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Thread: Cosmetic Surgery...how unsafe is it?

  1. #1
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    Cosmetic Surgery...how unsafe is it?

    Last week, I read several headlines that reported that Kanye West's mother died apparently from complications from cosmetic surgery.

    Every town, it seems has a cosmetic surgeon, or is in , at least, close promimity to one. I know that any surgical procedure carrys with it, risks....But I wonder how regulated this practice is?

    She was well known, so it was reported...but do you wonder how many people die as a result of complications of cosmetic surgery and it is not reported how they died...I am not talking about being reported to the media, but to people who keep count of this....

    There are a lot of cosmetic procedures done, and I think this is the first time, I have heard of someone dying as a result of complications.

    Any thoughts?

    Joyce
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  2. #2
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    I've seen several media stories of people dying from complications of gastric bypass surgery. There were a lot of stories about a year or so ago, I think. It's really quite sad.

  3. #3
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    I dont have any statistics but I think its becoming a lot more unsafe when I read about Drs doing cosmetic procedures they learned in a week-end seminar. They do it because their malpractice surgery is a lot less then their trained fields.

    I was watching Dr 90210 a few weeks ago and they were doing minor surgery outpatient but the woman was still under anethesthia. She said she had reactions before so they were real careful. It took her about 3 hours to come out of it which was suppose to be only an hour. She was barely coherant when they wheeled her out to go home. That just freaked me out.
    has it come out yet what Happened to Kanyes mother?



    Laurie

  4. #4
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    I think you already hit the nail on the head - any surgical procedure carries with it associated risks. In the case of Kanye West's mother - it sounds as if she had underlying medical issues that may have been at play. As a person with a chronic medical condition I know that any surgical procedure that is not truly medically necessary would be a huge risk. Other than that, I don't think that cosmetic procedures carry any additional risk as compared to medically necessary procedures.
    Terri _A
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  5. #5
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    What procedure did Kanye's mother have? I know liposuction carries a whole host of potential threats, including blood clots (and the attendant risk of strokes or thrombosis) and nerve damage. I've heard of several deaths occurring during or immediately following liposuction.

    Breast surgery/augmentation can have risks including loss of sensation and tissue death (there are some gory pictures of dead nipples sloughing off to be found on the internet).

    And anything involving general anaesthesia carries a risk of death, whether plastic surgery or not.
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  6. #6
    Here is a link regarding the plastic surgeon that operated on Donda West:

    DONDA WEST SURGEON

    I think it really boils down to each person who wants to have a procedure done (whether it is cosmetic or not) needs to really do their homework on the physicians. In the end, too, every surgery poses a risk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SusanMac View Post
    I've seen several media stories of people dying from complications of gastric bypass surgery. There were a lot of stories about a year or so ago, I think. It's really quite sad.
    People who have gastric bypass surgery are morbidly obese - it's this obesity that is generally to blame for the complications, not the procedure itself. Funny the media doesn't report anything about morbidly obese people dying after hip replacements, for instance. I would also take issue with gastric bypass surgery being cosmetic - it's not done by cosmetic surgeons, and it can be life-saving.

    I have looked after many cosmetic surgery patients over the last several years, and I don't think it's any less safe than any other medical procedure - I certainly haven't seen any more complications with it than with the urological/gynecological procedures I've cared for. All surgeries have risks, even the most minor outpatient procedure. It's annoying how the media manipulates a subject and skews the public's perception of it. The only thing with cosmetic surgery is that it doesn't carry any medical benefit - is the cosmetic benefit worth the risk of the surgical procedure?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClaraB View Post
    People who have gastric bypass surgery are morbidly obese - it's this obesity that is generally to blame for the complications, not the procedure itself. Funny the media doesn't report anything about morbidly obese people dying after hip replacements, for instance. I would also take issue with gastric bypass surgery being cosmetic - it's not done by cosmetic surgeons, and it can be life-saving.

    I have looked after many cosmetic surgery patients over the last several years, and I don't think it's any less safe than any other medical procedure - I certainly haven't seen any more complications with it than with the urological/gynecological procedures I've cared for. All surgeries have risks, even the most minor outpatient procedure. It's annoying how the media manipulates a subject and skews the public's perception of it. The only thing with cosmetic surgery is that it doesn't carry any medical benefit - is the cosmetic benefit worth the risk of the surgical procedure?
    While I agree with your post in general, I would like to point out that some surgeries which are generally considered cosmetic and which are performed by cosmetic surgeons do indeed have medical benefits, such as breast reductions. Further, people can get more benefit than just cosmetic benefit (i.e., psychological) from some of these surgeries. Having said that, and having been through one (a breast reduction), I must say they are EXTREMELY painful (and I have had other surgeries to compare) and I personally would only have cosmetic surgery for medical reasons.
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  9. #9
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    As others have posted, any surgery has risks -- especially surgery done under a general versus local.

