Risks and Complications
When you are considering any facial cosmetic surgery procedure, we know you have many questions about safety and risks. While facial cosmetic surgery complications are extremely rare, there are some risks you should be aware of, including some which can occur during recovery. While this page does not discuss all the risks and complications which may be associated with facial cosmetic surgery, it does address a few of the more common ones.
Many patients are unaware of how much risk smoking adds to any surgical procedure. Smoking creates a condition called vasoconstriction, the constriction of the blood cells which inhibits the flow of blood and can create complications during the recovery period after a procedure. Because your blood carries valuable oxygen throughout your body, if the part of your body which is healing is unable to receive ample blood flow the following complications may occur:
- Slower or poor healing
- Flap necrosis (tissue death) or tissue breakdown
- Longer-lasting bruising
- Heightened risk of infection
- Skin loss
If you smoke, double board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Daria Hamrah recommends that you plan on quitting four to six weeks before your surgical procedure. While this will not completely reverse the effects of smoking on your body, it will increase your chances of an easier recovery, and reverse some of the negative effects of smoking on your healing body. You should not begin smoking again until your body has completely healed from your surgery, though, of course it is ideal that you quit permanently.
A skilled surgeon will minimize scarring from a facial cosmetic surgery procedure as much as possible, though scarring has been linked to ethnicity, your skin type, the type of procedure performed, and, of course, smoking. If Dr. Hamrah thinks there is a good chance that your procedure will result in scarring, he will do his best to ensure that scars will be located inconspicuously, such as near the hair or jaw line.
On occasion, unexpected scarring may occur, particularly if there are complications during the recovery. In these instances you may sometimes have corrective surgery to minimize the scarring. You should be aware that very minor scars are likely to form at incision points, but in most cases they are only noticeable under close scrutiny.
Most complications which occur happen during the recovery period, or more commonly take place as a prolonged recovery. Many patients try to do too much too soon and cause themselves setbacks, either by failing to care for the surgical point by keeping it clean or by overexerting the recovering portions of their bodies and potentially causing an injury.
For this reason you should follow Dr. Hamrah’s recovery instructions exactly. If you have been prescribed pain medication or an antibiotic, you should follow the instructions exactly as they are prescribed. Also remember that just because your body is not in pain does not necessarily mean it is completely healed. You should keep your follow-up appointments to help prevent complications and allow Dr. Hamrah to inspect you for early warning signs of potential complications after your facial cosmetic surgery procedure.
If you have a concern about a possible risk or complication which is not included in this page, Dr. Hamrah would like to encourage you to contact him today at Nova Surgicare, serving patients throughout Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, and Maryland.