Surgery always poses risks and problems, no matter the surgery and no matter the patient. Surgeons spend time in the operating room and in the classroom to ensure that they eliminate as many possible risks to our health as possible. However, they don’t always have control over certain things. When considering the possible risks of surgery, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) are two of the most common risks. This is especially true for cosmetic surgeries.
So what do we do when we are faced with these risks and possible issues? We can start by getting educated on the different risks, what causes them, and the most common procedures that cause them. We can also educate ourselves on possible treatments for the worst-case scenario. Luckily, this information is easy to find, and I’ve done all the work for you.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Deep venous thrombosis is also known simply as deep vein thrombosis. It is a difficult phenomenon to pin point and discuss because it is a disease that is heightened with surgery of any kind. It is also a very serious condition that can be life threatening if not treated. Essentially, deep venous thrombosis only occurs when a clot forms in the deep veins of our bodies. Typically, it happens in the legs, and they can form in one or more of the veins.
Often, this condition has no symptoms, but in some people, leg pain or increased swelling are possible side effects. There are multiple ways to end up with this condition. Certain medical conditions can change how your body clots blood. If you remain still and unmoving for too long, a blood clot can form as well. This often happens after a bad accident, if you are on bed rest, or after surgery when you are confined to your bed.
A pulmonary embolism, or PE, is more serious than DVT. In fact, a PE happens when a clot caused by deep venous thrombosis travels to the lungs and blocks an artery. Usually, it starts in the leg, much like with the above issue, and it may even show symptoms like chest pain, coughing up blood, or shortness of breath. You might also notice rapid breathing and heart rate, and in some cases, a patient might have a mild fever.
PE can have mild and severe cases just like with any disease or sickness. Typically, PE’s severe cases eventually fall into terrible outcomes like low blood pressure, fainting, and even sudden death. No one should take a pulmonary embolism lightly, and you should seek medical attention immediately if you suspect you have any of these symptoms.
Cosmetic Surgery Risk
When going in for any surgery, doctors will ask a bunch of questions health related to trying to eliminate your risk of deep venous thrombosis. Essentially, they want to rule out your possibility and risks before putting yours under anesthesia. When going in for certain cosmetic surgeries, you might be at a higher risk for this condition than other, more minor, surgeries.
In fact, if you are left under a general anesthesia for a longer period, you stand a higher risk of deep venous thrombosis. Cosmetic procedures often leave patients at a high risk as well. Those going in for a facelift or abdominoplasty should beware since these surgeries have high risks. Lower body lifts or circumferential body lifts have the highest risk of all cosmetic surgeries for contracting this condition.
Treatments (Just in Case)
You should never try to treat any deep venous thrombosis at home. You should never try to sit and wait it out. Medical attention is vastly important should you suspect that you have this condition. After you seek medical help, however, you should know the benefits of getting treatment. Luckily, there are a few that make it worth heading to the doctor to get their advice. Getting help will:
- Avoid complications that are long lasting, like swelling or leg pain
- Prevent future clots
- Prevent growing of the blood clot
Typically, medication is the first choice for treatment. Your doctor will help you find the right medication, such as a blood thinner, to help eliminate the clot and prevent more from showing up later. Sometimes, the deep venous thrombosis is too difficult to treat with medication, and it might require surgery to treat. This is all up to the discretion of the doctor you are seeing.
Is a surgeon liable should you find that you have this clot condition? A surgeon only becomes liable in the case of medical malpractice. If your surgeon finds out that you are at a high risk for this condition, they should prescribe blood thinners. However, if your doctor does not do this before surgery, he or she could be putting your life at risk. In this case, the doctor would be liable for medical negligence to explain and prescribe the blood thinners for at risk patients like yourself.
Surgeries, like cosmetic surgeries, always pose risks. It is up to the doctor and the patient to always talk about the possible risks before the surgery is scheduled. Patients should always be up front with their doctor, even if it isn’t the easiest thing to do because even something as simple as smoking can put you at risk for many conditions during and after surgery. Cosmetic surgery, though it doesn’t seem as intense, puts your body at risk as well.
Before jumping into a cosmetic procedure, it is always a good idea to educate ourselves on the procedure, the risks, and the surgeon performing the surgery. Knowing what to expect can help us prepare for the surgery and prepared for the recovery. Should we find that we have a condition like the ones mentioned above, we should seek medical attention immediately and allow a professional to treat the condition the proper way. Treatment is important to helping in the present and helping in the future.