From being a glamorous and niche option, it has now become fairly common to get a little help to look your perceived best. From a little nip, a little tuck, to the more invasive nose job, tummy tuck and facelifts. Now the risk factor for each of these interventions varies immensely, but the thing to remember is that all procedures carry very tangible risks.
First and the most important aspect is your mental health. If there is a physical feature that makes you highly insecure and unhappy, ensure that it is not resulting from a form of body dysmorphia - a serious disease wherein patients perceive even minor flaws as hideous deformities. Often what happens with patients with Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is that they opt for one cosmetic enhancement after another, attempting to physically correct a problem resulting from a mental health issue.
This process will also help you establish a goal - what do you want to change, and what does the end result look like? Actually ask yourself – is this a procedure worth it?
Choose Your Team Well
The next step is to select your medical team. Depending on the procedure, there will be levels of interventions - lifestyle changes, anesthesia, post-op downtime and so on. For this, I would highly recommend that you consult the Association of Plastic Surgeons of India (APSI). Their website is comprehensive and informative, and filled with answers to questions you may not have even considered.
So if you have disqualified a mental health concern, and carefully selected an informed way forward, what could still go wrong? Unfortunately, a whole bunch of things.
The most obvious is infection. As is the case with any wound, the site of surgery can become infected.
Cosmetic surgery and nerve damage have a strong link, with botox being a common cause of facial paralysis, and high incidences of changes in sensitivity. These could be irreversible.
Complications from anesthesia are as common in cosmetic surgery as any other form of surgery. This could be in the form of strokes, lung infections, and even heart attacks.
After surgery, it is possible for blood clots to form in the deeper veins of the body and then travel to the lungs, known as a pulmonary embolism. This can be fatal.
Any invasive process carries with it the possibility of organ damage, creating the need for further surgeries to correct an error.
Cosmetic surgery is a complex science and it is crucial that you choose the correct team, cooperate meticulously with care instructions, and be aware of everything that could go wrong. In trying to look like your best self, do not put your health on the back burner and go into any cosmetic intervention with complete knowledge of the pros and cons.
(With over 20 years of clinical, investment and operational experience in the healthcare sector, Dr Amit Varma brings with him a domain expertise that links all facets of healthcare. He is a reputed physician with diverse healthcare management leadership roles and has headed numerous companies)