Cosmetic surgeries are on the rise in India according to several surveys and reports. And with many celebrities owning up to going under the knife to fix a particular feature or to delay signs of ageing, others now have no qualms about following suit. However, no matter how alluring it may seem to get the desired pout, high cheekbones, a prominent jawline or arched eyebrows with surgery, the procedures come with their set of challenges and risks. In fact, there are a number of reasons why cosmetic surgeries can go wrong. Dr Deepali Bhardwaj, cosmetologist and dermatologist and founder of Skin and Hair Clinics, says, “One of the commonest reason is the lack of proper communication between the doctor and the patient. When the expectations of the patient and expertise of the doctor do not match, or when the entire procedure hasn’t been communicated to the patient with the list of pros and cons, including information about post procedure precautions and care, the results may not be as desired. There are other reasons also that could result in a disastrous cosmetic surgery.” She lists five major reasons that will help you grasp what could go wrong during and after a cosmetic surgery.
1. Choosing the wrong doctor
“The world of cosmetic surgery is full of quacks. They resort to all kinds of unethical practices, and that can badly botch-up your face. But even when you go for a board-certified doctor with an MBBS and MD, you cannot be assured that nothing will go wrong. It’s surprising that people do not think of cosmetic surgery in the same line as a heart surgery. It’s true that cosmetic surgeries only require work on the top layers of the skin. But still it’s a surgery that involves blood flow, stitching(sometimes) and most importantly anaesthesia. And only in experienced and well trained hands can you rest your trust. Even after years of medical school, the best way for a doctor to really get the specialised training necessary to conduct a rhinoplasty, or a breast augmentation or hair transplantation is through a fellowship,” says Dr Deepali.
So, if you land up at a aesthetician’s clinic, who mostly performs nose jobs with a demand for hair transplant, there is a high chance that something would go wrong. Do your research, find out about the expertise of your doctor before scheduling an appointment.
2. Opting for the cheapest procedure available
Medical insurance doesn’t cover surgeries which are cosmetic in nature like hair transplantation, liposuction, rhinoplasty, facelift, etc. And these are expensive procedures. So, often people go for the cheapest option available. “It’s a surgical procedure and being lured by discounted rates could result in irreparable damage,” cautions Dr Deepali.
3. Undisclosed medical conditions
“An undisclosed heart-condition or a urinary tract infection could prove to be fatal for anyone undergoing a plastic surgery. The risks are graver for older patients. That is not to say, someone in their sixties can’t get a plastic surgery done. But their physical readiness for the surgery has to be thoroughly assessed – their heart, liver and kidney functioning has to be assessed properly,” says Dr Deepali.
Similarly, for patients who are obese or heavy smokers, some post-surgery complications may not come as a surprise. “Often patient could be oblivious of their medical conditions. At other times, they may not mention it out of ignorance that such omission could prove to be dangerous. The fact of the matter is that the chances of a botched-up nose job or face-lift are rare in the hands of an experienced doctor. What really can cause complication is adverse the reaction to anaesthesia. And both the patient and the doctor have to be mindful of this fact. A battery of tests are prescribed before a go-ahead for a surgery can be given,” she adds.
4. Untrained staff
Non-invasive procedure are mostly performed under a trained doctor, and with the help of clinical support staff. “While the support staff is trained to handle the medical equipment (should be approved by FDA), he or she may lack good communication skills and the ability to provide the right counsel to a distressed patient. They may not be able to satisfactorily respond to all patient inquiries or assess the psychological anxiety that a patient might be undergoing during the procedure. Sometimes they even falter in explaining the right post-surgery care plan which could undo the benefit of a cosmetic surgery,” says Dr Deepali. You need to insist that the doctor be present along with the support staff during a procedure.
5. Lack of post-surgery care
Finally, lack of post-surgery care is a huge dampener and stops you from getting the results. “Not washing transplanted hair, exposing your skin to sun, excessive smoking and drinking, or indulging in heavy weight-lifting activities too soon after a surgery (mostly in case of FUT hair transplant), not following the right diet and not maintaining hygiene can prove to be disastrous. It’s imperative that for the desired result, you wait and be patient, and take extensive care of the treated body part,” advises Dr Deepali.