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  • Plastic Surgeon Dallas Dr. Vasdev Rai

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Surgery Complications vs. Side Effects

Dr. Rai - Cosmetic Surgical Center - Dallas, TX

When you have a plastic surgery done, or any surgery, there are always some side effects. They are not the same thing as complications, although the two terms are often confused and used synonymously.

What Are Side Effects?

Side effects are part of the body’s recovery process and are temporary. They are things like:

  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Mild to moderate pain, easily controlled by an over-the-counter or prescription painkiller
  • Seeping of blood or fluid from an incision
  • Limited movement, depending on what surgery you had

Side effects are expected to happen and Dr. Rai will give you advance information about them and how to minimize them for better recovery.

Side effects vary somewhat according to what procedure you had. For example, if you had a rhinoplasty, you would probably have one or more splints in the nose with a dressing over them while the bone heals in its new position. This would give you some facial discomfort and would be visible to anyone who looked at you. That means you might stay home from work for longer than if you had liposuction on the upper arms where sleeves would hide any bruising.

If you had a tummy tuck, you would wear a compression garment around the abdomen to help reduce swelling, whereas if you had eyelid surgery, there would be some bruising around the eyes but your abdomen would be untouched and you could move around sooner and more comfortably.

What Are Complications?

Complications are more serious problems that are known to be possible, but are not expected as a matter of course like side effects. They are things like:

  • Sudden excessive bleeding
  • An incision coming open
  • Infection
  • A blood clot in the legs
  • A fatty clot in the lungs (pulmonary embolism)

Complications can be life-threatening or harmful to your surgical results and your physical appearance. They can often be treated or mitigated by a follow-up procedure, such as re-suturing an opened incision, or by prescribing a new medication such as a second antibiotic to treat an infection.

Learning about side effects and complications is part of patient education and the more you know and understand about your procedure and its possible dangers, the better you can be at coping with something unexpected.

Dr. Rai and his qualified team always have time to answer questions and we hope you will always ask about anything that isn’t clear to you.

If you would like to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Rai, please contact us today. We serve the residents of Dallas, Texas, and we look forward to meeting with you.