Plastic surgery procedures conducted by an experienced surgeon are, in most cases, safe. A 2018 study found that complications among plastic surgery patients are less than 1%. However, does that mean that you shouldn’t be aware of the potential complications that could potentially arise after you visit a San Francisco plastic surgeon? As a patient, you need as much information as possible before receiving treatment. This article explores the various health risks that plastic surgery procedures pose to patients.

Blood Loss

Patients must always expect some blood loss during plastic surgery procedures. Controlled blood loss rarely puts your life at risk. However, uncontrolled blood loss often leads to a decrease in blood pressure, increasing the risk of potentially deadly outcomes. Blood loss doesn’t only happen on the operating table. It also happens internally. Internal bleeding is fatal, especially if it’s not detected early and stopped.


Hematoma is a health risk that you’re likely to find in nearly all plastic surgery procedures. It occurs when blood collects under your skin and outside your blood vessels. You should note that hematoma isn’t a blood clot. Therefore, it’s not a serious health risk compared to blood clots in your veins. To treat hematoma, all a patient needs is to drain the pooling blood, which requires one to take another trip to the operating room. 


All plastic surgery procedures carry a risk of infection. And that’s despite the fact that surgeons and hospitals have many measures to reduce the risk of infection during and after an operation. After leaving the hospital, patients should take proper care of their wounds. And if the wound develops an infection, your physician should prescribe antibiotics to combat the infection.


Scarring is a normal part of a wound’s healing process. Therefore, it’s impossible not to be scared after a surgical operation. However, if you’re undergoing a facial surgical procedure, developing large scars defeats the purpose of the procedure. Luckily, for experienced surgeons, it’s possible to control the depth, size, and location of an incision. Such control makes it easier to make the resulting scarring less noticeable.  

Anesthesia Complications

Anesthesia is the medication used to help patients endure a painless surgical procedure by inducing unconsciousness. In some cases, the use of general anesthesia causes health complications. The most common complications include nausea, vomiting, shivering, confusion, and disorientation after waking up. It can also lead to serious medical complications like strokes, heart attacks, lung infections, and in extreme cases, death. Therefore, you must inform your physician if you’re allergic to general or local anesthesia.

Nerve Damage

There is always a potential for nerve damage after any surgical procedure. The most common sign of nerve damage after an operation is numbness and tingling. And in most cases, the nerve damage is temporary. However, if the symptoms don’t subside after a while, visit your physician for a checkup. There is always the risk of permanent nerve damage. 

Organ Damage

Some plastic surgery procedures like liposuction often damage patients’ internal organs. There is always a possibility for the surgical probe to puncture or perforate your internal organs. It’s also possible for your surgeon to accidentally knick one of your internal organs during a procedure. Repairing damage to your internal organs often requires additional injury. 

Blood Clots

When blood clots develop in your leg’s veins, they cause a medical condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). And if a part of the clot travels to your lungs, it causes pulmonary embolism (PE). Generally, it’s rare to suffer from DVT and PE after a plastic surgery procedure. However, DVT and PE are fatal if not treated early. 

Poor Surgical Results

Ending up disappointed after a plastic surgery procedure is a real possibility. It’s also the greatest fear for many exploring cosmetic surgery. There have been many cases where patients end up with horror results after visiting an inexperienced surgeon. However, under the guidance of an experienced plastic surgeon, most patients end up happy with the results of their surgery.


Seroma is a health risk similar to a hematoma that develops when lymphatic fluid pools under your injured skin. Seromas mainly occur after tummy tuck procedures. When the clear liquid collects at the injured part, it causes swelling, thus making the seroma resemble a large blister. If left for long, a seroma often becomes infected. Therefore, your physician should drain the seroma immediately with a needle and syringe to prevent infection.

Regarding your health, you should expect anything, especially after surgical procedures. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be proactive in protecting your health. Therefore, after your plastic surgery procedure, ensure you follow your surgeon’s instructions. You must also adhere to a healthy lifestyle to enable quick healing. And in case you have any concerns contact your physician immediately.