Plastic Surgery: Common Side Effects & Complications

Plastic surgery can improve your appearance but can cause complications like blood loss, infection and nerve damage.

Sushmita Sharma
Written by: Sushmita SharmaUpdated at: Jan 01, 2023 10:00 IST
Plastic Surgery: Common Side Effects & Complications

Plastic surgery is a cosmetic surgery that involves improving a person's appearance or restoring the normal appearance post-accident. It can be performed on any body part, such as the face, breast or buttocks. Read this article to learn about plastic surgery's common complications and side effects.

Potential Risks Of Plastic Surgery

1. Infection

One of the most common complications of plastic surgery is infection. There can be an infection at the incision site, which may worsen scarring and eventually lead to additional surgery. There are chances of getting infected with cellulitis after breast surgery. 

2. Blood Loss

Uncontrolled blood loss post-surgery can result in a drop in blood pressure and have severe effects. Blood loss can occur at the operation table during the surgery as well as internally after the procedure.

3. Nerve Damage

The numbness and tingling that occur after plastic surgery can be signs of nerve damage. In most cases, the nerve damage is temporary, however, it can also be permanent in some cases. Most women lose nipple sensation after breast augmentation.

Also Read: Here Are Some Unknown Myths And Facts About Plastic Surgery

4. Hematoma

A hematoma is a large painful bruise that appears to be filled with blood and is a risk factor in all surgeries. It is prevalent in people who underwent facelift surgery or among one to six per cent of people who had breast augmentation. This can also lead to another surgery to drain the blood from the hematoma. 

5. Seroma

It is caused by the accumulation of serum, or sterile body fluid, beneath the skin surface, which results in swelling and sometimes severe pain. Seromas can become infectious and need to be drained out with a needle. However, there are chances of recurrence. 

6. Organ Damage

There might be a risk of organ damage following plastic surgery, especially in the case of liposuction. A surgical probe can cause a puncture when it touches an internal organ during the procedure. It may be fatal if you don't undergo additional surgery to set these punctures.

7. Scarring

It is evident to have scars on your body after surgery. For instance, hypertrophic scarring is an abnormally red and thick raised scar. 

8. Complications Of Anaesthesia

General anaesthesia during surgery can result in complications, such as lung infections, stroke, and heart attacks.

Also Read: Plastic Surgery: Know How Social Media Creates Unrealistic Expectations

Who Is More Prone To Complications

The complications are more likely to occur in people with diabetes, HIV, weak immune system, poor circulation and obesity. You can also develop complications if you are a smoker.

Things You Should Know Post-Plastic Surgery

  • After surgery, you must follow a liquid diet for a few days. In some cases, the period of maintaining a liquid diet is longer.
  • Avoid chewing gums, consuming alcohol or smoking. This will slow down your healing process and lead to energy loss.
  • Herbal teas should be avoided for certain procedures.
  • Maintain a balanced diet, especially protein-rich, for faster recovery. 


There might be chances of dissatisfaction after plastic surgery, therefore, consult your surgeon about your realistic expectations. Give your body time to recover, and contact your doctor if you experience any complications.