Risks & Complications of Surgery

Risks and Complications of Plastic Surgery

Dr Turner will cover your risks and possible complications of surgery in detail during your consultation as part of your informed consent process. He will also explain how he will do everything possible to manage and reduce your risks, however surgical complications can still occur.

Surgery is a partnership effort between a surgeon and patient – please do everything you can do to help get a great result. Follow his instructions closely – rest, eat well and allow adequate time for recovery in order to speed healing. Above all, don’t smoke!

Nine Things you can do to minimise your risks and potential complications of surgery

  1. Do NOT Smoke at all during the surgical journey – especially critical in the periods before and after surgery
  2. Read all your surgical documents and follow instructions of your surgeon precisely – rest & allow time to heal, wear your compression garments as instructed, avoid removing your own bandages or touching at the incision site until it has healed properly.
  3. Be accurate and honest about ALL your medications, supplements and vitamins that you are currently taking – Tell both Dr Turner and your anaesthetist what you are taking including any illicit drugs
  4. When providing your medical history give specific details about ANY past difficulties you have had with surgery, anaesthesia, hospital visits or healing – please be as honest and detailed as possible. Especially allergic reactions.
  5. Thorough pre-washing of your own body prior to surgery can help reduce skin bacteria and the risk of infection.
  6. Being in great physical health prior to surgery can help have a good recovery and get a better final result
  7. Successful surgical outcomes are the result of a number of considerations –  realistic surgical goals, realistic patient expectations, and a good knowledge and understanding of possible risks and complications.
  8. Prepare beforehand for a restful recovery – shop in advance, find support and avoid stress and strain.
  9. Follow all your medical instructions closely – especially during recovery

There are other specific risks for Breast Surgery, Body Surgery and Skin, Hand, Face & Nose Surgery – Dr Turner will cover in detail during your consultation.

Risks of Surgery & Potential Complications that may apply to ANY surgical procedure

GENERAL RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH SURGERY

• Postoperative infection
• Bleeding or hematoma
• Poor Scarring including keloid scars
• Blood clots in legs or lungs
• Revision surgery needed to correct or improve outcome

SPECIFIC RISKS OF SURGERY

General Anaesthesia

  • Anaesthetics are generally safe, but a range of complications can occur, from minor issues such as bruising at an injection site, or a sore throat from an anaesthetic tube, to major problems such as an allergic reaction to an anaesthetic, which may result in curtailing the surgery, an extended stay in the hospital, and can be life-threatening. Your specific concerns are best discussed with your anaesthetist. Please mention if you have had ANY past difficulty with surgery or anesthesia or any heart problems.

Pain

  • Minor post-operative pain may occur and pain medication will be provided. If severe pain occurs you should contact our rooms or the hospital ASAP.

Numbness / Nerve Damage

  • As sensory nerves may be damaged during a surgical procedure, you may feel some initial numbness in the surgical area – your normal sensory feelings should return after a short period but some more permanent nerve damage is a risk.

Internal Bleeding – Hematoma

  • All recognised bleeding points are controlled during surgery, but occasionally a blood vessel will start bleeding after wound closure. If this is severe, it may require a return to the operating theatre for correction.

Fluid Build-Up – Seroma

  • Sometimes following surgery, a collection of fluid may pool near the surgical site. If this occurs, a visit to the operating theatre or procedure room may be required to remove the seroma.

Allergic Reaction

  • You may have an unexpected allergic reaction – please let Dr Turner know if you have any allergies to the following; surgical tape, suture materials, glues, blood products, topical preparations or injected agents.

Infection

  • Everybody is exposed to bacteria (which can cause infection) every day. During surgery, steps are taken to minimise the development of infection including antibiotics, a sterile environment, and the use of antiseptic solutions. Despite these measures, very occasionally an infection may develop. Thorough pre-washing of your own body prior to surgery can reduce skin bacteria.

Wound Breakdown / Delayed Wound Healing Risks of Surgery

  • The presence or combination of thin or soft tissues, poor blood supply and infection may lead to wound breakdown. Every effort is made to avoid these situations. Smoking or Vaping will significantly delay your healing and increase the risk of wound breakdown. Please do NOT Smoke, use nicotine patches or Vape.

Scarring – Keloid Scars

  • Scars are an inevitable part of surgery as all wounds heal with scars. The nature and appearance of the scar vary from patient to patient and surgery to surgery. Most scars fade and become faint (but are always visible if you look hard enough), but some remain pink, thickened and lumpy – keloid scars. Scar treatments and scar revisions are available for unsightly and keloid scars.
  • Smoking or Vaping will significantly increase your risk of poor quality scars. Please do NOT Smoke, use nicotine patches or Vape.

