Recovery and Risks
Optimising your Health prior to Surgery
It is most important for you to be at peak physical fitness prior to your surgery.
This will aid in your recovery and reduce any associated risks.
It will also lead to more predictable results.
Some important points to bear in mind:
- Smoking/Vaping: Dr Miroshnik will not operate on you while you smoke or have any nicotine in your system. This includes vaping, nicotine gum/patches or any other product containing nicotine irrespective of the amount. The harmful effects of nicotine on healing and increased risks of surgery are well documented and your surgery will be cancelled if you have not ceased within 2-3 months prior to your surgery date. This applies to all surgeries.
- BMI: Surgery is best done at your ideal BMI ie. 19-25 and at a stable weight. A stable weight is defined as one that doesn’t change much over a period of 3months. Your surgery may be cancelled or postponed if your weight is not ideal or stable. Skin healing, scar health and infection risks become unpredictable at excessively high BMIs and so risks (that are detailed below) increase.
- Prescription Drugs: Certain prescription drugs interfere with surgery recovery and increase the risks eg. Roaccutane (Isotretinoin), Steroids, Immunosuppressives and blood thinners. If you are on any of these they will most likely need to be stopped prior to any surgery performed by Dr Miroshnik. If you cannot cease these than surgery may not be able to be performed.
Procedure Recovery Times and Risks
Recovery times vary depending on the amount of surgery you are undertaking and your physical state. Your surgery will be explained to you in great detail upon consultation as well as its inherent risks and expected outcomes.
As noted above, our aim is to minimise all risks and shorten recovery times by achieving optimal health prior to any surgery. This will be detailed to you upon consultation with our team.
There is no completely risk-free surgical procedure. Complications can occur occasionally and may include things like infection, delayed healing and bleeding. Aside from general surgical risks, each individual procedure has its own inherent risks and complications. The majority of complications are minor and minimally affect the outcome of your surgery. Some however may necessitate further surgery.
It is important that you understand your risks and potential complications in detail during your consultation and the consent process. It is also important that you are at optimal health prior to any surgery to minimise these risks. Further information about this is listed below and will be detailed during your consent process prior to any surgery.
Plastic Surgery Risks & Complications
While plastic surgery can be used to shape the body, it is important to acknowledge that all surgical procedures carry certain risks. Understanding these risks and also taking appropriate measures to minimize or prevent them is an integral part of every operation.
General Anaesthesia is tolerated well by most healthy patients but has the following risks which should be acknowledged and will be explained to you by your specialist anaesthetist.
- Allergic reaction to the anaesthetic medications
- Trauma to the teeth, mouth, and throat (due to intubation)
- Blood pressure and respiratory (lung) issues
- Cardiovascular (heart) issues
Today, anaesthetists follow well-studied protocols, and general anaesthesia is considered very safe. Your anaesthetist will be next to you during the whole procedure and will be monitoring your vital signs from the beginning to the end of the case.
A hematoma refers to a collection of blood outside the blood vessels, often occurring at the surgical site. It can cause swelling, pain, and discomfort. Individuals with certain blood clotting disorders or those taking blood-thinning medications may have a higher risk of bleeding and hematoma formation.
Fluid Collection (Seroma)
A seroma is a collection of fluid (or lymph) that occurs under the skin at the site of surgery. Lymph is a protein-rich fluid that runs in our tissue to nourish cells. Surgery can damage the lymph vessels in the target body area, so lymph fluid can leak and collect in a closed area, causing a seroma. Symptoms of seroma include:
- Increased pain
- Feeling of pressure
- A lump under the surgical site
- Clear fluid drainage from the wound
Seroma management may require drainage either by ultrasound-guided needle or by surgery.
Surgery involves cutting through intact skin and wound infection is a possible complication of any plastic surgery procedure. It occurs when certain bacteria manage to get into the wound, multiply and then damage your skin and tissues.
Symptoms that of a wound infection after plastic surgery can include:
- Redness around your wound(s)
- Increased pain
- Non-healing wounds
- Fluid leakage (thin or thick) – yellow-white fluid drainage
All surgeries performed by Dr Miroshnik are in an accredited hospital setting and to the highest standards of sterility to reduce the risk of wound infection occurring. If it does occur, wound infection should be promptly treated with antibiotics. Sometimes, further surgery might be necessary.
