Side Effects of Plastic Surgery Plastic surgery, like most of medicine, was a work in progress for centuries. Now people are paying top dollar to modify their body, everything from their face to their stomach to even their buttocks. The question one must consider before making a decision to change physically is, are the side effects worth it? Under going plastic surgery can open-doors for bacterial or viral infections, allergic reactions from medications to result in unwanted scars, irreversible nerve damage, internal bleeding, and death of the skin due to hematomas, and necrosis.
So many people all around the world are turning to plastic surgery to reconstruct or alter their bodies without knowing the harmful, sometimes deadly side effects. Many people think just because they are getting one type of plastic surgery and not the other, they are less likely to acquire any of the side effects; they are wrong. No matter if one is going to get liposuction, a tummy tuck, breast implants, face-lifts, or a general body lifting procedure, they are exposing their body to all the harmful side effects.
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In order for a plastic surgeon to start a procedure, they must first make a point of entry to the inside of the body better known as an incision. When the skin is cut, it is automatically exposed to thousands of airborne bacteria, and viral pathogens (more commonly known as germs). An infection is a harmful colonization of foreign organisms that uses the host’s (skin) resources to multiply and interferes with normal functioning of the host. This process can potentially cause chronic wounds and gangrene.
Not to mention the bacteria that one could contract from the tools used for the surgery that might have not been properly cleaned or sterilized. No matter how good or how much education a plastic surgeon could have received, there is always a possibility for errors. A cut made within the incision, whether intentional, or not can be left without being properly closed. This can result in internal bleeding as well as infections. Same or more serious results could happen if tools such as a scalpel, which are normally used in surgery procedures, are left inside the patient’s body.
If the patient after the surgery were to make an abrupt movement, a nerve, artery, or organ could be severely damaged. Nerve damage, another major risk of plastic surgery, can lead to permanent loss of feeling. While the surgery is taking place the surgeon can accidentally hit a motor or sensory nerve and the damage could be irreversible. Motor nerves pass along signals from the brain, then spinal cord and then to the muscles to control movements and act ions. The sensory nerves relay information to the spinal cord and brain from the skin and muscle to process the feeling of pain.
A nerve can also be bruised which causes an insane amount of discomfort that cannot be relieved by prescription medicine. Nerve pain can be felt in any other part of the body not necessarily in the area where it was initially bruised. Damage to the motor and sensory nerves can cause fasciculation (twitching), paralysis, and lack of positional awareness in some patients. If nerve damage occurs one can be looking at another costly surgery to only hope that the damage caused to the nerve can be reversed.
Even though a damaged nerve could possibly repair itself, in extreme cases, if the nerve itself has internal disruption of the architecture then it cannot regenerate. Nerve damage after surgery can also result in neuropathic pain, which is generally a severe burning pain. Allergic reactions to the anesthesia given in a procedure of plastic surgery can be a harmful side effect along with the other pain medication prescribed. Anesthesia is commonly used in surgery but if not measured properly it can lead to respiratory failure and death.
Some patients have reported high fever and hives, which can stop oxygen from properly flowing through the body. The pain medication provided after the surgery like Ultracet, Tylenol with codeine, Percocet, Darvocet, and OxyContin, can put a person at risk of addiction, abdominal pains, chronic nausea and vomiting, weakness, headaches, itching, shortness of breath, diarrhea, and excessive sweating. Bunton (2009) stated that, scarring is another unwanted risk of having plastic surgery. Sometimes incisions do not heal properly, and the skin evelops a thick edge and granular tissue. This is one of the main reasons; plastic surgeons try to make incisions in places where any scars that develop will be less noticeable as it heals. In some cases, scarring is mild, and will become more unnoticeable as time goes by, while in more than a few cases, scarring is very noticeable, and permanent. Other unsatisfactory results that can come with scarring are blood clots called hematomas, skin necrosis and toxic shock syndrome. Our body’s natural instinct is to heal and protect.
Sometimes the protection of our natural defenses can cause us harm if not taken care of as soon as possible. Hematomas, which is one of our many defenses, is a collection of blood outside the blood vessels, generally caused by internal bleeding. In most cases the body creates sacs of blood (blood clots) to keep internal bleeding to a minimum. Blood clots usually disappear with no certain time frame but could also continue to grow and would need to be surgically removed before they erupt. If a hematoma happens to form on a joint, it could reduce mobility, and present the same symptoms as a fracture.
If the top layer of the patient’s skin does not heal properly after surgery, necrosis can occur. Necrosis of the skin is the premature death of cells and living tissue. Since the dead cells caused by necrosis will not be able to send chemical signals to ones immune system, it will prevent nearby phagocytes from locating, and eating the dead cells. This leads to build up of dead tissue at the site of cell death and must be surgically removed. Rare strains of bacteria, not yet identified, could release harmful toxins into the bloodstream causing toxic shock syndrome.
That type of bacterial poison can over stimulate the immune system, which causes ones body to work harder as well as develop rash, low blood pressure and death. Just by knowing that the top layer of ones skin could die, have permanent nerve damage, get an allergic reaction to the anesthesia and possibly never wake up should be enough reasons to reconsider the decision to have plastic surgery. It is our duty to take the best care of our bodies and protect them no matter how it looks. After all, it is the temple that holds our mind, and soul; why take any chances?
References Bunton, Rhonda. (2009). Risks of Plastic Surgery. Ehow. Retrieved July 15, 2009, from www. ehow. com Cloe, A. (n. d. ). Symptoms of Nerve Damage After Surgery. Ehow. Retrieved July 14, 2009, from www. ehow. com Hamel, G. (n. d. ). Serious Side Effects of Plastic Surgery. Ehow. Retrieved July 14, 2009, from www. ehow. com Marcus, M. (2007). Ten Plastic Surgery Risks You Need To Know. Forbes. Retrieved July 14, 2009, from www. forbes. com Pakhare, J. (2007). Risks and Dangers of Plastic Surgery. Buzzle. Retrieved July 14, 2009, from www. buzzle. com