Serious Complications of Surgery

Deep Vein Thrombosis – DVT

  • This is a blood clot in the deep veins of the body (usually the calf) and can occur with prolonged bed rest or localised compression that creates stasis (slow or stagnant blood flow). The possibility of DVT increases during and after surgery because, at this time, the blood becomes more ‘sticky’.
  • DVT’s are more common in high BMI patients and some families. This is related to their altered blood clotting mechanism. During and after surgery, precautions are taken to reduce the risk of this occurring.
  • Should a DVT occur, there is a risk that a pulmonary embolus may result. This serious development is produced when part or all of a thrombus (blood clot) breaks free and travels via the venous system to the lungs.

Heart Attack

  • This is very rare risk in a fit healthy patient, but the risk increases with age and the status of the patient’s cardiac health. If there is concern about an increased risk of a heart attack, tests and a referral to a cardiac specialist will be arranged.

What are the Risks and Potential Complications of Breast Surgery?

As with any surgery, it is important that you are fully informed of the potential risks and complications. While all care is taken to minimize these complications, they may and do occur despite the best medical care.

It is important that you carefully read and understand the potential risks and they will be discussed in further detail when you have your consultation with Dr Turner. Specific Risks & Complications for Breast Surgery can include:

•   Postoperative infection
•   Bleeding or haematoma
•   Poor Scarring including keloid scars
•   Loss of sensation to the nipple
•   Revision surgery to correct or improve the outcome
•   Inability to Breastfeed
•   Interference with breast imaging
•   Capsular Contraction
•   Breast implant malposition
•   Breast implant rotation
•   Visible rippling within the cleavage
•   Breast implant palpability
•   Animation deformities
•   Breast implant rupture
•   Breast asymmetry
•   Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL)

What are the Risks associated with Breast Reduction Surgery?

As with any surgery, it is important that you are fully informed of the potential risks associated with breast reduction surgery. While all care is taken to minimize these complications, they may and do occur despite the best medical care.

It is important that you carefully read and understand the potential risks and they will be discussed in further detail when you have your consultation with Dr Turner.

Specific Risks associated with Breast Reduction

• Partial or total loss of the nipple and/or areola
• Loss of sensation to the nipple
• Breast asymmetry
• Inability to breastfeeding
• Lumpiness or fat necrosis

What are the Risks associated with Breast Augmentation Surgery?

As with any surgery, it is important that you are fully informed of the potential risks and complications. While all care is taken to minimize these complications, they may and do occur despite the best medical care.

It is important that you carefully read and understand the potential risks and they will be discussed in further detail when you have your consultation with Dr Turner. Specific Risks & Complications for Breast Surgery can include:

For Hybrid Breast Augmentation – Risks can include:

  • Postoperative infection
  • Bleeding or haematoma
  • Graft failure / Fat Necrosis: Death of fat cells may occur.
  • Poor Scarring including keloid scars
  • Loss of sensation to the nipple and breast skin
  • Revision surgery to correct or improve the outcome
  • Inability to Breastfeed
  • Interference with breast imaging
  • Capsular Contraction
  • Breast implant malposition
  • Breast implant rotation
  • Animation deformities
  • Breast implant rupture
  • Breast asymmetry
  • Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL)

What are the Risks Associated with Breast Lift Surgery?

As with any surgery, it is important that you are fully informed of the potential risks and complications. While all care is taken to minimize these complications, they may and do occur despite the best medical care.

General Risks Associated with Breast Lift Surgery

• Wound breakdown and delayed healing
• Postoperative infection
• Bleeding or haematoma
• Poor Scarring including keloid scars
• Blood clots in legs or lungs
• Revision surgery to correct or improve outcome

Specific Risks Associated with Breast Lift Surgery

• Partial or total loss of the nipple and/or areola
• Loss of sensation to the nipple
• Breast asymmetry
• Inability to breastfeeding
• Lumpiness or fat necrosis

What are the Risks and Possible Complications of Body Surgery?

Whether it’s a body fat surgery or torso surgery, there are risks associated with the procedure such as:

  • Allergic reaction to anaesthesia such as skin rashes and difficulty breathing
  • Body weakness
  • Capsular contracture
  • Changes in skin sensation
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Hematoma
  • Haemorrhage
  • Increasing pain at the surgical site
  • Numbness in one or both sides of your body
  • Pus draining from your wound
  • Rippling of the implant
  • Severe swelling
  • Skin discolouration
  • Skin loss
  • Sutures that protrude through the skin
  • Unwanted scarring
  • Wound dehiscence

What are the Risks associated with Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck Surgery?

As well as general surgery risks – Here are the specific risks for Tummy Tuck / Abdominoplasty.

It is important that you carefully read and understand the potential risks and they will be discussed in further detail when you have your consultation with Dr Turner. Specific Risks & Complications for Tummy Surgery can include:

• Fluid accumulation or seroma formation
• Partial or total loss of the umbilicus
• Loss of sensation to the abdomen
• Wound breakdown and delayed healing
• Scar asymmetry
• Lumpiness or fat necrosis

What are the Risks associated with Liposuction Surgery?

