Causes of Plastic Surgery Mishaps

Plastic Surgery Mishaps

Plastic surgery has become an obsession in the United States in the past 10 years. More than 13. 1 million procedures were performed in 2010 in the United States, up 2% from 2009 (American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 2010). Today’s society places a great deal of emphasis on physical appearance and people are striving to change their appearance, no matter what the cost. More and more people are seeking out plastic surgery as a means of improving their appearance. While most people are satisfied with their results, all surgery carries risks and there are several causes for plastic surgery to have bad outcomes.

Patients are going into plastic surgery expecting the fountain of youth effect but coming out with less than perfect results. New and better techniques are discovered all the time in the plastic surgery world. A surgeon should participate in training seminars and classes to ensure that they are up-to-date with all the current techniques every five to eight years. Injuries and complications can result if a surgeon is not properly trained and certified in the particular surgical field that he will be performing on a patient.

To reduce the chances of plastic surgery mistakes from happening it is important to only choose surgeons who are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Under experienced or poorly trained surgeons can cause patients to have disfiguring and irreversible damage. Obtain a list of the surgeons previous patients, contact them, and ask them about their experiences and satisfaction. If patients are not comfortable with a particular surgeon they need to find another doctor to perform their plastic surgery procedure.

A person’s first 3 instincts are usually right, always trust them. If a patient chooses a surgeon who is uneducated or under skilled, he or she is setting themselves up for a wide range of possible damages. Physical damages can range anywhere from scarring to deformations. Traumatizing results, pain and suffering, and a longer recovery time are some of the emotional damages a patient can encounter. If a patient is scarred, deformed, or has received the wrong procedure the financial damages of having to have additional or corrective procedures could be a lifelong financial burden.

Doctors who have poor judgment skills are another cause for plastic surgery mishaps to occur. When doctors have an overly aggressive approach by performing too many procedures in one surgery it can cause the patient’s body to go into shock. Doctors overly tightening the skin in plastic surgery procedures can give the patient a hard plastic look. Performing procedures that do not need to be done can cause the patient to have temporary nerve damage that can last up to two years. A severed nerve can cause numbness and permanent muscle damage. Poor patient selection is another bad judgment some doctors make.

The physical and mental health of patient must be examined and doctors must take into account any information obtained before any surgical procedure is performed. Patients who are depressed or mentally unstable should not have plastic surgery performed on them due to the fact that medications can affect their chemical balances in their brains. Patient’s expectations about the outcomes of the procedures are a huge factor in patient selection. If a patient has too high or unrealistic expectations of the outcome of plastic surgery it can cause mental and psychological mishaps. 4.

To avoid risks associated with some pre-existing conditions it is important for the surgeon to conduct a thorough pre operative examination. It is very important that the patient discuss his or her previous and current medical, physical, and mental health with the surgeon so that all necessary precautions can be taken to try to avoid any unforeseen situations. It is important to inform the doctor of any medications the patient is taking whether the medicine is over the counter or prescribed. Some medications interact with the anesthetics administered during the surgery process and can cause devastating consequences. If a patient has ever had any abnormal bleeding or clotting problems the surgeon needs to know.

Certain medications can be given to control bleeding during the surgery and promote clotting for quicker healing and to help reduce any scar tissue. Prior to undergoing plastic surgery it is important that the patient be in good physical health so that any risks are minimal. Patients who smoke should stop at least two weeks prior to having plastic surgery. The nicotine in cigarettes restricts blood flow and impairs the healing process. Smokers have a higher incidence of necrosis because there is decreased oxygen supply and blood vessel constriction.

Necrosis is the loss of skin and tissue resulting in ugly noticeable scars. Often smokers have a “smokers cough. ” Chronic coughing after plastic surgery can cause stitches to rip and incisions to open. If a patient’s incision opens after surgery the patient’s risks of infection increase 70% (Dr. Hoenig, 2004). Plastic surgery is not just for the rich and famous anymore. In 2010 more than half of Americans approved of plastic surgery and contemplated having some sort of plastic surgery procedure performed on them(American Board of Plastic Surgery, 2010).

