Plastic surgery procedures are nothing new. In fact, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported for 2014 that 15.6 million cosmetic procedures, including minimally-invasive and surgical, were performed in the U.S. — a 3% increase since 2013. Additionally, 5.8 million reconstructive surgery procedures were performed in 2013, up 1% the following year. Despite the risks that come with any surgery, some plastic surgery procedures are more risky than others, especially those involving multiple areas of the body or surgery on very complex or sensitive areas. Here is a look at three plastic surgery procedures that put you at the most substantial risk of harm if you have them done.
1. Body lift
The body lift is among the riskiest of plastic surgeries and is a prime example of multiple surgeries being performed at once, which results in greater risk. The body lift involves lifting the belly, thighs, buttock, and genitals all at once to improve the shape and tone of the underlying tissue that supports fat and skin. A body lift benefits those who have lost a lot of weight by removing excess sagging fat and skin that can improve a dimpled, irregular skin surface, known as cellulite.
One of the biggest concerns of the procedure is the risk associated with extended time under general anesthesia. The longer a patient is under, the greater the risk for cardiovascular complications and the longer the recovery period. Phillip Haeck, M.D., a board-certified plastic surgeon in Seattle and chairman of the ASPS Patient Safety Committee, tells New Image that while there isn’t a time limit per se, being under anesthesia for longer than five to seven hours can bring on an increased rick for recovery — specifically when two major invasive procedures, like liposuction and abdominoplasty, are combined.
Some tend to think of liposuction, or “lipo,” as a quick fix that can easily substitute proper diet and exercise — but they are very wrong. Liposuction reshapes and slims different areas of the body by removing excess fat depositions while improving your body contours and proportion. The procedure may be used to reduce localized fat deposits of the abdomen and waist, thighs, chest area, hips, buttocks, and so on.
It’s yet another risky plastic surgery procedure that can cause some serious complications, such as systemic infections, perforation in the stomach wall, blood clots, and fat clogs in the lungs. You also run the risk of having uneven, bumpy skin after surgery. It can be performed with other plastic surgery procedures as well, such as a tummy tuck, which carries its own risks.
3. Facial reconstruction surgeries (especially those involving the jaw)
Facial reconstructive surgeries usually involve several areas being treated at once and are very complex procedures. If celebrities are any indication, extreme facial procedures can have a dramatic impact on one’s appearance — and not always in a good way. While some reconstruction procedures are elective, meaning that the choice to have them is more for vanity reasons, some are performed after a trauma, surgery, or illness that can leave a person malformed. The face can be affected in appearance and function and expert surgeons can rebuild major structures of the face and help to reshape them as closely as possible to one’s original appearance.
Some reconstructive procedures include facial reanimation, nose reconstruction, skull base, and facial trauma treatment to name a few, but one of the more dangerous is surgery involving the jaw. It’s called orthognathic surgery and is particularly delicate because several important blood vessels sit below the jawbone.
Before you have any procedure done, make sure you do your research to make sure the surgeon is certified, and be aware of the risks of having surgery.