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Cosmetic Surgery - Types, Ideal Candidates, Risks, Pre-operative, and Post-operative Instructions

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Cosmetic surgery provides lasting and dramatic changes to your appearance. Read the article to know more about cosmetic surgery.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Ekansh Shekhar

Published At September 28, 2022
Reviewed AtApril 12, 2024


One of the trending talks in the town these days is cosmetic or plastic surgery. It is a physically demanding procedure to improve a person’s appearance, enhancing their self-esteem and self-confidence. However, like any other surgery, some risks associated with cosmetic surgery can be unpredictable unless the person has a medical history.

What Are the Different Types of Cosmetic Surgeries?

Cosmetic surgery is a procedure that contours the structure of the body or face to alter and enhance the person’s appearance.

Surgeries on the face are

  • Botox.

  • Cheek lift.

  • Facelift.

  • Brow lift.

  • Chemical peel.

  • Cosmetic dentistry.

  • Dermabrasion.

  • Rhinoplasty.

  • Facial fillers.

  • Laser hair removal.

Surgeries on the body are

Who Are Ideal Candidates for Cosmetic Surgery?

  • Individuals with a stable weight for 6 to 12 months for certain procedures.

  • Individuals with realistic expectations about what can be achieved through the surgery.

  • Individuals who can understand the medical risks, lifestyle changes, and expenses involved.

  • Individuals with no history of smoking.

  • Individuals with chronic medical conditions under control.

Who Is at Risk for Complications?

  • Diabetic patients.

  • HIV-affected individuals.

  • Individuals with a weak immune system.

  • Individuals with a less healthy diet and lifestyle choices.

  • Individuals with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or above.

What Are the Possible Risks Associated With Cosmetic Surgery?

There are certain risks associated with cosmetic surgery like other surgeries.

  • Infection: The common complication after surgery is an infection at the site. Among the individuals who undergo breast augmentation, 2 % to 4 % of the surgeries lead to infection. In severe cases, intravenous antibiotics are administered.

  • Hematoma: It is a painful bruise that appears like a pocket of blood. It most commonly occurs in facelift and breast augmentation surgery. The worst part is another surgery has to be carried out to drain the blood in the clot.

  • Nerve Damage: During the procedure, the nerve can be damaged or severed. This can lead to a tingling sensation and numbness after the surgery. In case the facial nerve is damaged, it causes the inability to make facial expressions and drooping of the eyes and mouth.

  • Necrosis: Tissue death can be caused by the surgery or by the issues arising after the surgery. In most cases, necrosis is minimal or completely absent because of the removal of dead cells by normal wound healing.

  • Seroma: It is a condition where blood pools beneath the skin's surface, eventually leading to swelling and pain. It can also become an infection in severe cases, which must be treated by drainage.

  • Blood Loss: Bleeding is common in any surgery, but in cosmetic surgery, bleeding can occur internally after the completion of the surgery. If there is excessive abnormal bleeding, it may lead to a decline in blood pressure leading to death.

  • Organ Damage: In procedures like liposuction, perforations are made in the body through which accidental trauma to the internal organs is possible. These perforations can be corrected only by additional surgery.

  • Pulmonary Embolism And Deep Vein Thrombosis: If an individual with a blood clot in the legs due to deep vein thrombosis undergoes cosmetic surgery, the blood clot in the legs travels to the lungs leading to pulmonary embolism.

  • Post-Anesthetic Complication: Some cosmetic procedures are done under general anesthesia. There are certainly rare, common, and less common complications they may lead to.

  • Rare Complications: Stroke, heart attack, lung infections, and death.

  • Common Complications: Waking up confused, disorientation, and shivering.

  • Least Common Complications: Gaining consciousness during the procedure.

  • Scarring: Cosmetic surgery itself is done to get a better appearance. But that surgery leading to a scar might make you feel irritated. The scars can appear red, thickened, and raised. But scars can be avoided if the surgeon’s instructions are followed properly after the surgery.

  • Poor Outcome And Dissatisfaction: The greatest fear of an individual undergoing cosmetic surgery is that the procedure fails to improve the appearance or if it makes the appearance worse than before. The individual gets dissatisfied only if the expectations are higher.

What Are the Basic Tips to Be Followed?

  • Make sure you choose the best hospital with specialized surgeons and facilities for the surgery.

  • Avoid hiding your medical history from the doctor. If the medical condition influences the procedure, it will end up in a mess.

  • After getting guidance from the surgeon, decide whether to opt for the surgery and whether it is effective to improve your appearance.

  • Get to know completely about the procedure, be it its benefits or side effects.

  • Never seek cosmetic surgery to please or impress someone.

  • Lower your expectations and let them be realistic.

  • Consider the financial need for the procedure beforehand, including the follow-ups.

  • Follow the pre-operative and post-operative instructions properly.

What Are the Pre-operative Instructions to Be Followed?

  • Two Days Before the Procedure: Avoid smoking. Avoid taking aspirin, large doses of Vitamin E, herbal supplements, and diet pills.

  • One Week Before the Surgery: Avoid alcohol intake. Report to the doctor if there are any signs of cold or infection.

  • Shower with an antibacterial soap on the day of surgery.

  • Do not apply any skincare products on the day of surgery.

  • Do not drink or overeat the night before the surgery.

What Are the Post-operative Instructions to Be Followed?

  • In the first 48 hours, avoid alcohol intake. Take rest, eat slowly, and chew food properly. Start with a liquid diet and gradually switch to a solid diet.

  • During recovery, take medications as directed by your physician. Take rest and avoid showering for at least three weeks. If there are any symptoms of pain and swelling, manage it with an ice pack.


An individual opting for cosmetic surgery should have a clear view of what will happen before, during, and after the procedure and should be ready to follow the post-operative instructions to obtain the best results as expected. The more realistic your expectations, the more satisfaction from the results.

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Dr. Ekansh Shekhar



cosmetic surgery
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