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Plastic Surgery Risks & Complications
Complications from plastic surgery often occur because a clinic has failed to conduct a thorough medical consultation with a patient. It is particularly important that allergies are identified. Many people are allergic to lidocaine contained in local and general anaesthetics for example, and an adverse reaction may cause blood poisoning and cardiac arrest in extreme circumstances. Pre-existing medical conditions must also be taken into consideration, as those with heart and lung problems, among others, will not be suitable candidates for invasive plastic surgery. Certain medications, including contraceptives and aspirin should also be avoided.
Plastic Surgery - Nerve Damage
Damage to nerves during surgery may cause permanent loss of movement and sensation, or uncontrollable movements, such as facial ticks. During surgery in the region of the eye there is a risk of damage to the optic nerve, which can cause temporary or permanent blindness. Blood vessels, muscles, tendons and internal organs may all be injured during different kinds of plastic surgery. During a rhinoplasty (nose surgery) operation, damage to blood vessels may cause permanent discolouration of the nose. A surgeon performing a tummy tuck may make an error and pierce the bowel. Each type of plastic surgery therefore has specific risks of surgical error attached to it.
Plastic Surgery - Undesirable Results
Undesirable results including lumps, scars and asymmetry may be disfiguring, and the perception of deformity can be severely damaging emotionally. Otherwise patients may be simply dissatisfied, believing that their surgeon has failed to match their expectations with reality. We have represented clients whose relationships have broken down irretrievably following botched plastic surgery. Others have suffered from loss of self-esteem and depression. Pain and suffering is not merely physical therefore, as the emotional trauma caused by poor results from plastic surgery can be even more damaging in individual circumstances.
Plastic Surgery - Functional Damage
Plastic surgery procedures may cause both functional and cosmetic damage which will require further surgery to correct. During eyelid surgery for example, the removal of excessive muscle can cause the eyelid to droop, a condition known as 'lazy eye'. During a liposuction operation a surgeon may remove too much fat and tissue, which may result in serious medical complications, as well as unsatisfactory cosmetic results. Uneven repositioning of the nipples following breast augmentation and reduction operations is another common complaint. Even when such errors are reversible, injured parties will still often require multiple, costly corrective procedures.
Plastic Surgery - Blood Pressure & Other Complications
It is also essential that a patient's blood pressure is closely monitored during a plastic surgery operation, as dramatic falls can cause both strokes and heart attacks. Anaesthetic lowers the blood pressure initially, and excessive bleeding during surgery may make it fall to dangerous levels. There is also the risk of blood clots forming, and this can have particularly severe consequences if the clot moves to the legs, or to internal organs such as the heart and lungs. Complications of this kind emphasise the need for clinics to have well-equipped crash units on hand to deal with emergencies. They also reflect the fundamental importance of surgical skill in plastic surgery operations.
Other possible risks involved in plastic surgery include infections developing, either from bacteria on unsterilised equipment, or afterwards during the healing process. Patches of skin may suffer necrosis (skin death) if the flow of blood to them is interrupted. Many rarer risks and complications also exist, and it is crucially important that those injured by plastic surgery speak to a specialist firm of solicitors who fully understand what are often complicated medical issues.
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