Like any surgery, there are risks in plastic surgery. Just because these surgeries are elective does not mean that they should be taken lightly. Many people are performing surgeries without proper training or experiences. This only further increases the risks of complications with surgeries and elective cosmetic procedures. I see complications from prior surgeries, most of these patients believed that they were in the hands of a plastic surgeon when at times, they are not. Dermatologists, Ears, Nose and Throat surgeons, dentists and OB/GYN are all doing cosmetic procedures to improve their incomes. Most without significant training and without hospital priviledges to handle these procedures. Unfortunately they will say that they are ‘board certified’, they just fail to mention that they are not board certified in plastic surgery.
Even plastic surgeons can show poor judgement and perform too many procedures at one time and put their patients at risk. Kanya West’s mother suffered the most severe complication and died secondary to a non-board certified plastic surgeon’s poor judgement. The death of a patient is a tragedy regardless of who did it or why they died, especially with elective surgeries.
This point is really emphasized with the tragic death of a high school 18 year old girl who died on Sunday in Florida. Stepahnie Kuleba’s untimely death was unpredictable and could have occured with nearly any surgery that she had. She died from an anesthesia complication called Malignant Hyperthermia. Her body reacted to the anesthesia drugs by raising her body temperature to deadly levels. It can be a genetic trait and difficult to detect. It can happen in any setting including a hospital, or surgery center. When identified early enough, the condition is treatable. Interestingly, I operated on a woman today who has a family history of Malignant Hyperthermia. All precautions were taken, and she did very well.
Do not take cosmetic procedures, especially surgeries, lightly. Be sure and spend time with your surgeon to vet out their experiences and recomendations about what would be the correct surgery for you. Remember knowledge is empowering and will only improve your experiences.