Infection, Scaring and Death

Top 10 Risks of having Cosmetic Surgery according to MSN Arabia.

’1. Scarring: Scarring is an issue and whilst every effort is made to minimise them they do still occur. This is more of a problem with ethnic minorities who, because of their darker skins are prone to thicker, raised scars or ‘keloid’ scars.

2. Health Status: If you are in less than perfect health then there will be increased risks during surgery. If you have a history of heart disease or are overweight then you are at a greater risk of complications from a general anaesthetic. These complications can take the form of a stroke due to raised blood pressure or an abnormal heart rhythm. However, these are still rare.

3. Infection: The risk of infection after cosmetic surgery is less than 1% and antibiotics reduce this risk dramatically. However, if infection does occur, it is very serious. People who smoke, take steroids or have certain vascular conditions are at greater risk. The longer your surgery lasts and the more blood you lose, the more likely you are to have an infection.

4. Excessive or unexpected bleeding (hemorrhage or hematoma):  Bleeding is pretty regular phenomenon for few hours following surgery and can sometimes results into complications. Blood clotting and its accumulation under the skin can result in a condition called hematoma which will be firm in appearance and feel, and the color of overlaying skin may change to blue or purple. The area experiences a characteristic pains but pain gets reduced gradually once our body’s’ own anti clotting mechanism starts addressing the specific area and reabsorbs the accumulated blood.

5. Necrosis: It is a death of tissues due to insufficient supply of oxygen to the operated area. The risk is very rare in normal cosmetic surgeries but in plastic surgeries involving face lifts, breast reductions, tummy tucks, there is a possibility of Necrosis. It increases with sudden inflammation. Smokers are very prone to this possibility as blood vessel constriction and relatively less oxygen supply. It is generally treated in early stages by hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

6. Anaesthesia risks: (including shock, respiratory failure, drug or allergic reactions, cardiac arrest, coma, death)- risks due to use of anaesthesia are very rare but nevertheless its hazards if occur are still there. The risks depend on the factors like healthiness and seriousness of surgery. Nausea is a common feature. Sore throat is also commonly experienced risk. The total risk factor of this type is generally very rare.

7. Paralysis or less severe nerve damage: In very rare, extreme cases nerve damage can occur characterised by numbness and tingling sensation. Generally the nerve damage can last not more than 1 year. Weakness or paralysis of certain muscles may be experienced if a nerve related to muscle movement is impaired. It can be treated with reconstructive surgery.

8. Unhealthy personal habits: Cigarette smoking is our biggest enemy. In face and neck lifting particularly, where large areas of skin are shifted from one location to another, the patient carries great risks for skin breakdown, lack of healing, infection and scarring if they continue to smoke at the time of surgery. Also, depending on the procedure, the smoking may add only a minor risk. However, if a patient has significant liver dysfunction, perhaps because of a long history of drinking or drug ingestion, then it is no-go for anaesthesia.

9. Need for secondary surgeries/dissatisfaction with results: Not every surgery is successful, and unlike most ‘medically necessary’ surgery, the success of plastic surgery is quite subjective. Unsatisfactory aesthetic results (including contour irregularities, asymmetry, excessive or unfavourable scarring, etc.) can be disheartening or even devastating for some patients. Worse yet, the unluckiest of patients can be left with persistent pain, damage to vital tissues, or even nerve damage/localised paralysis.

10. Psychological and Social risk: The potential adverse psychological and social effects of plastic surgery have a lot to do with a patient’s pre-op expectations, and his or her pre-op mental and emotional state. It’s important to understand that while plastic surgery can bring positive rewards, it will not change your life, your problems, or your relationships. It is also important to understand that there is no such thing as physical ‘perfection’.’


These are just some of the complications that can come from having this kind of surgery but there are a number of cases where the patient has suffered greatly, for example losing hands and arms, some of these unfortunate people have even died as a result of unsuccessful procedures.

I am not one to usually buy glossy mags but since doing this project I have bought a number of different ones that have featured cosmetic surgery in both a good and bad light. One magazine ‘Reveal’ featured an article about Kim Kardashian who has spent thousands on numerous operations to enhance her behind. The article did not praise the celebrity but almost took the mick out of her.

The two page spread had a small section at the end that featured normal people who have has this surgery, one woman lost became an amputee as a result. I have searched this story on the internet and it turns out it has been covered by a number of different sources.

The victim April Brown went to a back alley surgery to see an unlicensed practitioner where she received injections into her buttocks. The woman suffered life threatening infections after she had the silicone implants to ‘improve’ her appearance. Of course it is easy to say that it’s her own fault for going to such a place and not one that is well established and licensed but there a thousands of cases where people have had this and worse happen when they have had these operations done by some-what successful doctors.

Infection seems to be a very common problem that arises after any surgery, so how could I portray this in a doll?

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