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Getting Under the Skin of Plastic Surgery’s Best-Kept Secrets

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Much has been made recently about the rising use of slimming jabs which could help people to reduce their weight by more than 10%.  

Drugs such as liraglutide and ozempic have been approved for use by the NHS to help certain groups of people lose weight.  

However, these bring their own complications, prompting a wider discussion about the dangers of cosmetic procedures. The industry has spiked in recent years with a 41% rise in the use of Botox alone since 2011, with the industry now worth £2.75 billion to the UK economy.  

Clearly, the rise of social media may play its part – particularly among younger generations. In a recent survey by Patient Claim Line, 41% of Generation Z participants said that social media ‘filters’ contribute to their desire to undergo surgery. 

Here are the most common plastic surgery risks which may make you think twice before going under the knife:


Hematoma is a risk in nearly all surgeries, however, it can be particularly common in cosmetics – particularly those involving the face and neck. The condition involves pockets of blood that develop around the area that resembles a large, often painful bruise. Statistically, men are more likely to suffer hematomas from aesthetic surgery with complications in 1.1% of surgeries, versus 0.9% in women.  

This can often happen after a facelift. Treatment involves subsequent procedures to drain the blood while under anaesthetic.  

Nerve damage 

Reportedly, 15% of women have permanent alterations in nipple sensation following breast augmentation while the risk of permanent facial paralysis from facelifts is as high as 2.6%. Nerve damage can indeed be a risk in many procedures, for men and women, from neck lifts and nose jobs to liposuction.  

Nerve damage occurs when nerves are stretched, cut or cauterised. Most damage will usually rectify itself, however, if the nerve is severed, then the condition will be irreparable. The return of nerve function will usually be marked by itching, shooting pains or electric shock sensations.  


Fortunately, the risk of infection lies around 1%, but it’s still another of the more common complications, infection can affect the overall result of the surgery – incisions that become infected for instance, may not heal properly, leaving unsightly scars.  

Watermans are experts in personal injury in Edinburgh. Susanne McGraw, Head of Personal Injury comments: “The consequences you may suffer as a result of botched cosmetic procedures can be devastating, both physically and emotionally.  

“If your cosmetic surgeon has been negligent, you could be entitled to compensation, and it’s worth exploring your legal options.”  

Pre-op precautions should be taken, such as thoroughly sterilising surgical equipment, while the part of your body operated upon should be prepped with antiseptic. Post-Op, should complications occur, you will be prescribed an oral antibiotic or in more serious cases, your incision may be opened and drained.  

Organ damage  

In 2021, 1275 people in the UK were reported to undergo liposuction treatment to remove unwanted body fat. When performed incorrectly, this can be traumatic for the internal organs. Perforations to the organs can occur when surgical instruments come into contact with the organs.  

 As surgeons cannot properly see the cannula when removing fat, there’s a risk of puncturing organs around the midriff, such as the intestine. In the event of this unfortunate eventuality, repairing these injuries can require additional surgery.  

General dissatisfaction with results  

In addition to botched procedures, it’s also possible that you’re simply just dissatisfied with the results. Unfortunately, many are disappointed with the results, and the media is littered with celebrities who regret the process.  

This can include facelifts leading to ‘unnatural’ looking faces or rhinoplasty leaving your nose with an overly pointy tip. Perhaps you’ve even had a “beer belly” tuck to improve your midriff and the results weren’t quite the washboard superhero abs you were expecting.  

All in all, the pressures to look young, thin and beautiful are not always worth it.  

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