At Oldham Plastic Surgery, we have performed hundreds of procedures to help our patients achieve the body they desire. We offer a wide range of treatments, including facial plastic surgery, breast procedures, and body contouring.
Like any surgery, complications can occur following cosmetic surgery. However, these side effects can be mitigated by following the post-operative guidelines provided by your surgeon.
At our Bethesda, MD practice, Dr. Roger J. Oldham explains the warning signs of complications after plastic surgery and discusses what patients can do to minimize these risks.
Fortunately, in most cases, patients enjoy a smooth and successful recovery. However, it is important to be aware of potential complications so you can identify and treat them as soon as possible. In the sections below, we will discuss some of the most common warning signs.
Severe Discomfort or Pain
Some degree of discomfort is typical following plastic surgery. However, pain should never be severe, and it should begin to fade within the first two days. If your pain level does not improve after the first few days of recovery, it could indicate infection or other complications. Patients who are experiencing severe pain should contact their surgeon right away.
Normally, post-surgical swelling continues for about one to two weeks after surgery. This is typical and not a cause for concern. Generally, swelling begins to decrease after the third or fourth day. If swelling increases, it could indicate a problem, particularly if the inflammation occurs around the incisions.
Bruising that Lingers
Bruising tends to last approximately two weeks and continues to improve after that. If discoloration darkens or spreads, it could be a sign of a hematoma or other post-surgical complications. Therefore, it is important to contact your surgeon immediately.
Running a high fever after surgery is a sign of infection. If you notice heat around the incisions or you run a fever during recovery, call your doctor right away. Generally, a round of oral antibiotics can keep the situation under control.
Unusual Pus or Drainage
In some cases, Dr. Oldham will place surgical drains in the incision sites to help reduce inflammation and swelling. Typically, the fluid that accumulates in these drains is clear, sometimes light yellow. If you notice any dark fluid or an unusual odor, it probably indicates infection.
Once the drains come out, be sure to monitor the incision sites for discharge as well. Anything that looks suspicious should be reported to Dr. Oldham immediately.
After any type of cosmetic surgery, slight bleeding is to be expected. Generally, post-operative bleeding decreases over the first 48 hours. If you have persistent bleeding, or your incisions begin to bleed again, it could denote healing issues. Call your doctor should this problem present itself.
Contact Oldham Plastic Surgery
Before undergoing plastic surgery, know what to expect during healing and be aware of potential complications. To learn more about cosmetic surgery, schedule an appointment with Dr. Oldham. You can call our office at 301-530-6100 or contact us online anytime.