As well as general surgery risks – Here are the specific risks for Liposuction. It is important that you carefully read and understand the potential risks and they will be discussed in further detail when you have your consultation with Dr Turner. Specific Risks & Complications for Lipo Surgery can include:

• Postoperative infection
• Bleeding or haematoma
• Poor Scarring including keloid scars
• Blood clots in legs or lungs
• Revision surgery to correct or improve the outcome
• Numbness to the overlying skin
• Asymmetry with over or under correction
• Skin irregularities, ripples or discolouration
• Fat embolism which can be life-threatening
• Lumpiness or fat necrosis
• Temporary or permanent pain
• Damage to deeper structures/organs

What are the Risks associated with Gynaecomastia Surgery

All plastic surgery carries some risk and should only be performed by a specialist plastic surgeon, preferably with lengthy experience, to minimise complications. In general, for male breast reduction, risks may include:

Risk Associated with Surgery

• Visible scars
• Infection
• Bleeding

Specific Risks Associated with Gynaecomastia

• Irregular chest contour
• Asymmetry
• Persistent tissue
• Nipple sensation changes
• Recurrent gynaecomastia

What are the Risks associated with Facelift Surgery?

Some specific risks of Facelift Surgery are more likely to occur than others:

•  Wound breakdown and delayed healing
•  Bleeding or hematoma
•  Postoperative infection
•  Poor Scarring including keloid scars
•  Revision surgery to correct or improve outcome
•  Hair loss / change in hair line position
•  Skin flap necrosis
•  Facial nerve injury with weakness
•  Numbness
•  Pigmentation changes
•  Asymmetry

What are the Risks associated with Neck Lift Surgery?

Some risks and complications of a neck rejuvenation surgery include:

  • Anesthetic risks
  • Bleeding from the incision site
  • Facial asymmetry
  • Accumulation of fluid/ Hematoma
  • Infection
  • Changes in skin sensation around the incision site
  • Irregularities and discoloration of the skin
  • Loss of skin
  • Sutures may produce irritation or pop up and need to be removed
  • Temporary or permanent loss of hair at the incision site
  • Prominent scarring
  • May require revision surgery

What are the Risks & Potential complications associated with Nose Surgery?

As well as general risks of Surgery (above) the specific risks associated with Rhinoplasty surgery can include

• Postoperative nose bleeds
• Cartilage grafts (donor sites – additional scars)
• Asymmetry
• Nasal septal perforation
• Nasal airway alterations
• Numbness
• Chronic pain

Useful Medical References

Risks of Plastic Surgery by Dr Scott Turner

Dr Turner and his Team are here to support you in your recovery and help avoid the risks & complications of surgery.

Dr Scott Turner FRACS (Plas) – Specialist Plastic Surgeon

Dr Scott J Turner has spent a lifetime acquiring the qualifications, education, training, and hands-on surgical experience to perform superior cosmetic plastic surgery to give you natural, beautiful results and the improved sense of well-being you want. He is one of the top Specialist Plastic Surgeons with a Breast and Body Surgery focus in New South Wales.

Achieving this personal goal requires not only in-depth knowledge of human anatomy and refined surgical techniques but an ongoing commitment to learning the latest procedures around the world. This is why Dr Turner regularly attends both local and international surgeon meetings – discussing these advances with the leaders around the world in order to offer you the most natural, effective and safest surgical procedures.

Dr Turner and his highly trained staff will do everything to ensure that you are fully informed, while providing exceptional, world-class cosmetic plastic surgery, in a personal and caring environment.

Next Steps

Always Do Your Research

  • Download our Procedure Guides to find out more about your surgery
  • Please read our website pages and Blogs to learn more about your intended procedure

Do you need a Medical Referral to see Dr Turner?

  • A medical referral is helpful but NOT essential for purely cosmetic consultations.
  • Please obtain a medical referral from your GP or Specialist if you want a consultation for an MBS item number surgery.
  • Please note that your Medicare Rebates will NOT be claimable without a valid recent Medical Referral

Making The Most Of Your Consultation with Dr Turner

  • Please arrive slightly early for your in-person consultation with Dr Turner
  • You are welcome to bring a friend or relative to help consider the information and discuss your options
  • Please be aware you may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simpler clothes
  • Ensure you also take a lot of notes during the consultation and thoroughly examine all the documents provided

Want more information before scheduling your consultation?

How to Book Your Consultation with Dr Turner

  • You can book your initial consultation with Dr Scott Turner by paying the $350 cosmetic consultation fee in advance – when you make your appointment.

Contact us or call on  1300 641 199  to arrange your consultation in Sydney or Newcastle. Email us for more information:  [email protected]