    As with any serious medical procedure, an educated consumer is the best defense. Since cosmetic procedures aren't covered by insurance for the most part, many people shop by price -- and wind up with unskilled surgeons who aren't Board certified -- any doctor can perform anything surgery - doesn't mean they are skilled.

    Also to save money surgery is often done on an out-patient basis - in the case of Ms. West, she was sent home after a 6 hour surgery.

    Cosmetic surgery varies in the risk -- rhinoplasty is relatively low risk since it's done under local. Likewise, eye surgery is low risk in terms of dying -- on the other hand one can get complications in terms of how the eyelid functions.

    Why a wealthy educated women chose to have surgery performed by a NON-Board certified surgeon with the string of malpractice suits -- and then went home after a 6 hour procedure is mind boggling. But then I see a multitude of advertisements in the local paper and magazines for plastic surgeons -- and I think -- who in their right mind gets a surgeon from a local paper?

    I think the reason deaths from cosmetic surgery get media play is because they are optional -- If one assumes a medical risk, there is generally a strong benefit beyond vanity. Since plastic surgery is touted all over the place, many people don't really focus on its being actual surgery with possible serious side effects -- including death.

    However, Ms West is far from the first -- most recently there was the author , Olivia Goldsmith who failed to tell her surgeon she was on some kind of drug and died from an interaction with the anaesthesia -- mind boggling again since the one time I had surgery I was asked over and over and over again what drugs I was on, what drugs I had been taking for x period of time and had to take a complete physical exam within 1 week of the surgery. It would never have entered my mind to leave out something.
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  10. #10
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    Also to save money surgery is often done on an out-patient basis - in the case of Ms. West, she was sent home after a 6 hour surgery.
    Are you serious I just cant see how they can send people home after that, to me that is negligent. My dad had quad bypass surgery that didnt take that long.


    Blazedog when you say non certified board surgeon, what does that mean?

    Laurie

  11. #11
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    How does a doctor become Board Certified?
    A. Why should I choose a doctor who is Board Certified by ABPS?

    By choosing a plastic surgeon who is certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery, Inc., you can be assured that the doctor has graduated from an accredited medical school and has completed at least five years of additional training as a resident surgeon in a program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Medical Education or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. This includes a minimum of five years of residency training in all areas of surgery, including at least two years devoted entirely to plastic surgery. Certification is a voluntary process a surgeon seeks after this training. To become certified, the doctor then must pass comprehensive written and oral exams.

    We suggest you visit the link on our home page to American Board of Medical Specialties website (www.abms.org) and click on Is Your Doctor Board Certified to check whether a doctor is board certified by any of the 24 ABMS Boards.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laurielee View Post
    Are you serious I just cant see how they can send people home after that, to me that is negligent. My dad had quad bypass surgery that didnt take that long.
    Now I haven't read the story but when I had my breast lift with a small implant I was there for over 6 hours. My surgery took much longer then expected due to an uncooperative nipple. I wonder if her surgery was actually 6 hours long or six hours total with recovery time. My recovery time was only about an hour. Then I woke up, they got me dressed after got my whitts back, and I was sent home.
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  13. #13
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    They said this morning she had a tummy tuck, liposuction and a breast reduction so sounds pretty invasive surgery to be going home the same day.


    laurie

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    Quote Originally Posted by Laurielee View Post
    They said this morning she had a tummy tuck, liposuction and a breast reduction so sounds pretty invasive surgery to be going home the same day.


    laurie
    Now THAT I could not imagine. I felt like I had been run over by a big rig after my lift.

    Hmmmm it will be interesting to see what the findings are and if this Dr. has any charges brought against him.
    Stay-at-home mom scratch cooking for a child with a severe peanut and mustard allergy.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ljt2r View Post
    While I agree with your post in general, I would like to point out that some surgeries which are generally considered cosmetic and which are performed by cosmetic surgeons do indeed have medical benefits, such as breast reductions. Further, people can get more benefit than just cosmetic benefit (i.e., psychological) from some of these surgeries. Having said that, and having been through one (a breast reduction), I must say they are EXTREMELY painful (and I have had other surgeries to compare) and I personally would only have cosmetic surgery for medical reasons.
    I agree - I don't consider breast reductions to be cosmetic (the reduction in back pain alone makes them non-cosmetic), and neither do most insurance companies.
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  16. #16
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    Even a good surgeon and everything done properly ...problems can arise.
    No two people heal and respond the same way under anesthesia NOR in recovery. Our health, age, and type of surgery play many roles.

    I opted out of breast implants for the main reason that it was less time under the knife, faster recovery and no second surgery for the exchange.
    When I had my nose done in my 30's I researched many doctors and went to one of the better hospitals to get it done.
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