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Warning Signs After Plastic Surgery: How to Spot Complications

By The Landings Surgical Centre on July 06, 2018


Body contouring surgerySide effects are a normal part of plastic surgery recovery. These are temporary and tend to show improvements from day to day. However, when side effects do not improve, this is usually the sign of a serious complication that requires immediate attention.

Whether you undergo a facial plastic surgery procedure or a body contouring surgery, knowing the warning signs of post-surgical complications is helpful as you heal. The team at our Halifax, NS plastic surgery centre would like to go over some of the most common symptoms of infection and other serious post-op complications.

Pain Gets Worse

Pain is common after surgery, but thankfully patients can control their discomfort bay using pain killers and over-the-counter medications as directed. If you notice the post-op pain getting worse or showing no improvement after a few days, this is not a good sign.

Excessive Bleeding

Minor bleeding around the incision sites may occur in the first day or so after your surgical procedure. If you notice excessive bleeding around the incision sites, this could be a sign that the sutures have come undone, or there is a serious issue with healing.

Swelling Increases

Swelling is a common side effect in the first two weeks after surgery, fading over the course of a month. When swelling gets worse and becomes excessive, this is usually the sign of a serious complication. Do not attempt to lance or drain the swelling yourself. This requires professional attention.

Bruising Doesn’t Heal

Bruising is to be expected around the incision sites and operated area of the body. If you notice the bruise deepen in color or spread, this is a sign of a serious problem. It might mean infection or serious damage of the soft tissue in the operation site.

Heat Around the Treatment Area

A little bit of warmth around the incision site is somewhat normal during the healing process. If you notice the skin around the incisions is hot to the touch, this is typically the sign of an infection or another severe complication.

Fever and Flu-like Symptoms

In addition to heat around the incision area and operation site, patients may also notice a fever or flu-like symptoms after surgery. These are also signs of a potential infection, requiring immediate professional attention.

Odd Drainage from Incisions

Drainage tubes and a little bit of leakage from the incision areas is bound to occur as part of the healing process. Usually the leakage is clear and slightly pink in color. If you notice odd-colored fluid, pus, or anything else abnormal about the fluid that drains from the incision sites, this is generally the sign that something is wrong.

Unpleasant Smells

The nose knows when something is bad. If you notice any off-putting or abnormal smells coming from your surgical dressings, the fluid from the incision sites, or your own body in general, this could be the sign of a complication during recovery.

Learn More About Plastic Surgery Recovery

For more information about healing properly after plastic surgery, be sure to contact our plastic surgery centre. Our entire team is here to help you look great and feel confident about your appearance and overall sense of wellness.

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"Our doctors and staff are cheerful, friendly, calm, courteous, and efficient. They have an excellent rapport with each other and work very much as a team."

JoAnne Reid, Nursing Director, The Landings Surgical Centre

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1477 Lower Water St
Ste 7A
Halifax, NS B3J 3Z4

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