Delayed Wound Healing
Delayed wound healing is a potential risk associated with any plastic surgery. It refers to a slower or impaired healing process of surgical incisions or wounds. Several factors can contribute to delayed wound healing, including:
- Poor blood circulation
- Chronic medical conditions (eg. Diabetes, immune disorders or certain medications)
- Nicotine of any sort including smoking/gum/patches or vape, even passive smoking
- Inadequate nutrition, particularly a deficiency in protein, vitamins, and minerals essential for wound healing, can hinder the healing process.
If there is delayed wound healing at a surgical site, it will need to be closely observed and dressings may be required until it heals. Following post-operative instructions, maintaining good nutrition, and avoiding activities that strain the surgical site will reduce the risk of delayed wound healing.
Wound Dehiscence/Wound Breakdown
If sutures break or some unfavourable force is applied to surgical sites, wounds can dehisce. Wound dehiscence can sometimes also be associated with wound infection, where bacteria have interfered with the suture material. Treatment of wound breakdown or dehiscence may involve simple dressings or may necessitate further surgery incl. wound debridement, antibiotics, and re-suturing the wound.
You can greatly help avoid a wound breakdown by taking time for the wound to close and internal tissues to heal before over-exerting yourself at work or the gym. We have a comprehensive set of postoperative instructions to follow after each procedure in order to help avoid this complication.
Excessive Scarring incl. Hypertrophic or Keloid Scars
Whenever an incision is made during a surgical procedure, scarring is a natural part of the healing process. While most scars heal well, sometimes wound healing abnormalities can lead to stretched, hypertrophic or keloid scars. Hypertrophic or keloid scars are thickened scars which can look unsightly. These may need treatment with either surgical or non-surgical intervention/s for further improvement of their aesthetic appearance.
Skin discoloration/Pigmentation changes
In certain procedures around pigmented areas, there is a risk of temporary or permanent changes in skin colour or pigmentation around the surgical site. This can include hyperpigmentation (darkening) or hypopigmentation (lightening) of the skin.
Deep Vein Thrombosis / Blood Clots
Our bodies are designed to move to keep the blood moving through our veins. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a potential risk following surgery, particularly when procedures involve prolonged immobilization. When you’re not moving enough after surgery, blood stagnates in the circulation, and clots inside the venous vessels in dependent areas. This occurs most commonly in the legs especially around the calf area.
Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis include:
- Leg pain
- Leg swelling
- Feeling of warmth in the affected leg
- The affected leg looks more red compared to the other leg
It is essential to treat blood clots without delay after plastic surgery. Otherwise, the clot might migrate to the lungs and cause pulmonary damage (pulmonary embolus). Treatment usually involves prescribing blood-thinning medications. To prevent blood clots, we encourage patients to move about as quickly as possible after surgery. Sometimes, compression stockings, calf compressors (massage devices) or blood-thinning medications are recommended for a short time post-op. This will be detailed to you if it is required.
Adverse Reaction to Medications / Dressings or Garments
All surgeries involve medications, dressings, sutures, glues, and garments. While any pre-existing allergies are always noted, patients can have adverse reactions to new products that they have not had before.
Specific Risks by Area
Breast Surgery Risks
Risks and potential complications associated with breast surgery should be thoroughly understood before undergoing the procedure. Common temporary side effects of breast surgery include discomfort, skin sensation changes, bruising and swelling. While most side effects are temporary and resolve over time, it is important to be aware of potential risks.
For breast implant cases, you should be aware that breast implants are not lifetime devices and over the years as implants age (like all man-made devices), complications and shape changes become more common. Most women would need their breast implants changed approximately 10-15 years later. All implants should be monitored regularly using ultrasounds and MRIs as they get older. Complications of breast surgery to be aware of include the following.
- Capsular contracture: This is where a tough scar capsule forms around the implants which can cause breast shape changes, pain, and asymmetry.
- Breast implant malposition or rotation: This is when the implant rotates or migrates from its original position. It can cause shape changes and asymmetry.
- Breast implant rupture: Breast implants might rupture especially if they are old or after trauma, causing shape changes and pain. Ruptured implants need to be replaced.
- Sensory Changes: Nerves can get stretched or injured from breast implant surgery. This may lead to temporary or in rarer cases, permanent loss of sensation in the nipple or a patch of breast skin.