The 5 pressure people feel to have the perfect body has resulted in some patients traveling overseas to seek out surgeons who charge bargain basement prices. As a result of this patients are having surgery performed by phony, unlicensed doctors who run their facilities with uncertified and under skilled personnel. The surgical equipment used at these facilities is substandard and outdated. By using these facilities patients are receiving no pre or post operative care. Patients are being released without any follow-up plans, and they are traveling home with no idea of the problems they may encounter.

Infections are very common and can result in irreversible tissue damage. Human error happens in hospitals, doctor’s offices, surgical facilities, and pharmacies every single day all over the world. Simple human errors are the most preventable of all plastic surgery mishaps (American Board of Plastic Surgery, 2010). Medication errors are the most common errors that occur in medical facilities. Medication intended for one patient is accidentally given to the wrong person or the wrong dosage of medicine is administered either pre op, during the surgical procedure, or post op. Incorrect medicine or the wrong medicine dosages can result in allergic reactions, poisoning, and sometimes death.

With the number of people who make up a surgical team and the large variety of surgical instruments that are used during plastic surgery, it is extremely critical that everyone stay focused and pay close attention to what is going on around them to ensure that nothing is left behind inside a patient. Examples of items that can be left behind in a patient are gauze, surgical equipment, and medical towels. Another human error that occurs in medical facilities is patient mix 6 ups; a patient going in for liposuction receives another patient’s face lift.

If the medical staff would check and double check the identity of every patient before anything is administered or any procedures are performed these horrible mishaps would never happen. Sometimes the reason for plastic surgery mishaps is just plain old bad luck. With absolutely no fault of anyone, sometimes bad things just happen. All surgery has its risks, and no one is 100% protected against these risks. Anytime the body is surgically opened up the chances of infection sky rocket. Infection can result in irreversible skin and tissue damage and in server cases the loss of body parts.

14. 7% of all surgical patients develop infections and 0. 6% result in death (Risks of Plastic Surgery, The Risk-Benefit Ratio, 2009). Previously undiagnosed medical conditions can result in the body having adverse reactions during the surgical procedure. Allergies to medications can occur at anytime in a person’s life. If the patient receives medication during a surgical procedure or post operative and develops an allergy to that medicine it can be critical. Allergic reactions to medications can cause the body to swell, the throat and esophagus to start to close up and the patients airway to be compromised resulting in death.

Everyone responds differently to medicines and to surgical procedures, all the risks should be discussed with the doctor before the patient makes any decisions to have a procedure performed on them or not. Educating yourself is the key when it comes to reducing plastic surgery mishaps. Meet with a few different doctors when choosing a plastic surgeon. Ask them about 7 their credentials and qualifications and find out what procedures they specialize in and make sure that their certificates are current. Research all doctor’s track record with the State Medical Board in the state he or she is licensed in and operating out of.

Regardless of the reasons, plastic surgery disasters can, and do happen and the results can be devastating. Permanent and horrific mishaps can dramatically change a patient’s life forever, but by properly educating yourself about the doctors and the procedures, bad outcomes can be rare.


  • Bhattacharyya, M. (2010). Plastic Surgery Disasters. Retrieved from http://www. buzzle. com
  • Kita, N. (2008). Why Bad Plastic Surgery Happens. Retrieved from http://www. about. com .
  • Hoenig, J. (2004). Bad Plastic Surgery/Plastic Surgery Mistakes. Retrieved from com (2009).
  • Cosmetic Surgery Complications. Retrieved from http://www. webmd. com Report of the 2010 Plastic Surgery Statistics. (2010).
  • American Society of Plastic Surgery, pp. 1-2 . Retrieved from http://www. smartplasticsurgery. com 2009).
  • Most Common Medical Mistakes. Retrieved from http://www. indiatoday. com (2007).
  • Complicatios of Surgery-The Risk-Benefit Ratio. Retrieved from http://www. medical-tourism-in-thailand. com  (2011).
  • American Societyof Plastic Surgeons Report of the 2010 Plastic Surgery Statistics. Retrieved from http://www. plasticsurgery. org.

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