Risks and Complications of Cosmetic Surgery

General Risks & Complications of Cosmetic Surgery at Prèface Cosmetic.


Undergoing cosmetic surgery requires serious consideration. All cosmetic surgery is considered invasive and carries risks. Even non-surgical cosmetic procedures carry their own inherent risks


Each procedure & treatments performed at Prèface Cosmetic is subject to its own specific risks and complications. This page sets out general risks and potential complications that could potentially occur across a number of procedures.


Patients should be aware of these risks when considering cosmetic surgery or treatment.

Undesirable Cosmetic Outcome:

Cosmetic surgery, like any medical procedure, carries the risk of undesirable outcomes. Despite the advancements in surgical techniques and technologies, complications can still occur. These can include but are not limited to unsatisfactory aesthetic results, asymmetry, scarring, wound healing issues, infection, nerve damage, blood clots, seroma, haematoma formation, blindness & death.



Most sutures dissolve over 6-8 weeks or are generally removed between 1-4 weeks post surgery.



All surgery carries risk of scar formation, however this is a rare occurrence. Risk can often be minimalised by meticulous surgical technique. Post surgical scar formation usually settles of its own accord with time, sometimes with the aid of massage and silicon based anti scar ointment. Rarely, if scars persist after 3 months they can be injected with steroids or antimetabolites, or treated with laser or even surgically excised



This is very rare post-operatively however Dr Hollenbach will prescribe antibiotic tablets and an antibiotic ointment that are to be used during the peri-operative period.


Nerve Damage:

Nerve damage is a potential risk associated with certain cosmetic surgery procedures. During surgery, nerves can be inadvertently injured or stretched, leading to temporary or, in rare cases, permanent nerve damage. The risk of nerve damage can vary depending on the specific procedure being performed.


Bruising & Swelling:

It is expected that following most surgery there will be some bruising due to bleeding, very rarely is the bruising excessive. The bruising usually resolves spontaneously. Dr Hollenbach will advise you as to the care required to prevent bruising and swelling. Anti bruising cream or ointment can be prescribed


Haematomas & Bleeding:

Certain cosmetic surgery is associated with haematomas. If occurring, these can take a few weeks to settle down but this again is not very common. Dr Hollenbach will advise the importance of stopping blood thinners prior to surgery and also any herbal medications that may exacerbate bleeding.



Seroma is a potential risk associated with cosmetic surgery procedures, particularly those involving large tissue dissection or removal. A seroma is a pocket of fluid that can accumulate beneath the skin at the surgical site. While it is a relatively common occurrence, it can cause discomfort, delay healing, and, in some cases, lead to complications.


Anaesthetic Complications:

Anaesthetic complications can occur in cosmetic surgery, just like any other surgical procedure. While these risks are relatively rare, it’s important to be aware of them. These include allergic reactions, adverse drug reactions, respiratory problems, nausea & vomiting, aspiration, cardiovascular complications & delayed emergence. It’s crucial to note that the risk of these complications can be minimised through careful pre-operative assessment, proper monitoring during the procedure, and the expertise of the anaesthesia team.


Post-operative asymmetry:

It is difficult to guarantee absolute symmetry post-operatively as asymmetry is almost always present prior to surgery. Dr Hollenbach will discuss this with you in more detail.


Pain & Recovery:

Patient recovery varies between patients. Each person heals differently, each has its own individual pain threshold and will therefore experience varying recovery times for different activities.



Any surgery or non surgical procedures around the eyes carries a small but real risk of blindness and needs to be discussed at length with Dr. Hollenbach.



All surgery carries a risk of death. Although the risk of death is relatively low in cosmetic surgery, it is not entirely absent.

Please contact us if you have questions.
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