Is cosmetic surgery safe?

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:46 pm
Like any surgery, cosmetic procedures are not without risk. First of all, the surgery may not improve your appearance as much as you'd hoped. In some cases, complications could leave you looking worse after the procedure than before. Medical problems could also arise, such as adverse reactions to injected or implanted materials, excess blood loss, or problems brought on by the improper use of anesthesia. These situations can be even more dangerous if the surgical center or office isn't fully equipped to handle such emergencies. In general, the longer you must be under anesthesia, the higher your risk. Most experts recommend that any surgery lasting over six hours or a liposuction in which 10 pounds or more of fat will be removed should be performed in a hospital. If you choose an outpatient procedure, make sure the doctor has privileges at a nearby hospital, should an emergency arise. Because few statistics are available to the public, it's difficult to determine the exact success rates of various cosmetic procedures. However, it's believed that the majority of patients are pleased with the results of their cosmetic surgery. In addition, you can minimize the risk of complications by becoming well-educated on your procedure, choosing a surgeon wisely, and carefully following the doctor's instructions for pre- and post-operative care.

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