- Risk of BIA-ALCL: Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) is an extremely rare complication of breast implants. It arises from immune cells around the implant, and usually manifests as a lump or seroma (fluid build up). BIA-ALCL is thought to be exclusively associated with textured implants. Treatment involves explantation and capsulectomy.
- Risk of BII: Breast implant illness: Although uncommon, not clinically proven or absolutely linked to implants, breast implant illness is a vague syndrome that includes non-specific symptoms like fatigue, sleep troubles, joint pain, and clouded thinking. Some authors suggest that it might occur in susceptible people due to a chronic low-grade inflammation around the implant. The only treatment for BII is breast implant removal.
- Nipple Sensitivity: There is a possibility of temporary or, rarely, permanent loss of nipple sensation. With breast lift and implant surgery, sensitivity can often increase and subside over time.
- Nipple/Areolar Healing Issues: Although unlikely, whenever the nipple/areolar is moved in mastopexy (breast lift) surgery there may be delayed healing as well as the possibility of nipple/areolar pigmentation changes or in very rare cases loss.
Body/Tummy Surgery Risks
The risks of body/tummy surgery is similar to the general list of risks outlined above. In addition, some specific points are mentioned below.
- Swelling/Bloating: Although swelling usually subsides quickly in most surgeries, abdominoplasty procedures can have longer term swelling which subsides a little slower and is responsive to lymphatic massages. This is because it depends on new lymphatic channels being formed across the incision line.
- Scarring: Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) surgery often involves high tension on wounds and so scars can sometimes be stretched/thick/hypertrophic or keloid.
- Numbness: Sensory disturbance along the skin is usually temporary but can less commonly be permanent in areas around the incision.
Recovery Time After Plastic Surgery
This varies from patient to patient and on the exact procedure being performed, however here are some guidelines for common procedures. Please check precise recommendations during your consultation.
Breast Augmentation | Fat Grafting
- Primary: Day Surgery (Home Same Day)
- Secondary/Revisional: Overnight stay generally
- Return to work: 7 days (office duties); 2-3 weeks (more intense duties)
- Showering: Next day
- Picking up babies: Avoid for first 48 hours
- Driving: May be recommenced after 7-10 days
- Swimming/Jacuzzi/Bathing: May be recommenced after 6-8 weeks
- Running/Cycling/Spin Classes: May be recommenced after 8 weeks
- Yoga/Pilates/Big Stretches: May be recommenced after 10-12 weeks
- Weights/Heavy Duty Sports: May be recommenced after 12 weeks
- Post operative Bra: Needs to be worn for 6-8 weeks during the day and 12 weeks during the night
Mastopexy (Breast Lift) | Breast Reduction Surgery
- Return to Work: 2-3 weeks (office duties); 3-4 weeks (more intense duties)
- Picking up babies: Avoid for 48 hours
- Dressings: To remain dry until removed. Showering should be with hand held shower
- Driving: May be recommenced after 2-3 weeks
- Swimming/Jacuzzi/Bathing: May be recommenced after 8-10 weeks
- Running/Cycling/Spin Classes: May be recommenced after 8-10 weeks
- Yoga/Pilates/Stretching: May be recommenced after 12 weeks
- Weights/Heavy Duty Sport: May be recommenced after 12 weeks
- Post operative garment: Needs to be worn for 8 weeks
Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) | Post Pregnancy Divarication
- Hospital Stay: 3 nights
- Standing Upright: 7-8 days
- Return to Work: 2-3 weeks (office duties); 4 weeks (more intense duties)
- Picking up babies: Avoid for 1-2 weeks until upright and stable
- Driving: May be recommenced after 3 weeks
- Swimming/Jacuzzi/Bathing: May be recommenced after 8-10 weeks
- Running/Cycling/Spin Classes: May be recommenced after 6-8 weeks
- Yoga/Pilates/Stretching: May be recommenced after 6-8 weeks
- Weights/Heavy Duty Sport: May be recommenced after 10 weeks
- Post operative garment: Needs to be worn for 8 weeks full time generally
Please note that the above information is for general use only and is a generic guideline, specific recovery instructions and risks will be discussed during your individual consultation. To begin the process please contact us to make an appointment.
This website and all the information contained within is intended for those over the years of 18 only.