types of surgical procedures have the potential to cause nerve injury. After plastic surgery, numbness and tingling are common side effects that can indicate nerve injury. Nerve injury is usually transitory, although it can also be permanent in some situations.

After breast augmentation surgery, the majority of women have a shift in sensitivity, and 15% experience permanent alterations in nipple sensation.

Deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a condition where blood clots form in deep veins, usually in the leg. When these clots break off and travel to the lungs, it’s known as pulmonary embolism (PE).

These complications are relatively uncommon, affecting only 0.09 percent of all patients undergoing plastic surgery. However, these clots can be fatal.

Abdominoplasty procedures have a slightly higher rate of DVT and PE, affecting just under 1 percent of patients. The risk of clots is 5 times higher for people having multiple procedures than it is for people having only one procedure.

Organ damage

Internal organs may be harmed during liposuction.

When the surgical probe comes into touch with internal organs, it might cause visceral perforations or punctures. Additional surgery may be required to repair these damage.

The perforations have the potential to be fatal.


Surgery typically results in some scarring. Since cosmetic surgery seeks to improve the way you look, scars can be particularly troubling.

Hypertrophic scarring, for instance, is an abnormally red and thick raised scar. Along with smooth, hard keloid scars, it occurs in 1.0 to 3.7 percent of tummy tucks.

General appearance dissatisfaction

The majority of people are happy with their postoperative results, and data suggests that the majority of women are happy with breast augmentation surgery. However, there’s a chance you’ll be disappointed with the results. Breast surgery patients may experience contouring or asymmetry issues, whereas facial surgery patients may just dislike the outcome.

Complications of anesthesia

Anesthesia is the use of medication to make you unconscious. It allows patients to undergo surgery without feeling the procedure.

General anesthesia can sometimes lead to complications. These include lung infections, stroke, heart attacks, and death. Anesthesia awareness, or waking up in the middle of surgery, is very rare but also possible.

More common anesthesia risks include:

  • shivering
  • nausea and vomiting
  • waking up confused and disoriented


Plastic surgery complications are uncommon in general. Complications occur in less than 1% of outpatient procedures, according to a 2018 assessment of over 25,000 cases.

Plastic surgery complications, like most operations, are more likely in some persons. Smokers, the elderly, and obese persons, for example, are more prone to difficulties.

By thoroughly verifying your doctor and their credentials, you can lower your chance of unfavorable side effects. You should also look at the hospital where your procedure will be performed.

Managing your expectations and reducing the chance of complications can also be accomplished by educating yourself about the surgery and its dangers, as well as addressing your concerns with your doctor.