Cosmetic surgery is a big industry in Australia. Demand has soared with more people as candidates for procedures such as liposuction, tummy tucks, and facelifts. A growing acceptance of the procedure and greater discretionary income has lead to this growth. In 2012, Australia outspent the U.S. in cosmetic surgery, with a total of $1 billion.
With so many Australians going under the knife (or injection needle), it’s important to be aware of the dangers associated with cosmetic surgery.
The most common dangers include general risks associated with any surgery. These include anesthesia complications including pneumonia, blood clots, and (though rarely), death. Bleeding – which may require a blood transfusion if severe – and infection are also risks. You will also have scars at the incision site(s), though if having a facelift or breast augmentation, there are ways to hide scars in the hairline and aerola, respectively.
Dissatisfaction – though many people are satisfied with their results, you run the risk of not being happy with your new face or body. Either your breasts aren’t the right size or you feel like your facelift makes you look like you have had work done, some patients feel their look isn’t perfect or didn’t achieve what they wanted it to. Some people also start to notice new problems after surgery. For example, after liposuction, fat may be eliminated from the stomach or thighs but if weight is gained again, could redistribute to the arms or buttocks. Some patients report having a facial surgery, such as rhinoplasty, and then noticing that their ears or lips don’t seem proportional.
Some patients experience tension or even a split with their partner following surgery. In addition to financial or emotional costs, some partners misunderstand the motives of cosmetic surgery – believing their partner is dissatisfied with the relationship or trying to attract someone else.
Recovery also tends to take longer than many patients expect. Most procedures take about 100 days for swelling and bruising to disappear and about 6 months to see final results. Additionally, 10-15% of facial plastic surgeries require a second operation to fine-tune the original job or fix a poor job from a bad doctor.
Finally, plastic surgery isn’t always permanent, particularly when dealing with anti-aging procedures, because you can’t stop time. In the case of liposuction or tummy tucks, if patients aren’t committed to diet and exercise, they will gain weight in other places.
When considering cosmetic surgery, it’s important to be aware of the dangers associated with the procedure and to think about how it will affect your relationship with yourself, your partner, and your wallet.