According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, nearly 16 million cosmetic procedures were performed in the United States in 2015. About 2 million of these were surgeries, with the most common being breast augmentation, liposuction, nose reshaping, eyelid surgery, and tummy tucks. Nearly 50 percent of cosmetic procedures are performed on people aged 40-54, and more than 90 percent of patients are women.
As they pursue perfection, however, are people endangering their health? Cosmetic surgery is, after all, surgery, and there can be possible complications, mistakes, and negligence, including:
- Surgical errors
- Post-operative infections
- Negligent use of drugs
- Complications of anesthesia
- Unqualified, unskilled, or inexperienced surgeons
There are also some types of procedures that are riskier than others:
- Facial Reconstruction: The face has a high concentration of nerve endings. Nerve damage during craniofacial surgery can result in numbness, drooping, and loss of muscle control. Botched facial surgery can lead to blindness, inability to fully close the eyes, difficulty breathing, and even death.
- Tummy Tuck and Liposuction: Surgery on the abdomen is dangerous because this part of the body contains so many organs. Potential complications of tummy tucks include seroma (fluid collection), internal bleeding, and tissue necrosis. And, like any other surgery, these procedures carry the risk of infection and complications of anesthesia.
- Implants and Injections: Breast implants can rupture or migrate, butt implants can irritate the sciatic nerve, and unlicensed injections of silicone have been linked to patient deaths.
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery also lists some specific procedures that patients should think about twice before undergoing:
- Vampire facelift
- Laser liposuction
- Stem cell facelift
- Sculptra and Artefill
Cosmetic surgery is generally an elective procedure. As such, patients contemplating any procedure should carefully research both their surgeon as well as the risks of the specific surgery before choosing to go under the knife. They should also understand that results can vary and just because they don’t look like Angelina Jolie when the bandages come off does not mean the surgeon is to blame.
That said, serious injuries – even death – can result when the surgeon, surgical team, or hospital breaches the standard of care. If you have experienced complications as a result of cosmetic surgery, please contact us today to speak with a member of the Sommers Schwartz Medical Malpractice Litigation Group about your situation.