The Hidden Dangers Of Cosmetic Surgery

By MaryAnn DePietro, CRT. May 7th 2016

Cosmetic surgery is intended to improve a physical aspect of your appearance. It sometimes can do more than just make you look better. In some cases, it improves confidence and self-esteem. Although there can be benefits to having a cosmetic procedure, there can also be many downsides. Cosmetic surgery is not without risks including the hidden dangers listed below.

Physical Complications

Physical complications can occur during and after cosmetic surgery. The likelihood of complications depends on the patient’s health and skill of the cosmetic surgeon. In addition, some complications are unique to the cosmetic procedure performed. For instance, women who undergo breast augmentation surgery can develop excess hardening and scar tissue around the implant, according to American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

It is also important to understand even healthy patients with a competent surgeon can develop complications, such as the following:

  • Burns: Cosmetic surgery procedures, which involve the use of lasers, have the potential to cause burns. Burns are caused by directing the laser at the skin too long. Often good surgical technique will reduce the risk of burns.
  • Pain: The intensity of pain following cosmetic surgery varies greatly among patients. The type of procedure done will also play a large role in the level of pain a person experiences. Although pain post-operatively is to be expected, in some instances, pain can continue after the initial healing period.
  • Infection: Anytime an incision is made in the skin, it creates a possible entrance for bacteria, which may lead to an infection. Maintaining a sterile environment during the surgical procedure is critical to reduce the chances of infections. Patients also need to follow their doctor’s instructions after surgery to reduce their risk.


Cosmetic surgery can be expensive. Depending on the type of procedure you want to have, it can run you thousands of dollars. The availability of credit cards and cosmetic surgery loans make it possible to have cosmetic surgery without having the money upfront. In addition, some surgeons allow patients to setup a payment plan. With all the payment options available, it is possible someone can undergo a procedure they really cannot afford, which can lead to financial problems.


One hidden danger of cosmetic surgery, which some people may not consider, is disappointment. People who are willing to undergo plastic surgery is usually not satisfied with an aspect of their appearance. Cosmetic surgery is intended to change what the person views as a physical flaw. In some cases, the results may not be what were hoped for, which can cause disappointment. Also, some people may go into cosmetic surgery thinking it will change their life, which may be unrealistic. After the procedure, some individuals may come to the realization that surgery did not make their life perfect or fix problems, which sometimes leads to depression.

Relationship Problems

You may not think improving your appearance would cause problems with relationships, but it can. From your friends, to co-workers and significant other, reactions may be surprising. For example, if your new look gets you extra attention, your partner may feel insecure, or friends may be jealous. Also, some people in your life, such as co-workers, may have varying opinions about cosmetic surgery, which can lead to problems.

Precautions To Take

You may not be able to prevent all complications and dangers associated with cosmetic surgery, but there are precautions to take to reduce your risk.

  • Make sure your cosmetic surgeon is qualified: One of the most important things you can do to reduce complications and dangers of cosmetic surgery is to use a qualified cosmetic surgeon. Look for a surgeon who is board certified in plastic or cosmetic surgery. Be sure the doctor is experienced in doing the type of procedure you are planning to have. Check with your state’s medical board to ensure there are not any complaints against the doctor.
  • Don’t allow anyone else to talk you into surgery: It should be your decision to have cosmetic surgery. No one else should talk you into the procedure. There is a big difference between having a partner support your decision, and pushing you to do a procedure.
  • Ask yourself if your expectations are realistic: Consider why you want to undergo surgery. Are you unhappy with your life and think cosmetic surgery will fix it? If that is the case, you may be undergoing surgery for the wrong reasons. Wanting to change something about your appearance and having realistic expectations is important before having the procedure.
  • Take time to think it over: Most people have something about their appearance they would like to change, but instead of rushing into the decision to have cosmetic surgery, take plenty of time to think it over. You may still decide to undergo surgery or you may come to the conclusion plastic surgery is not right for you.

In many cases, cosmetic surgery can improve a person’s appearance and make them feel better about themselves, but is it important to realize, there can also be dangers. Before any type of cosmetic surgery, it is important to weight the risks and potential complications with the possible benefits. Educating yourself on the possible hidden dangers is the first step.


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