5 Preventable Mistakes That Inexperienced Plastic Surgeons Make
- 17 April 2017
- Dr. Nidal (Nick) Masri
Plastic surgeons may be capable of working miracles for your appearance, but they are also humans prone to making mistakes.
According to a 10-year retrospective study published in the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive, and Aesthetic Surgery, as many as 25% of breast implant patients seek revision surgery because they are unhappy with the results of their breast augmentation surgery.
In fact, breast surgery revision is one of the most common revision surgeries that people ask for because inexperienced surgeons often make mistakes with this surgery. Aside from breast augmentation, many patients also seek to revise their liposuction and rhinoplasty results.
While dissatisfaction with the results is the number one reason for revision surgery, plastic surgeon mistakes come a close second.
Here are the most common mistakes committed by inexperienced plastic surgeons.
Most patients undergo plastic surgery in the most discreet way possible. Their goal is not to let the entire world know that they had a boob job done, but to look better without drawing too much attention to themselves. The more natural they look, the better.
Plastic surgeons should make sure that they minimize any evidence of a procedure as much as possible, but having huge and extensive scars runs counter to this goal. Any slight miscalculation on the part of the cosmetic surgeon may leave you with visible and painful scars that do not heal over time.
Nasty scars are quite common in arm and thigh lifts. Scars in these areas can develop into keloid scars, which are tough, heaped-up scars that rise above the skin’s surface. They are often irregularly shaped and tend to enlarge progressively. Unlike normal scars, keloid scars do not regress over time and may even require scar revision surgery.
While the extent of your scarring largely depends on your genes, the skill of your chosen plastic surgeon also plays a huge role. An experienced plastic surgeon certainly knows more about the incisions that produce the least visible scars than an inexperienced one.
Tiny nerves are always inevitably damaged when your skin is cut during plastic surgery, but the real trouble happens when major nerves are injured due to careless plastic surgery.
Statistics show that one out of every 1,000 facelift patients experiences irreversible nerve damage, leading to their inability to move parts of their face. In mild cases, nerve injury causes facial numbness and a tingling sensation. In worst cases, it leads to weakness and paralysis of facial muscles that can only be repaired by reconstructive surgery.
Those who get Botox treatments are also at risk for facial nerve damage as the Botulinum toxin can spread to neighboring muscles and cause temporary paralysis. Some patients even have difficulty blinking and closing their eyes because of the facial paralysis involved.
Again, choosing an experienced plastic surgeon can significantly decrease your risk of getting nerve injury, as he is knowledgeable about the locations of the different nerves in your body.
Most plastic surgeries are done under local anesthesia, but extensive surgeries – such as body lifts and breast reconstruction – require general anesthesia courtesy of a licensed anesthesiologist.
In some cases, a certified nurse anesthetist takes the place of an anesthesiologist as she is trained and qualified to administer anesthesia under the supervision of a surgeon.
Your anesthesiologist has to carefully measure the dosage of anesthetic you’re receiving throughout the procedure to prevent anesthesia overdose, which could lead to brain damage and respiratory distress.
Though anesthesia errors can be blamed more on anesthesiologists than plastic surgeons, your plastic surgeon still has a role in preventing such errors from happening.
For instance, they have to make sure that they are dealing with licensed and experienced anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists in the first place. Your surgeon should also study your medical records adequately to communicate any allergies and medication sensitivities to your anesthesiologist properly.
Procedures that require general anesthesia are best performed in hospitals for safety reasons. This way, you have immediate access to emergency services in case of complications. Make sure that your chosen plastic surgeon has hospital privileges in reputable and accredited hospitals.
Plastic surgeons often prescribe or halt certain medications before and after your plastic surgery to aid in your recovery process.
For instance, before surgery, your doctor may ask you to stop taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and other anticoagulant medications to prevent bleeding during surgery. After your operation, your plastic surgeon may prescribe painkillers to be taken round the clock to help manage pain and discomfort.
The medications to be prescribed may seem like a routine for the most experienced of surgeons, but amateurs might make the wrong prescription that could put you in danger and unnecessary suffering.
Death is not exactly common in plastic surgery, with only two patients dying out of 100,000 cosmetic procedures according to the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal.
But the alarming thing is that the probability of death increases to one in every 11,000 cosmetic procedures if you choose a non-board-certified plastic surgeon to operate on you.
Plastic surgery gone wrong can put your body in severe trauma, resulting in death. For example, you might get an overdose of general anesthesia, which can lead to comatose and respiratory failure. Your plastic surgeon may also give you fillers or implants that have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and might be toxic to your body.
It is also possible that you might develop complications during plastic surgery, like organ damage, pulmonary embolisms, infection, and excessive bleeding.
An experienced plastic surgeon can help lessen your risk of dying on the operating table as he knows how to handle emergency cases. Reputable plastic surgeons also do not use equipment and materials that are not proven safe and effective by numerous studies.
Though there is no guarantee that your chosen plastic surgeon will not make mistakes, your risks dramatically decrease when you select a board-certified plastic surgeon.