Plastic Surgery Complication Signs

Post-op is a very critical stage in the plastic surgery journey. It’s important to follow your surgeons’ instructions to avoid complications following cosmetic surgery and help patients attain their desired results. While these post-op instructions can help prevent complications, surgery does come with a certain level of risk. Understanding and knowing what signs to look for can be essential in mitigating complications before they become serious. These signs can be intimidating, but it’s crucial in taking care of your overall well-being.

Pain & Discomfort

Some pain is to be expected after surgery, with the most pain during the first few days. Your surgeon will prescribe medicine to help manage any pain and discomfort. However, if this pain continues and gets worse despite using pain medication, this is likely a sign of infection, and you should seek out your surgeon.

Severe Swelling

Swelling is another common side effect post-surgery and will gradually dissipate over the course of about two weeks. If you notice the area of the incisions is increasingly swollen, it’s crucial to have your surgeon take a look. Excessive swelling requires immediate attention.

Bruising Spreads

Bruising is also expected after surgery, which will continuously fade over the following two weeks. Contact your surgeon if bruising deepens or discoloration spreads as this could indicate infection, hematoma, and other medical problems.

Excessive Bleeding

While slight bleeding is likely post-op, it generally decreases over the first 48-hours. You should report any excess or persistent bleeding to your plastic surgeon as it is a cause for concern. It could be signs of a broken suture or some tissue damage that needs the attention of a professional.


Running a fever is a sign of infection. If you begin to run a fever or notice the area around the incision is excessively warm or hot, this could be a sign of infection, and you should seek out your surgeon as quickly as possible.

Related Reading:

How to Prevent an Infection After Surgery

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