Patients at increased risk for side effects from plastic surgery include those who are overweight, have had a recent injury, or have ever had a disorder of the heart, lungs, or central nervous system. Individuals who have ever had cancer, genetic blood clotting disorders, or an ongoing severe infection are also at risk. Women who are taking hormone replacement therapy or who are taking or recently stopped taking birth control pills are also at risk.
Prior to undergoing plastic surgery, patients should understand the worst possible complications or side effects they may experience and consult with their healthcare provider on how they might handle these side effects.
Some medical professionals recommend consulting with a mental health professional prior to undergoing plastic surgery in order to prepare as much as possible for adverse effects that may occur.
Patients should be sure to follow the doctor's instructions for recovery after surgery because following these directions may decrease the likelihood of undesired side effects.
It is impossible to predict who will have undesired complications from plastic surgery. There is some degree of risk for each patient when undergoing any surgical procedure.
A 1997 survey by Morello et al. found that very serious complications as a result of plastic surgery occurred rarely (less than one half of one percent, or less than one in every 200 patients). Further, the risk of having a serious complication of plastic surgery performed at an accredited surgical office was the same as having a procedure performed at a hospital.
Additional clinical study is needed in this area before any conclusions can be made.